North High



Number 63

February 2017

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Viking Association

Mission Statement:

To create, promote, and sustain a "Viking-connected" community of alumni and friends, this Association will foster a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship among alumni, friends, North Salem High School (NSHS), its students and staff, and the community to support the mission, goals, and traditions of NSHS. 

Viking Association

Board of Directors:


Steve Chambers '62, President

Homer Wood '59, Vice President

Vijitra Boonkoom '92, Treasurer

Ken Simila '58, Assistant Secretary

Herb Triplett '54,

Doug Bolton '58

Dick Hornaday '53

Michael T. Smith (friend)

Kay Mattson '81

Sasha Spencer-Atwood '97

Jonathan Castro Monroy '11


Feel free to contact the following:


Steve Chambers:

Michael T. Smith:

Homer Wood:






Featured in this issue:

  • North to drop from 6A to 5A
  • Wrestlers place 3rd in GVC
  • Cheerleaders take 4th at State
Alert to Salem area alumni:  Your help is needed tomorrow, February 24, for Saturday School at North.  Volunteers are needed to help North students who are working on homework.  You would primarily be supervisory. This is a great program to help kids academically.  They are not at Saturday School for disciplinary reasons. Report to Donald Kim at 9 am and, if you can, stay until 1 pm.  Thanks!

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North High Elects to Drop a Level in Sports Classification

Earlier this month the coaching staff and administration at North High voted to drop from 6A to 5A in sports classification starting in the 2018 season.  The Oregon School Activities Board approved the drop pending decisions on how many classifications there will be (there is a proposal to change the number of classifications to 5).  In either system of classification, it looks like a new league would be formed of the six Salem-Keizer high schools along with the three from Bend.  If North were to drop to 5A, the league would likely join includes Wilsonville, Canby, Woodburn, Silverton, Central, and others.

The decision by North staff is based largely on demographics, that is, population statistics.  In a Guest Opinion in the Statesman Journal, Viking Association president Steve Chambers presented the case for the drop.  You can read the opinion piece by going to the following link:

The arguments really boil down to numbers, economics, and safety.  As a high poverty, high minority (now a majority of "minorities") school, North gets far lower turnouts for sports teams than schools of higher socio-economics, like West Salem, Sprague, and South.  To give one example from football:  West Salem had 210 kids turn out for varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams, while North had 95.  In a matchup between the two schools, West put completely different groups of athletes on offense and defense, while North was forced to play most of its skilled players on both offense and defense, leading to some very tired Vikings vulnerable to injuries.  In a single freshman team game, 9 players were injured, 7 with concussions.  There were not enough players left to field a team for its next game. 

The disparity in girls' sports is even greater.  Only in cross country and track are there enough girls out in order to field full varsity, JV, and freshman teams.  Golf hasn't had enough players to even get a varsity score in the conference championship (5 kids make a full team).  The numbers and skill levels of the girls' in softball led to the Vikings frequently having games end early in the innings because the "mercy rule" (where one team is up by a significant margin) require games to be ended to "stop the bleeding." 

North athletes are not as likely to be able to afford off-season club teams, camps, or private coaching.  One example is volleyball where the average cost for a club team is around $2000.  The occasional student, like Ian Carlos (see wrestling story below), can access clubs, though in Ian's case the club is run by his father.  In these cases, chances are greater for success.  One unintended outcome of joining club teams is that athletes get pressure from teammates to transfer to another school, often South or West Highs, to continue to play together.

When a large proportion of our kids come from families in poverty, sports is not the highest priority.  The fees and the necessity to buy shoes and other specialized equipment are a deterrent.  Families put pressure on kids to get jobs or to come home right after school to babysit younger siblings to help the family. 

This is not a coaching issue.  North has really good coaches, though after low turnouts and constant losing many of them move on to other schools where they can be successful (as measured in wins).  This is an economic and cultural issue.  And moving down will level the playing field to a certain extent, at least in numbers of participants.

Viking pride will not go away.  The coaches, parents, and athletes are still Viking true!  

North Cheer Takes 4th in State

Viking cheerleaders came home from State competition with a 4th place trophy.  The Vikings were competing in the Small Coed classification.  It has been five years since Viking cheerleaders have placed at State.  North is coached by alumna Bri MacInnes.

Wrestlers Take 3rd in GVC
Viking wrestlers had a strong showing at the Greater Valley Conference meet last weekend.  With three individual weight winners, North took 3 rd place with 177 points, trailing Sprague with 483 and West Albany with 244.5. 

Leading the Viks was sophomore Ian Carlos in the 145 lb. weight class.  Carlos is unbeaten in 30 matches this year, following up on last year's success placing 2nd in State in the 126 lb. bracket.  Joining Carlos as District Champions were senior Brandon Quezedo (113) and junior Jorge Ochoa (182).  The Viking grapplers are coached by Andy Pickett.  Next month we will report on their State Meet exploits.  Photos below are Carlos (left), Quezeda (center), and Ochoa (right)

For a story about Ian Carlos that appeared in the Feb. 24 edition of the Statesman Journal newspaper, click on the following link:



If you have not already done so, please send to Steve Chambers your full contact information (name, maiden name where applicable, street address, phone number, and graduating class or if your are a friend) as this will help us keep in contact should your e-mail address change.


Please forward this newsletter to other Vikings so they can also stay in touch with the school.