The Mid-Columbia Athletes of the Week for March 2, 2011.
Curtis Berger, Hermiston, sr.
Winning three state wrestling titles sounds pretty tough. But it got a little easier this year for Berger, who became one of just four wrestlers in Hermiston history to complete the rare triple.
In fact, the toughest thing about this season was staying healthy.
“Like my dad (Bulldogs coach Curt Berger Sr.) said, there were only a couple guys who wrestle every match, who didn’t get any skin condition or get hurt,” Curtis said. “This year was more about showing what I had.”
He had an awful lot, finishing 47-3 this season with 35 falls, giving him 100 for his career. His career record at Hermiston was 161-27, which helped him land a scholarship to North Dakota State in Fargo.
Favorite nonsport activity: Trap-shooting, pheasant hunting.
Famous relative: Late uncle Jack Berger coached wrestling at Silverton HS for 21 years and is in Oregon Hall of Fame
Sports memory: Having my dad and me raise our hands toward the crowd after I won the title.
Favorite class: Science, biology.
Must-have on the road: My iPod
Favorite movie: Gladiator
Last book read: Winning State, Steve Knight
Unusual talent: I’m double jointed, my fingers can go back pretty far.
Kassy Larson, Kamiakin, sr.
Time is running out on Larson’s high school sports career. With one weekend left to enjoy the thrill of competition — she gives her body a rest in the spring — the 6-foot-2 senior plans on taking it all in at the 3A state tournament.
“It’s always fun. Each game is different. It’s just fun to be out there,” Larson said. “I’m ending my career with a bunch of girls I enjoy hanging out with. (The end) is going to hit kind of hard.”
But she plans on inflicting as much damage on opposing teams as she can. She helped the Braves get to the state quarters with a 15-point, 20-rebound performance in a win vs. Eastmont on Saturday.
Favorite food: Ice cream, vanilla or strawberry.
Favorite nonsport activity: Reading, listening to music.
Famous relative: Uncle Ron Horn was a teammate of Elgin Baylor and Jerry West on the 1962-63 L.A. Lakers.
Sports memory: Dropping in a short serve to win a match my freshman year.
Favorite class: Mr. Rockefeller’s Current World Problems class. He always makes us laugh.
Pregame ritual: I have to have piece of gum, listen to rock music and read a chapter from a book.
Last book read (not for school): The Hunger Game, Suzanne Collins
Nominations for AOTW can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 582-1410. Nominations must be received by noon Sunday.