What do you say, Astoria and Knappa? Same time, same place, 10 years from now?

We hope it's a lot sooner, because state championships are fun and everyone loves a parade.

The Astoria and Knappa football teams were honored with one Monday afternoon in Astoria, as hundreds of people from both communities turned out to watch a parade to celebrate state championships won by the Fishermen and Loggers in the last two weeks.

It was the first parade honoring two local sports teams since the Astoria and Knappa boys teams won state basketball championships in the 1997-98 season.

Knappa's 20-6 win over Culver Nov. 29 in Hillsboro represented the first state football title in Logger history; while the Fishermen scored their first championship Saturday with a 19-11 win over Banks at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.

The victories represented Clatsop County's first state titles in football since Seaside won the Class 3A crown in 1994, when the Gulls knocked off Brookings-Harbor in the final.

Local dignitaries turned out for Monday's parade, which opened with a fly-over of two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters, and featured the Astoria Police and Fire Departments, and state Sen. Betsy Johnson as Grand Marshal.

The Oregon National Guard led the way for the main attraction - three low-boy trucks that carried players and coaches of the Knappa and Astoria teams down Duane Street from 16th to 11th Street, then east on Exchange Street back to the starting point.

From there, fans and students headed off to the Astoria High School commons area, where both teams were honored by local dignitaries.

With Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen and Astoria Principal Larry Lockett presiding, state Sen. Johnson paid tribute to both teams.

"This is a huge deal," she said. "And not only are these guys great athletes, but they're very fine young people who are going to be community leaders when they leave high school and go out into the wider world.

"We are all so proud of them, they made us feel so special, and it's great that we can tell them personally thank you, how much we appreciate them, and what a great example they set for high school kids all over this state."

Astoria head coach Howard Rub made reference to the nicknames of the two schools, and the pride that the two teams take in being called "Fishermen" and "Loggers," respectively.

"Their character embodies everything that we know about fishermen and loggers," he said. "They've got a work ethic that is second to none; they're accountable for their actions; they're responsible, dedicated, humble ... they're everything that I have come to know and understand about being part of this community."

The Loggers lost just one game on their way to the Class 2A state title, chopping down higher-ranked teams throughout the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Fighting Fishermen dominated the Class 4A season from start to finish, posting a 14-0 record.

Rub may never coach a team as good as this again, although he'd like to try.

"I'd better next fall, because I plan on doing this again," Rub said following Saturday's victory. "There's no reason not too. But we're going to celebrate this one for awhile."


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.