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Never down and out

Nichols out to prove doubters wrong

MONMOUTH — Turning professional in any sport is difficult. Former Western Oregon men’s basketball player Julian Nichols knows all the numbers and the odds. He’s not worried. “My whole life, I’ve had people say you can’t play this position or you can’t play there,” Nichols said. “You hear those types of things and it motivates you. To be where I’m at now, I’m grateful and I’m blessed, but I’m definitely ready for the next chapter.”

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43rd MONMOUTH-INDEPENDENCE FOURTH OF JULY TENNIS TOURNAMENT: Tennis tourney set for July 2-3

Registration due by noon on June 29

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — Patty Youngren has been a part of an annual tradition for more than three decades — the Monmouth-Independence Fourth of July tennis tournament. “I moved here in 1985. I played against Mary Christensen in my first competition,” Youngren said. “She and Phil Schroeder, who ran the tournament at the time, crushed my partner and I. Mary has become a lifelong friend.”

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Williams eyes bigger role on the Chargers

SAN DIEGO — Western Oregon alumni Tyrell Williams made sure his first NFL catch was a memorable one — hauling in an 80-yard touchdown for the San Diego Chargers against the Denver Broncos in the Chargers’ final regular season game.

Channeling my inner Roger Federer ... sort of

As I stepped onto the tennis court, staring down my arch enemy, I paused and took a deep breath before I hit my first serve.

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PREP SOFTBALL: Throwing heat

DALLAS — There was a time when Dallas High graduate Yasmine El-Hato wasn’t sure if she’d ever be good at softball.

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Alexander chases pro baskeball dream

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories following former WOU players Devon Alexander’s attempt to play professional basketball overseas. Look for more stories about the challenges he faces and whether he reaches his ultimate goal. An audio version of this story can be heard at www.polkio.com.

Applegate, Diaz thrive as part of Blue Dolphins

DALLAS — Gabe Applegate loved the water, though the thought of racing never crossed his mind.

CYS holds youth football signups

INDEPENDENCE — Central Youth Sports will hold football registration sessions Wednesday (today) and Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Panther Stadium at Central High School.

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PREP BASEBALL: Dragon Pride

DALLAS — It’s something that frustrates Dallas senior Tucker Weaver, perhaps more than anything else when it comes to baseball.

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Track reaches key lifespan mark

DALLAS — When Dallas High School’s track surface was installed in 2004, it brought much-needed help.

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Feeling the burn

There’s a belief that every competitive person has: that no matter what the situation, we’ll always bet on ourselves to find a way to win. That we’ll triumph against long odds, emerge victorious and proud.

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PREP SOFTBALL: Dragons fall in state quarterfinals

EUGENE — Dallas’ softball team’s run in the state playoffs ended in the quarterfinals round on Friday. The No. 6 Dragons fell to third-seeded Churchill 6-0 in Eugene, ending Dallas’ season.

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Adult rec grows up

DALLAS — When the city of Dallas brought adult recreation programs back in 2013, the goal was simple — give people a way to stay active.

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