Volleyball Season Summary from Coach Kertch

Hey-Ho Sportsfans!

Apologies for the death of Sports Fans News' this season. The Coach had a severe case of "writer's cramp meningitis."

But be that as it may, the Dragon Girls have had quite the exciting times this volleyball season!

Yes, just after taking 3rd Place in the Warrenton Tournament, the girls in green went on a see-saw of wins and losses in several tourneys and match play as well.

It went something like this: 2 wins & 1 loss; 2 wins & 1 loss; 1 win & 3 losses; 1 win & 2 losses; 1 win & 2 losses. . . Hey! This pattern --- no good! Along with all this, just to make sure we had enough to deal with and do, were my top players experiencing ankle sprains (3 of them), a torn rotator cuff, a strained stomach muscle, severe headaches, dizzy court disorientation and various types of mental mungitis ails, such as "Hey Coach, I'm feeling weird today!"

Hmmm... Time to sort some things out, get actions done that would assist with the healing of any real injuries, throw the bogus stuff out, regroup, spot our operating conditions and re-set our purposes & goals, i.e., Enough! LET'S GO!!

Result: Bammo! – 1 win, 2 wins, 3 wins, and another one! 7 in a row, right on through all League and District comers while capturing a seed to the 1st round of the State Championships! Gooooooo Dragons!!

The 1st State round was away and against the state's fourth-ranked team, the Central Linn Cougars. The Dragon's played well, challenging the Cougs in a back-and-forth game playing up to a 20-20 tie, but then scrawk! goes our momentum with back-to-back service errors, 25-21 the score. Alas, State level pressure took its toll at the service line as Dragon servers muffed 11 serves in the match with the only 2 Aces landing in game one. The Cougars wasted no time in letting out their claws and releasing their hammering middle hitter who slashed the Dragon court left & right. 25-11 & 25-15, the sad scores that ended our season. But! Sad today, glad tomorrow! (famous coach saying)

Many are the highlights to note, not the least of which was a 7-streak run that created a winning season (15-11) for the Dragons of Delphi. We were contenders to reckon with throughout the season with these finishes:

3rd at The Warrenton Invitational Tournament

3rd in the Northwest League

3rd at the District Playoffs

Our top players received these awards:

Lexi Delgado -- 1st Team All-League in the Northwest League

All-Tournament at the Oktoberfest Invitational

Most Valuable Player – Team Vote

Coach's Award

Lexi additionally became the 4th player in Delphi Volleyball history to hit over 500 (503) attack kills in a 2-season period

LouElla Taufer -- 2nd Team All-League in the Northwest League

Spirit Award – Team Vote

Cat Veliz -- 2nd Team All-League in the Northwest League

Top Ace (87)

Eva Drazkowski -- Honorable Mention in the Northwest League

100% Award – Team Vote

Jolie Ramos -- Most Improved Player – Team Vote


The Dragons' Varsity will have 7-8 open spots next season and we will be in a brand new League with a tougher field and new territory to conquer. Players coming up from Middle School as well as players from the JV teams and new arrivals alike will be vying for positions! Makes for much excitement as Delphi Volleyball shoots for a Big Step-up!!

Gooooooo Dragons!! And Gooooooo Delphi!!

Coach John Kertchem

Delphi Dragons Volleyball

Dia De Los Muertos at Delphian

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a tradition celebrated in Mexico to honor and celebrate the lives of family and friends who have passed away. It is typically celebrated from November 1st to the 2nd.

This year several Delphian Middle School students created a Dia de los Muertos altar and shared the tradition of this holiday with the school. They created an altar to celebrate the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo who is known for her folk art and self portraits.

Day of the Dead altars are set with different elements depending on the region and availability. The altar created for Frida in the Delphian art gallery included a portrait of Frida Kahlo and fresh marigolds, otherwise known as "cempasuchil" or "flor de muertos" (flower of the dead). The altar also included traditional foods such as tamales, atol, oranges, apples and calabaza en tacha (candied pumpkin).

In addition to the fruits and foods, the students decorated the table with traditional sugar skulls, papel picado (or chiseled paper), candles, dolls and paintbrushes to represent Frida Kahlo's interests.

Delphian Students Volunteer at Iskam M?k?M?k-Haws Fundraiser

This past Saturday the Iskam MǝkʰMǝk-Haws food pantry held their annual Grandiose Goulash Gathering fundraiser to raise money for their annual holiday boxes that are distributed throughout the holiday season beginning next month in preparation for Thanksgiving.

Five Delphian students volunteered at the fundraiser held at the St. Michael's Catholic Church in Grand Ronde. The Grandiose Goulash Gathering fundraiser was open to community members of all ages and included a costume contest, face painting, pumpkin decorating, cider pressing and a food drive.

All the donations will be used to help feed families in need during the holiday season. Iskam MǝkʰMǝk-Haws, or the "house where you get food" in Chinuk-Wawa, was formed in partnership with Marion-Polk Food Share and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde to meet emergency food needs in the community.

Iskam MǝkʰMǝk-Haws is a gathering place focused equally on food and community building. There are regular classes for community members teaching about gardening, cooking, and food preservation.

