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The Observer paper 10/05/15

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Mud Dogs enjoy a walk in the park

The La Grande Mud Dogs swept Monday's doubleheader with two blowout victories over Milton-Freewater.

By Eric Avissar 

La Grande continues quest to become champs

The La Grande 9-10-year-old All-Stars earned a 2-1 victory over Medford at the Little League State Tournament in Bend Sunday.

La Grande took a 2-0 lead in the third inning after Cole Jorgensen hit a two-run RBI. Medford cut the lead to one in the fifth inning, but Sergio Staab threw four strikeouts without giving up a hit in the final two innings to seal the victory.

The countdown ends

Joseph native Lane Bailey takes part in the bull riding competition at last year’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Chief Joseph Days rodeo. Bailey finished fourth in bull riding at a PRCA event in Cheney, Wash. July 12. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

Country’s top cowboys and cowgirls head to Joseph for PRCA rodeo

JOSEPH — Some of the best rodeo cowboys and cowgirls from around the Northwest and the nation will compete this week at the 69th annual Chief Joseph Days Rodeo.

The rodeo will open with the bucking horse stampede down Joseph’s main street as the first official event beginning at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Joseph. 

State meet a success for Union Co.

The Union County Special Olympics team, top row from left to right: Coaches Doug Trice, Tim Helwick, Art Trice Kathy Hagey and Tina Bowen. Front row from left to right: Joey Gross, Jason Franks, Braden Trice, Dani Thorne, Jenny Coppin and Mary Lee.

The Union County Special Olympics team enjoyed a successful weekend at the Special Olympics Oregon State Meet in Newberg Saturday and Sunday.

Jason Franks was one of two Union County athletes to earn a gold medal, as he took first in the 100-meter dash. 

Union County places third at district tourney

Despite numerous missed chances, Union County qualified for the Babe Ruth state tournament.

The all-star team, comprised of 13 and 14 year olds, bounced back from two straight losses with a 6-0 win over the Snake River Valley Americans to earn third place at the district tournament Sunday in the 15-and-under group in Ontario.

Bailey bounces back

Joseph native and Eastern Oregon alum Lane Bailey holds tight as he is bucked backwards during the Elgin Stampede Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association event Saturday evening. (ERIC AVISSAR/The Observer)

Bailey able to hang on after Elgin struggles

Joseph native and Eastern Oregon alum Lane Bailey entered the bullriding competition at the Elgin Stampede Saturday hoping to take another step in his pro career.

After a steady couple of seconds to open his ride, Bailey was flung backwards and fell off the bull after just over four seconds.

Elgin gets petition approved

Elgin athletic director Paul Willmarth announced that the school’s football program has succesfully petitioned the OSAA to compete as an independent 8-man squad in the upcoming season, rendering the program ineligible to compete in any postseason. 

The move comes after Elgin went 5-3 playing 8-man football at the Class 1A level last season. Elgin head coach Brock Eckstein said he is not worried about keeping his players in spite of having no postseason to play for.

Johnson keeps kicking

Eric Avissar/ The Observer Grande Ronde Kung Fu and Karate School founder Ken Johnson, right, provides instruction to Isabel Brooker on how to effectively land a kick during training Wednesday. Johnson currently has 35 students in the school. (ERIC AVISSAR/The Observer)

Johnson takes two world titles in Las Vegas

Since moving to La Grande in 1991, Ken Johnson has held numerous martial arts world championships and has never lost a title match. Johnson has fought competitively since 1969, and never had to pull out of a competition until his most recent one at the International Martial Arts Councils World Championships June 27-29 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. 


Legacy Legends split doubleheader

Legacy Legends split doubleheader against Burns at Pioneer Park.

Legends struggle through Spokane

The La Grande Legacy Legends struggled over the weekend at the Spokane Woodbat Classic in Spokane, Wash., as they lost their first three games before winning 8-0 against the Spokane Cannons Saturday.

Tanner Stremcha pitched a complete game to close the tournament, throwing seven strikeouts while giving up two walks and six hits in six innings on the mound.

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