LaSalle Tangent

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LaSalle Tangent

Post by Rochin54 on Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:20 am

Alright, since we got on the topic and all, I figured I'd start this up over here so as not to clutter the B-ball stuff.

Anywho, it's really too bad that the Cleghorns are either getting distanced from or distancing themselves from LaSalle. Jack and Elaine are obviously a huge part of lasalle history. He made a positive impact on a lot of folks, and, personally, was a very positive impact in my own life. Elaine was just about the nicest lady around, and complimented jack wonderfully. In my opinion, there should be an effort to make ammends there.

As for the gym, yea, they need a new one. I guess it's tough to replace something that is so sentimental. I just will never forget the scars in the bleacher from jack's boots, cranking up the heaters for those 8am practices, Stoney and mattywizz leading some excellent crowds, the boot scoot during gym. All great memories.

What is the time-frame on all this stuff? What exactly are they doing with the football field and such? I've kinda been out of the loop out here in Indiana.

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Re: LaSalle Tangent

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:07 am

Good decision on moving this thread... now I can talk LS politics without worrying about cluttering up the men's BB forum.

Anyway... I really don't know the full story on it, which is funny, because you'd think that I would given my bro's position. I think a lot of it stems from (as Dionnfan said) the new AD. There's a reason why every coach has left LS since he came in. Furthermore, the state of LS athletics has slipped big time... when I was there, every team made the playoffs in every sport, except for football my junior and senior years. We won multiple titles in soccer, volleyball, swimming... heck, we even won for cheer team. Boy's basketball, boy's soccer, girl's soccer, softball, volleyball... all of those teams won the Tri-Valley conference nearly every year. Baseball and tennis were really good too, always making the quarterfinals or winning individual titles. Now? Football is good which is awesome, but everything else has been down for several years except for boy's soccer. Pretty sad.

I remember talking with Thurley not too long ago and he was really upset with the AD about problems with scheduling and feeling a general lack of support. Losing Thurley was a huge blow... he was an incredible coach and was a terrific teacher too.

Anyway, I have the sense that Cleghorn wanted something very particular... I don't know what, but maybe a deal that would allow him to coach and still have an office and not have to teach or something like that. Honestly, I really don't know. I think Cleghorn probably felt like he could dictate his own terms and deserved being treated right - he had given so many years of service that he had earned it. And I think maybe the school didn't want to give him everything he wanted, and he didn't get along with the new AD... maybe something just kind of blew up. Again, it's all speculation.

One thing's for sure... I can still do the boot scoot, and nothing will ever top him doing that little back-kick thing with the boots and smacking the bench... sounded like a rifle shot.

We definitely had some great crowds in the Brick Oven too... my shinning moment was getting the referee to call an over-the-back call on Madras on the wrong line!!! All-time classic. Oh gosh... and what was the name of the kid from Madras that we were just brutal to. Jorge? He was really good, but dang I don't think I've ever taunted someone as hard as I did him. And of course all the Valley Catholic kids were just too easy of targets. The tipping point was when Thurley and Cleghorn let us into the storage room and let us take out all the old jerseys and track suits and stuff like that. Those were super popular and really helped with getting everyone into it. Woosh, Woosh Falcons!

As for the football field... the bleachers were condemmed right before the season started, so they had to play all the games at the old Clackamas High School. The plan is to tear down the current bleacher and build an all-new, metal stadium complete with a cover (or at least partial cover). I think they are also going to do some work on the field and maybe even put in a new track. But I don't know if all that will be done by next season... they might be playing "home" games at Clackamas again next year.

As for the new gym... don't think that's going to happen for a while. Maybe five years or so.

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Re: LaSalle Tangent

Post by Rob's Jacket on Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:17 pm

Since I was at the school (and reporting sports for The Falconer) when most of this stuff hit the fan, I think I might be able to shed a little additional light on the current state of La Salle athletics.

As I've previously said, most of the blame for this lies at the feet of the current AD (hired my sophomore year). Other than the fact that he's married to a teacher, I'm honestly not sure what his job qualifications were. I remember reading the official La Salle press release after he was hired and noting that the only sports-related thing mentioned was that he lettered in three sports in high school.

The first really jaw-dropping thing that happened was the firing of (young) Coach Cleghorn - class of 1984, son of Jack, point guard on two La Salle state championship teams, and who'd coached the team to a TVL championship and an upset of #1 Marist in the first round of the state tournament the previous year. We'd gone .500 that year, and granted, by La Salle standards, that's not great, but he was still a Cleghorn - and a pretty damn good coach too.

The biggest departure junior year was Thurley, who won a state championship his last year at La Salle. As Stonehouse said, he was not only an incredible coach, but a brilliant teacher as well (inspired me to study history in college). That year, we also lost our girls soccer, girls basketball, swimming, track, and boys tennis coaches.

Senior year probably had the biggest controversy I ever witnessed - even bigger than when Cleghorn was fired or Thurley left. After leading the football team to its first winning record (5-4) since . . . well, the year before Sugar took over, Coach Sean Cease was fired because and I quote "We (the AD) didn't like the direction the program was heading."

Now, all that being said, I should note that La Salle athletics is actually doing pretty well right now: the reclassification prior to last season helped immensely, and now that they're actually competing against schools of a similar size, the Falcons are doing pretty darn well. La Salle made the state playoffs in every sport last year except for girls basketball, softball, and boys tennis, which is pretty remarkable. A few of the AD's hires have turned out really well. Football made the state quarterfinals, the transition from Thurley to current coach Karl Moffitt was pretty seamless, the new girls soccer coach had them ranked top 5 all season long, and boys basketball made it to the state tournament for the first time since my freshman year. But I give the credit for that to the coaches and players, not to the AD.

Facilities: first priority is new football bleachers and FieldTurf. The soccer field may/may not get lights. Then the new gym.

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Re: LaSalle Tangent

Post by Rochin54 on Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:52 pm

I've been very unimpressed with the basketball coach to date. I did notice that the boys are currently ranked (for what it's worth) fourth in the 4a coaches poll. To me, basketball should not struggle at lasalle.

In my opinion (and conjecture), Craig was on old school son of a bitch coach (much like his dad), and lasalle couldn't handle that anymore. So they "went a different direction."

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Re: LaSalle Tangent

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:30 pm

Thanks for the insight, Dionnfan. Makes a lot of sense... I had forgotten about Craig Cleghorn's firing. That definitely leaves lots of room for some hurt feelings.

As for Moffitt (the new soccer coach), I don't know him but it does seem like he's done a good job so far. Of course, if it was Larry Moffett instead of Karl Moffitt... now that would be a different story!!!!!

And I'm definitely glad to hear that LaSalle sports are back on the rise. I guess I need to be paying a bit more attention, huh? Smile Though really it makes sense... Wilsonville and Sherwood moved up to 5A, and they were always strong in just about every sport. Our league is a lot weaker now for sure.

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