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SCORESHEET/More coverage of World Surf League seems like a no-brainer


My boss doesn’t know it yet, but it’s clear to me that the Portland Tribune’s sports section needs a bright new emphasis in 2017.

Simply put, we’ve been terribly remiss with our lack of WSL coverage.

Not sure how staying on top of the World Surf League will fit into our travel budget, but I personally want to solve the problem before it gets any colder, damper and darker hereto — I mean, before this oversight gets any more glaring.

To upgrade our surfing reportage will require me to spend much of March in Australia. The world’s best surfers, male and female, will be there for the 12-day season-opening event. So will plenty of sun, sand, body lotion and cool beverages.

The next two 2017 WSL events will be in Australia, as well. Then we shift to the Rio Pro competition May 9-20 in Brazil, followed by Fiji, June 4-16. After that, keeping Portland Tribune readers abreast of the WSL standings will necessitate lengthy duty for me in South Africa, France, Portugal and Southern California.DREAMSTIME - The pro surfing circuit resumes soon, with top performers already eyeing their shot at the Olympics.

I know, I know. It’s a tough job. That’s why I think it’s important that I personally show leadership and take on this assignment.

Thank God for laptop computers and the ability to communicate remotely with my fellow newspaper staffers who are stuck in, er, I mean who will be working so hard week after week at Pamplin Media Group headquarters, which I will say does have nice vending machines and central heating.

I’ve been researching the World Surf League and the surfing lifestyle, in between days spent scraping moss off my driveway, shoveling snow off my sidewalk, and shopping for saunas and light-therapy boxes.

Did you know that three California women will be competing for the world title in 2017? Courtney Conlogue is from Santa Ana, Sage Erickson is from Ojai, and Lakey Peterson is from Santa Barbara — all practically suburbs of Portland, right? Maybe they’ll come to train in Seaside someday? Peterson has been a Nike-sponsored athlete, so she’ll probably drive through Portland. Bingo, instant local news peg.

Surfing is about to grow in worldwide importance, too. It’ll be part of the Olympics at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. So it’ll be us — the U.S. — against the world, notably flat-bellied young surfers from Australia and Brazil.

As you can see, there is no time to lose in packing — light (swimsuits, shorts, T-shirts, sunscreen) — for my new surf beat. If all goes well … well, if miracles do happen … you’ll soon be seeing my byline from somewhere near Brisbane.

PIL hoops

One thing the Portland Interscholastic League does have — and always has had — is outstanding basketball coaches. There’s a combination of veteran leaders, up-and-coming coaching talent, basketball knowledge and commitment to the PIL.

As the league prepares for its annual Showcase events on Saturday, Jan. 7 — the boys will play all day at Marshall, the girls all day at Madison — here’s a shout-out to this year’s varsity coaches.

Boys: Earl Clark, Benson; Craig Cokley, Cleveland; Jeffrey McGee, Franklin; Robert Key, Grant; Pat Strickland, Jefferson; Pat Adelman, Lincoln; Chuck Matthews, Madison; Michael Lee, Roosevelt; Scott Aker, Wilson.

Girls: Eric Knox, Benson; Suzanne Washington, Cleveland; Josh Green, Franklin; Kendra Gardner, Grant; Erica Spencer, Jefferson; Glen Lee, Lincoln; Jay Foreman, Madison; Sonja Doolittle, Roosevelt; Mike Nolan, Wilson.

In memorium

Belated remembrance of Dick Estey, one of Oregon’s top golfers in his day. He died Nov. 17, at age 86, near his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Estey grew up near the sixth hole at Eastmoreland Golf Course, He was senior class president at Washington High. He also was one of the most successful junior golfers in Oregon history, winning numerous tournaments from 1946-48, in particular.

Estey caddied for Sam Snead in the 1946 PGA Championship and for British legend Henry Cotton in the 1947 Ryder Cup, both at Portland Golf Cub. He was inducted into the Portland Interscholastic League Hall of Fame in 2009.

Active in a variety of clubs and businesss, Estey returned from a 25-year hiatus and scored nearly a dozen major amateur victories in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, earning a No. 2 senior amateur ranking in 1991.

He was perhaps even more well-known, though, for his extensive collection of golf artifacts and memorabilia, much of it kept at his museum/high-rise home in downtown Portland. His collection was said to be rivaled only by that at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland, where he was a member (in Portland, he also was a member of Waverley Country Club).

Estey was kind enough to give me an extensive tour of his collection about nine years ago. It was impossible to not be wowed by the overall array, along with his kindness and patience in answering a ton of my wide-eyed questions.

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