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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
August 29, 2012     The New Era Paper
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August 29, 2012

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:I T  - August 29, 2012 Page 7 SpoRts Kyle.Yeack tearing it up at Willamette Speedway By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era Kyle Yeack of Crawfordsville is having a huge year behind the wheel at Willamette Speedway in the modifieds and classics, winning 11 races - six in classics and five in modifieds. He's won three races in a row in each class. "I never got a win in mods last year," Yeack said, but then he changed the car's setup. The new setup includes shocks and the car went from four bars on the right and two on the left side to four on both sides. "It's a lot better now," he said. "This is probably about the best year so far (his third). Both cars are out front every weekend." Yeack raced at Cottage Grove and Banks at the beginning of the season and then, two weeks ago, he blew up his motor in the modified at Gray's Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. "We were in about fifth place in mods over there when it blew up," he said. That was among about 50 cars. Early on this season, he had sone minor problems with the setup, he said. ""he first week, both cars broke, little thing:, brand new parts." His father, Tom Yeack, was racing both classes too, at least until "he stole my mo- tor," Tom Yeack said. "And he's won two with it." Cory Yeack, Kyle's older brother, races in the classics. Kyle Yeack thinks the changes at Wil- lamette Speedway have helped him - or at least it's a lot more fun. "I love it," he said. "It's a lot more racy." The track is three to four cars wide in- stead of two wide, he said. "I think it's easier to pass on thatt track. I don't hit the wall as much. I still rub off it all the time, but I don't hit as hard any more." Yeack, who works at Radiator Supply House in Sweet Home, is leading in points for the season in both classes. He has a long See Yeack, page 10 Photo by Sean C. Morgan Kyle Yeack, here with his modified car, has been on a roll at the Willamette Speedway, win- ning the last three races in both the Modified and Classic divisions at the track going into this weekend, New athletic director making strong first impression By Scott Swanson Of The New Era Steve Brown grew up in Iowa, so he understands wrestling. Eooks like one, too, with his stocky, muscular frame toned by years of lifting weights. But his first love has always been basketball. "I never saw a shot I didn't like;" said Brown, 59, Sweet Home High School's new athletic director. He admits he doesn't really fit the classic image of a hoops special- ist, and he had to ride the pine "most of the time," but when the choice came down between wresting and basketball, he knew which way he had to go. "Being from Iowa, I understand wrestling," said Brown, whose jovial personality comes out frequently in conversation. "I wrestled in junior high. Then I figured, 'Those guys work way too hard.'" Brown arrives in Sweet Home from Grants Pass, where his posi- tion there as a teacher in a residential treatment facility for youngsters with behavioral problems was eliminated due to budget cuts. "I was last to arrive and first to go," he said. Before that he taught in La Pine and coached in the Los Angeles area for some 20 years, coaching football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and track and field along the way. Those were the four sports he played in high school. He said baseball was played in the summertime in Vin- ton, Iowa, where he graduated from Washington High School in 1971. More recently, his sport of choice has been power lifting. In a little over 15 years of com- petition in the sport, he has won I 1 world championships titles in five powerlifting federations. He holds multiple world and Oregon state records and has squatted 600.75 pounds, bench pressed 529 pounds and deadlifted 628. His best total (a combination of those events) is 1,730 pounds. "I brought up 800 pounds of weights, a rack and sleds that I had of my own," he said of his arrival in Sweet Home. "The P.E. teachers were really happy." After growing up in the Vin- ton area - population 4,900, where his parents were pastors in the Foursquare Church, Brown headed for Southern California, where he graduated from Life Bible College, then earned a bachelor's degree from Azusa Pacific and a master's degree from the University of La Veme. He also earned an adminis- This local team of runners, Cruisin' the Cascades, finished the 216.6-mile Cascade Lakes Relay on Aug. 4 in Bend after running from Diamond lake to Silver lake, to La Pine, to Mt. Bachelor and then to Bend. They finished in 42:01.02 for an average pace of 8:53, placing 36th out of 121 teams in their division. Runners are, from left, Paul Ottum, Carma Ganta, Rick Jones, Melanie Jones, Michael Zanona, Randy Carper, Rosanne James, Kevin Van- Cleave, Tamara Ottum, Brian Murray, Jessica Haley and Sean Rodgers. trative credential and served as dean of students at 2,500-student San Ga- briel High School before moving to Grants Pass. When he arrived in Sweet Home he discovered some common background with several coaches and teachers here, he said. Principal Keith Winslow attended APU, As- sistant Principal Tim Porter and he went to the same church in Southern Califomia - though they didn't know it, track ;and football assistant Randy Whitfield attended Life Bible Col- lege. "It's just been amazing, all the things we have in common," Brown said. "Kiind of the six points of what- ever conlnections." Another connection with Sweet Home before he came was his wife Debra's job in Southern Califor- nia. The Browns lived in the Bend area from 1989 through 1999 when a friend of theirs, Jared Roth, who once pastored Cornerstone Fellow- ship in Sweet Home, was named general supervisor of the Foursquare International Church. Debra Brown was asked to be his assistant, so they moved back to California. The Browns have three chil- dren and one grandchild. Debra, who grew up in Grants Pass, is preparing their hotase to rent and plans to move to Sweett Home Oct. 1, Steve Brown said. "Her job is way harder than mine." Coming into a school district that has experienced its own finan- cial woes, including cuts in athletic funding, he said his first challenge is figuring out how things work. "Every school district is differ- ent so learning the ins and outs is tricky." He said his transition here has been aided by an able assistant, Ken- dra McCaslin. "If it weren't for her, l'd be dead in the rater already," Brown said. "My wif told her to keep me in line. That's good. 1 have two bosses. "I told the coaches I'm not a master of everything but I'm here to serve. Give me your requests and cut me some slack when it takes me a while to figure out how to do it." So far, he said, Sweet Home Photo by Scott Swanson New Sweet Home High School Athletic Director Steve Brown brings a wide range of experience to the job. feels like a "great fit." "Everybody has been so nice and everybody says I'm going to love Sweet Home," he said. "I say I am loving Sweet Home. Every day just gets sweeter and sweeter. day I was sitting behind home plate and I took a picture for a family. I thought, 'Ix)ok at this, this is a field of dreams. Where else can you sit in center field, next to the covered bridge, and watch football prac- "At football practice the other, tice?"