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Keith Sammons
[1972]

School: Marshall

Sports Played: Football, Wrestling, Track and Field

High School Honors: 3-year Football Letterman. PIL 1st Team, State 1st Team, Senior. Shrine All-Star. 2-year Wrestling Letterman. 2-year Track & Field Letterman.

Post High School Career: Oregon State University, 2 years Football. Franz Bakery since 1975, presently Corporate Production Manager.

Commentary:

I grew up in Portland on the east side of Mt. Tabor. Our neighborhood street stretched between Stark and Alder. In the ten houses on my block, there were 30 kids between the ages of 2 and 18. If I had to say where my competitive drive came from, it was in that neighborhood competing in street football, softball, hot box, and basketball in the driveway.

I was lucky to have many good coaches throughout the years, the first being Hal Brakebush. Hal coached many grade school sports teams and his style inspired excellence, compassion and integrity from all his players. It was obvious he loved to coach. Even after his own children moved on to high school, he continued coaching for many years.

In High School I had the honor of playing for Darrel Everett, who was inducted into the PIL Hall of Fame in 1986. He was a strong, inspiring and demanding coach who was well respected by all. He expected us to play passionately. He led Marshall High to the playoffs in each of my high school years. His leadership pushed me to succeed and molded me into an all-star. Though he was often a hard-nosed coach, in his lighter moments I remember him teaching us an inspiring song or two.

College brought a big change, and in a way redefined athletics for me. My time with the Oregon State football team under Coach Dee Andros (The Great Pumpkin) showed me the intensity of the college game and what that means for athletes. Unfortunately, I sustained an injury early in my second year ending my college career. But I count myself fortunate to have had a taste of football at that level.

After my playing days came to an end I began actively helping grade school athletes succeed by coaching football and basketball, and even a little baseball. My years of coaching included many teams from 4th through 8th grades for both boys' and girls' teams. Each team and group of kids brought unique challenges and I learned a lot from the experience of guiding different kids with varied abilities and personalities.

I believe my time as an athlete at different levels helped me to become a more understanding and effective coach. But most of all, I had the inspiring examples of passionate coaches like Hal and Darrel to thank for those rich and memorable experiences.

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