Alex Shoemaker

Sports Desk: My Final Column Here at Eugene Daily News

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Even wordsmiths find themselves speechless once in awhile. I’ve scrapped attempt after attempt at writing my final goodbye, but can’t really figure out how I want to say it. There’s no right way or magic formula to this sort of thing.

After two years with Eugene Daily News, the last year and a half as Sports Editor, I’ve accepted a job with the Buffalo Bulletin in Buffalo, Wyoming. This column will be my last article with EDN.

But rather than lamenting, I’d like to take this final opportunity to reflect on my time with the site and thank all those who were with me along the way.

Fiesta Bowl Press Pass
Fiesta Bowl Press Pass

My Time With EDN:

I joined EDN in October 2011 as a prep reporter, wide-eyed and ripe with excitement. I watched and reported as the Sheldon Irish football team fall just short of state title, only to win it the next year.

Just a few months later in March of 2012, I officially took over as the site’s Sports Editor. With that came the added responsibilities of not only covering these great local teams, but overseeing an entire department.

While head of the section, I’ve worked with an incredible staff including past colleagues who have gone on to work full-time at major sports publications.

Craig Loper covers the Oregon State Beavers at KVAL. Mike Denevi is part of the breaking news team at Bleacher Report. And Taylor Gelbrich works for Fox Sports 1. Also many of our current staff have bright journalistic careers ahead of them.

As Sports Editor I covered a 12-1 Fiesta Bowl champion Oregon Football team. I reported on the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the US Olympic Trials and so much more. Really when you look back at it, there has been some incredible sports action in Lane County for the past two years.

And it will only continue to improve. The entire University of Oregon athletic department is on the upswing, and with another Olympic Trial and the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships on the way TrackTown has never been so happening.

My Goodbye:

Lastly I want to thank everyone who has read my work over the past two years and found enjoyment in my writing. Without my readers, I’d just be an avid sports fanatic rambling about non-sensical sports happenings to myself.

I’ll also miss my coworkers and fellow sports team. Together we’ve watched EDN grow from a small up-and-starter to the best online-only news outlet in Lane County. I’m sure my replacement will not only take this incredible sports section even further, but the whole site as well.

Eugene has always, and will always be my home. I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I have faith in this organization I’m saying goodbye to and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Don’t be a stranger. To keep in touch, follow me on Twitter @MrAlexShoemaker

November 17 – Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Headlines

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  • Breaks of the game bite Eagles

    In order to make a deep run in the state football playoffs, even the best teams need to catch a few breaks. On Saturday afternoon, the breaks most certainly did not go Harrisburg’s way, and the second-ranked Eagles lost a 27-25 he
  • Men’s tennis starts off fast in Nordstrom Open
    The Oregon men’s tennis team is flying high so far in the first two days of tournament play in the Nordstrom Open. The team is 9-for-10 so far in matches at the Seattle, Wash., tournament. The Ducks are represented by three singles players in the
  • Crash closes intersection of 7th and Garfield in Eugene
    Officers closed the intersection of 7th Ave. at Garfield in downtown Eugene Saturday night for a crash investigation.Police officials reported the closure at around 10:25 p.m. Saturday. The intersection, near where Highway 99 southbound turns into the …
  • Panhandler steals car at knife-point when driver offers change
    A man was carjacked at knife-point Saturday evening when he offered change to a panhandler near 13th and High St., police officials said.
  • Portland wins bid for world track meet
    The World Indoor Track & Field Championships are coming to Portland. After a unanimous vote by the IAAF Council on Friday, the Rose City was awarded the March 2016 meet, bringing the World Indoor Championships back to the United States for the firs
  • Truckers honor teen’s cancer struggle: ‘We came together for her’
    A convoy of trucks hit I-5 Saturday for a memorial trip dedicated to 15-year-old Hannah Williams, who passed away late last month from neuro pino blastoma, a rare form of cancer that affects mostly children.
  • Police identify skateboarder seriously injured in crash with car
    A skateboarder, identified as Scott Michael Frank Svetal, was crossing Harris St. at 20th Ave. when he was hit by a southbound VW Beetle driven by Nishan Van Atta, a Eugene woman in her 60’s.
  • Model Springfield/McKenzie Arch ready for public viewing

    People interested in the progress of the Springfield/McKenzie Arch project will have a chance to take a closer look on Sunday, December 1st. On that day, a scale model of what the full size structure could look like will be on display from 9

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November 15 – Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Headlines

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November 14 – Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Headlines

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  • Blazers tip Phoenix

    Damian Lillard hit a layup with 6.5 seconds left to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 90-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. The Suns led by as many as nine points in the second half but the Blazers went ahead 78-77 on
  • Willamette’s Bando leads local parade of college signees
    A handful of local athletes signed early letters-of-intent on Wednesday, committing to play in locales ranging from San Diego to Spokane. Willamette senior Lexi Bando sat with her parents in front of a small gathering in the Wolverines’ gym and s
  • Sheldon legend dies at 57