Delphian students take an active part in local community events whenever possible to gain leadership and humanitarian knowledge and skills. Learning to apply their education outside of the classroom whenever possible.

Delphian Volleyball Coach John Kertchem Named Oregon Coach of The Year
Coach John Kertchem has been named as coach of the year in volleyball for the state of Oregon. Winning this award automatically nominates him for the Section 8 coach of the year award. The United States is divided into eight sections and the winner from each section is then in competition to become the coach of the year for the entire nation.

Volleyball was one of the first sports added to Delphian's athletic program. John Kertchem began as the assistant coach since he had played a little volleyball on an intramural two-man volleyball team while attending UC Davis in California but he quickly filled the shoes of the head coach and built the Delphian volleyball program into what it is today.

His limited resume gave him the foothold he needed to help get the team going. Meanwhile he was constantly studying and learning more about coaching and the intricacies of the game. He watched "Volleyball 101" on VHS tapes and read and studied up on coaching and team building.

In additional to research, Coach Kertch attended multiple coaching coaching clinics over the years led by some of volleyball's greats including Hall of Famer Jim Coleman, US women's national volleyball head coach Terry Liskevych, Stanford's 5-time NCAA champion winning Coach John Dunning and US gold medalist winner and coach Karch Kiraly.

All his hard work paid off when Coach Kertch led his team to a nineteen season winning streak from 1983 to 2002, at which time the rules of the game were revised. This didn't stop Coach Kertch, though. He revised his coaching and training strategies to again bring the team together, leading them to state championship wins in 2012 and 2013.

In the words of Coach Kertch:

"High School Volleyball is an opportunity: an opportunity to learn what a team really is. To learn that one can operate as an individual within a team and bring improvement and gain for herself, her teammates, her schoolmates and yes, even her school. To learn about trust and respect, personal ethics and hard work, integrity and leadership. That true morale for self and group comes from pushing through barriers and getting things done with demonstrated competence and hard-won production. And that all of this starts with care, commitment and the willingness to demonstrate ability with courage to do so. To find out that one is alive and can live life well and with others, and that where there is adversity, something can be done about it."

Congratulations again, Coach Kertch. Delphian volleyball would not be the same without your dedication and hard work.

Bicycle Club Banks-Vernonia Trail Ride

The Delphian School Bicycle Club attacked the Banks-Vernonia Trail and I'll let you decide who won.

Our plan was to bike the majority of the paved 21 mile trail from the small town of Banks to Vernonia. This trail used to be a railroad line and it has been converted into a very nice paved hiking and biking trail. Bicycling Magazine put out a story of the top 10 Car Free Bike Paths in America and the Banks-Vernonia Trail was on their list.

The young lads took off like the hare in the Tortoise and the Hare story. I played the part of the tortoise and came trundling up behind them. At one point the trail has to drop down to a road because the railroad bridge that used to go over the road was in such bad shape it was torn down. So the trail makes a steep descent to the road via several switchbacks. But our hares, not noticing the sign that said, "Steep Grade. Walk Your Bikes," encountered a 90 degree left hand turn while still going at hare-like speeds. Charley, the lead hare, went straight ahead and ended up about 30 feet deep in the bushes, next to the tree we christened, "Charley's Tree."

In the above photo, you can't really see Chaley as he is way off the road. But you can see David, in the yellow jacket, inspecting his arm. David, another hare, was unable to stop when the hares in front of him stopped and decided to have a go at the asphalt. The result is David inspecting the road rash given him by, "David's Asphalt."

Ah, there's Charley!

He was fine, just a couple of scrapes and a great story to tell. His bike was fine also but the main calamity that had befallen Charley was he lost his phone. Yee Gads!

But the search was on and scrapes be damned, we've got to find the phone!

Locating apps were tried but alas no cell service. What to do?

Continued searching and poking through the undergrowth resulted in:

Success, Charley found his phone!

Bikes were straightened up, scrapes were talked about and admired, new holes in jerseys were found and the war stories of old crashes were bantered about along with showing off the old scars.

But we had miles to go before we sleep! So off the hares went again.

Our two slightly damaged hares, Charley and David, all of a sudden decided to enjoy the company of the tortoise at the back. For a few miles we still had hares out front but we also had Charley, David and me bring up the rear as the Official Tortoises. Ah, a good slide down a hill towards a cliff will turn you from a hare to a tortoise in no time at all.

The turnaround at Vernonia came and went with little fanfare. We arrived back at the bus in time to fix a flat on Mary's bike and then we rode for our lunch break at the Blue Jay's Family Restaurant. We collected Paula on the way who was enjoying the scenery and was trying to figure out the Cricket match that was going on by the trail.

At the restaurant, we discovered that our hares had worked up a remarkable appetite as all but one ordered THREE complete meals, and ATE EVERY BIT!

The hares declined the tortoises' invitation to ride the 5 miles back to collect the bus, instead opting to stay and eat more food.

Here are a couple of photos of one of the train trestles we rode over.

All in all they rode 35 miles which was the longest all but one had ridden in one day. Plus they rode through beautiful scenery, had a great crash with admirable road rash and got to eat a ton of food! A good time was had by all.

Scott Gregory

The Official Tortoise