The poetry of preps, the power of names

By: Grant Lucas
The Bulletin

The 20th-century writer W.H. Auden put it best in 1970: “Proper names are poetry in the raw.”

Words have meaning, but names, as poetic as they are, they hold power.

Picture the force brought by Boomer (as in Fleming, running back for Ridgeview football). Imagine the quick strike of Bolt (as in Anglen, wide receiver for Culver football).

The sheer poetry of names within the prep sports world of Central Oregon is inspiring.

In the realm of football, there is a Meany and a Slaughter in Sisters (Blake and Devin) and a little Blood in Culver (5-foot-9 Jacob). Perhaps you would prefer some Love? Head south to La Pine, and say hello to Chris.

Travel a little farther to Gilchrist and meet a Heitzman winner. That is Jonny Football, a member of the 2-1 Grizzlies.

Let us not limit our poetry to the gridiron. Broaden the horizons and take a Chance someplace else. How about Chance Halley (Sisters football)? Or maybe you would have better odds with Chance Flammang (Bend High soccer).

Broaden them still, and you will bask in the beautiful colors of Central Oregon. The girls soccer landscape is painted with Coral and Rose (Reyes of Madras and Land of Redmond). Maybe cross-country suits your eyes, where Madras’ Blue Whiteplumbe lopes over the terrain.

On the La Pine girls soccer team, you get a Michael and two Mickels — as in teammates Shyann, Kaitlyn and Riley. Galvin to Galvan (Summit soccer’s Conor to Madras football’s Osvaldo) and three times an Aspen (Summit volleyball’s Peterman, Crook County volleyball’s Christiansen, and Mountain View soccer’s Crew). From Summit football’s Merritt Barber to Cohen Merritt (football) at Ridgeview. La Pine volleyball’s Morgan Sage to the cross-country Sage Hassell at Mountain View.

It is fall, yes, but at least on the soccer pitch in La Pine there is still Summer (Gallaher). And in Redmond, it is Winters — Cody on the gridiron.

On the cross-country map, you will find the Dakotas, north and south: Steen up at Ridgeview and Thornton down at Mountain View. From volleyball’s Shaelynn to Shealene (Davis at Summit, Little at Culver), there is girls soccer Faith in between (Irick at Redmond).

The poetic possibilities in preps are endless. Find the right chord — D Major, perhaps, as in Ridgeview football’s Daniel — and one can reach great (Bend soccer’s Zach) Hite.


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