    With his penchant for poetry, Todd Christensen never fit the Raiders’ renegade mold. But that didn’t keep him from becoming one of the team’s best all-time tight ends. A five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time
  • Young goes on the attack
    Oregon didn’t see anything like this during its run to the Sweet 16 last season. Joseph Young scored a career-high 36 points, Mike Moser added 26 and No. 18 Oregon ran past Western Carolina 107-83 in its home opener on Wednesday night in front of
  • Former Springfield PD dispatcher files tort claim against city
    The Springfield Police Department could face another lawsuit after a former police dispatcher filed a tort claim against the city Friday, saying she was wrongfully terminated in June.
  • Skateboarder suffers life-threatening injuries after collision with car
    A 20-year-old male suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a car while on a skateboard near the intersection of Harris Street and 20th Ave., Eugene police said. The victim was transported to the hospital, according to a press release. P
  • Two more men charged in man’s murder
    Two more men face murder charges in the death of 57-year-old William Joe Bruton, bringing to 5 the number of people charged in his October 20 death.
  • Former Duck Lyerla rejects drug treatment deal
    The proposed deal to dismiss charges of possession of cocaine and interfering with a police officer against former Duck tight end Colt Lyerla unraveled in court Wednesday.
  • Diablo’s Downtown Lounge, a Eugene favorite, closes and so does a mini culture
    “B-ten, B-ten,” a darkly dressed man says slowly into a lounge microphone. “Beeeeee-ten,” responds another darkly dressed man next to him. He drawls in a low voice behind dark glasses and mustache. Those in attendance stifle lau
  • OSPIRG pushes for labeling GMOs in local food
    Corn and soy are two of the most common genetically modified foods in the market. They are found in salad dressings, sodas and other foods people eat on a daily basis, yet there are no current government requirements to label them. In fact, large corpo
  • Sheriff’s office investigating death in Monroe
    The Benton County Sheriff’s office is investigating a death in Monroe that happened sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

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November 13 – Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Headlines

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Leaf pile violators beware...
Leaf pile violators beware…

 

  • Ems’ owner buys into soccer club
    The Eugene Emeralds are getting into soccer. The Elmore Sports Group, which owns the Eugene Emeralds, has purchased an ownership stake in Redside Sports, LLC, which runs the Lane United Football Club that recently bought a franchise in the semi-profess 
  • Helfrich promotes Wogan to Ducks’ starting kicker
    Mark Helfrich doesn’t like to kick field goals. But the next time Oregon’s coach decides to allow one of his kickers to trot out for a three-point attempt, it will be Matt Wogan. Helfrich announced on Tuesday that Wogan, a true freshman, ha
  • Ducks play to the whistle
    Not even the whistle blowers could slow down the Ducks. Despite having Paul Westhead’s fast-break style interrupted by 50 foul calls and 74 free throws, Oregon sprinted past Portland with a 113-86 victory over the Pilots on Tuesday night at Matth
  • Peacehealth To Close Long-Time Doctor Office

    Considered the town doctor, Dr. Marlon Fletchall of PeaceHealth Medical Group on West Seventh Avenue will be moving his practice to another location by the end of the year. PeaceHealth will be consolidating Fletchall and his staff
  • Truck crashes through fence, rolls off of Highway 99
    Two teenagers climbed out of a rolled pickup truck with some bumps and bruises Tuesday after one of them had crashed through a fence off of Highway 99, emergency responders said.
  • Suspect wanted in campus area assault
    A University of Oregon student reported she was sexually assaulted Saturday, Nov. 9, just after 12 a.m. while walking near 18th Avenue and Alder Street. The student was shoved to the ground and sexually assaulted by a person she didn’t know.
  • County OKs 99-year lease with Eugene ‘urban village’ developer
    A $67 million downtown development took a step forward Tuesday when the Lane County Commission approved a 99-year lease agreement with a development group headed by former Eugene mayor and 5th Street Market owner Brian Obie.
  • School locks down as deputy apprehends wanted man
    A wanted man led a deputy on a chase before being apprehended on the playground at Harrisburg Elementary School.
  • Eugene deploys online tracking in spread offense on leaf piles
    A live online map now allows Eugene residents to track the progress of crews collecting fall leaf piles from city streets as they spread out to simultaneously cover three separate zones across the city.

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Oregon Women’s Basketball: Ducks Slip By Pilots in 116-84 Battle

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It was a sloppy game — one that found both teams in significant foul trouble early and often. But new faces Katelyn Loper and Chrishae Rowe continued their hot starts and a 17-2 run to end the first half helped Oregon (2-0) to a double-digit advantage they wouldn’t relinquish.

The final score read 116-84, but it never felt that far apart as incessant whistles rang out all night long.

The MVP of the night, though, had four fouls for basically the entire second half: sophomore Jillian Alleyne. Her double-double and inside presence allowed the Ducks to bounce the Pilots in a gritty game.

Ariel Thomas drives to the hoop |  Photo by Eric Evans Photography
Ariel Thomas drives to the hoop | Photo by Eric Evans Photography

“We got ourselves in a lot of foul trouble early. In the end, they hung in and Jillian Alleyne played a very settled game,” head coach Paul Westhead said. “Looks like she’s going to play like a veteran.”

The teams combined for 50 fouls, 38 turnovers and 51 missed three-pointers, so that the game — with two teams capable of getting out on runs — plodded on.

Early on, sophomore Jillian Alleyne looked ready to replicate the second game of her frosh campaign against Portland State, where she set career highs in just about all key stats. But she started to accumulate fouls, and reached her fourth early in the second half.

Alleyne played through and logged good minutes late, finishing with her second double-double in as many games. The 25 points and 13 rebounds weren’t exactly the 38-27 line of a year ago, but it wasn’t in a double-overtime losing effort this time either.

“She had a good rookie year — she didn’t take over the team. She’s done it now in back-to-back games,” Westhead said.

Paul Westhead |  Photo by Eric Evans Photography
Paul Westhead | Photo by Eric Evans Photography

Nearing fouling out, Alleyne still forced the issue — shooting 11 foul shots and making 9 of them. She was joined frequently at the line by Ariel Thomas (7 for 10), Loper (7 for 8), Rowe (4 for 7).

“We play a fast paced game, so I feel like the fouls were not what we were looking for,” Rowe said. “Coach Westhead said if that’s how the game’s being called, then go to the rim hard and knock down your free throws.”

Rowe and Loper followed right along with 20+ point performances, scoring 22 and 23, respectively. Both were very key as the Ducks got off onto good runs late in both halves.

“I think (Rowe) is a very good basketball player,” Westhead said on Rowe, adding about her ability to create that, “she’s not quite there, but she will grow into that role. That’s really a nice thing for a coach to have.

Alleyne said after the game that the 2-0 start is greatly appreciated by a team room that went 4-17 last year.

The Ducks return to the hardwood to play Sacramento State on Sunday.

November 12 – Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Headlines

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  • Knee injury won’t keep Mariota out
    For Marcus Mariota, playing through pain is just the way he was raised. So the sophomore quarterback for No. 6 Oregon said he will make his 23rd straight start when the Ducks host Utah Saturday at 1 p.m. “For sure,” Mariota said. Mariota ha
  • Oregon men’s basketball jump to No. 18 in AP Top 25
    The Oregon men’s basketball team was rewarded for its win last week, moving forward one spot in the first regular season AP top 25 poll to No. 18. Oregon was joined in the top 25 by two fellow Pac-12 members: No. 6 Arizona and No. 24 UCLA. The Du
  • E-cig explodes, damaging truck
    An e-cigarette left charging in a car for about 2 hours exploded, damaging the car, according to the owner. “It had enough power and momentum to shoot all the way to the backseat,” said Larry Timmons.
  • Veterans Day events in Lane County
    Almost everyone knows a veteran, whether a brother, mother, grandparent, neighbor, teacher or friend.Veterans Day was an opportunity to honor those we know and others who have served in the armed forces.Around Lane County, there were a number of ways to …
  • Fatal crash on Pioneer Parkway in Springfield
    At least one person is dead in a car on Pioneer Parkway north of Q Street in Springfield.Traffic is being detoured through a parking lot at the location
  • Congratulations to EDN’s David Saez on his new position as the Assistant Executive Director of Centro Latino Americano.
  • Jury rejects lawsuit of county worker
    A jury has found that Lane County didn’t discriminate against former animal … The jury agreed that the county failed to return Wellington to his former job or it

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November 11 – Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Headlines

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Thank you Veterans

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University of Oregon Holds Court Renaming Ceremony in Honor of Alex Rovello

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Alex Rovello Ceremony
Alex Rovello Ceremony | (Eric Evans/GoDucks)

A crowd of more than 200 including teammates, family and friends gathered Saturday at the Student Tennis Center in remembrance of Alex Rovello. Rovello, a star on the UO’s men’s tennis team, passed away after a tragic cliff diving accident on May 11, 2013, following his junior season with the Ducks.

The ceremony included speeches from Rovello’s father, Jim Rovello, Oregon head coach Nils Schyllander, athletic director Rob Mullens and more. With a $20 entrance fee and donations, over $1,600 was raised with all proceeds going to the UO Men’s Tennis Foundation and the Alex Rovello Award.

“He was a great tennis player, son, teammate and a remarkable person,” Mullens said. “He left his mark on this university in so many ways and it’s only appropriate that we are on this very court having this ceremony in his honor.”

To conclude his speech, Jim said there are three things he would tell his son Alex if he could see him again: “I love you, I’m so proud to be your father, and lastly, they put your name on the court – how about that?”

EDN sends its deepest condolences to all those who knew Rovello.

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Phil Knight Attends Alabama-LSU Game Decked Out in BAMA Gear

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In what could not possibly be worse timing, University of Oregon super-booster Phil Knight was seen on the Alabama sidelines decked out in red for the Crimson Tide’s beatdown on LSU.

The Nike founder and Oregon native attended the game with Alabama softball coach Pat Murphy, who captured the moment on Twitter. The photo, of course, has gone viral not only within Ducks circles but nationally as well.

Check out the photo and see what you think!

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