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Mountain Echo Sports

Ron Mosher, Sports Editor
   E-mail: echosports@yahoo.com

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher

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LOOKING BACKWARD & FORWARD... Trying to remember and visualize what land along Burney’s Main Street used to look like gave me a headache... but much of it came back eventually.

I particularly remember what our so-called ‘Christmas Tree Lane’ looked like prior to Mary Lakey and her 4-H kids taking it upon themselves to attempt to spruce it up by planting Spruce tree’s that have become our Christmas Tree’s over the years. That narrow strip of land was nothing but weeds that grew annually to anywhere from one-foot to 3-feet tall then dried out in the summer sun to really be ugly.

That strip of land has morphed into a really beautiful piece of landscape that everyone in town takes pride in... even if we didn’t really have a hand into making it what it is today.

In the middle of our Christmas Tree lane is a tall flagpole with Old Glory flying day and night. The gigantic flag makes everyone in the area proud of our nation each time we drive past.

The flagpole was not part of the Beautification Committee’s work, but the idea of the late Steve Luck. Steve, a US military veteran, had seen a tall flagpole in one of the towns he and his wife, Elizabeth,’ had visited, and thought Burney should have one too. He worked tirelessly to bring the idea to life, raising money through selling In- Memorial plaques that have been placed at the base of the flagpole, as well as garnering donations from, “anybody who would listen.” Donation jars were placed in businesses throughout town, and eventually enough money was raised to, “raise the flag over Burney.”

The large flag flown from Memorial Day to Labor Day and the smaller flag flown during the winter months do not last forever... and they are very expensive to replace. The local VFW and American Legion are always looking for donations to the ‘Flag Fund’ in order to replace the flags as needed. If you’d like to help keep Old Glory flying above Burney, stop by the VFW canteen and make a donation... all amounts greatly appreciated.

Onward and upward...

• Local Burney High School softball coach and CHP officer Kevin Luntey recently returned from security detail at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. From the photo’s posted on facebook by his wife, Denise, it looks like it was quite an experience (See story on B-3). Thank you Kevin - and all our law enforcement people - for all you do for all of us.

• High school fall sports begin August 3rd when teams are allowed by the CIF to finally begin practices. Local football, volleyball and co-ed soccer will soon start battling it out in another exciting season. The Intermountain Area has three high schools that will be participating in four different leagues beginning this year. Hang on to your hats... it’s gonna be a fun year ahead.

• The Inter-Mountain Fair is ready for its 98th run come Labor Day Weekend. The Fair Queen Scholarship Pageant is this week, and then things really start popping. Tickets to the Farm Tournament, Truck Pulls and Destruction Derby are currently on sale at the Fair Office in Mcarthur - and you don’t want to wait until the last minute or you might just be left out in the pasture... and that would be lonely as many of the cows will be at the Fair - hehehehe.

The theme this year is ‘Steers, Cheers and Volunteers,’ and I for one cannot thank the many volunteers who make the Fair such a great part of our Intermountain community. Thanks, everyone.

• The next-to-last Kid Fit Night is tonight (Tuesday) at Baum Lake starting at 6pm... a little hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail is in the works, and it promises to be another fun filled event your kids won’t want to miss.

• Here’s to everyone having a great week - but please remember to drink plenty of water... it’s gonna be hecka HOT.

BIg Changes in Store for Prep
SportsThis Year
There are some new things looming on the high school sports agenda as athletes get ready to return for fall semester next month.

The first change is a local one, with the Burney Raiders moving to a new league for football and another conference for volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball.

The second change is an introduction of a new division for boys and girls basketball this upcoming winter season.

The Burney football team will make their debut in the Mountain Valley League comprised of Chester, Quincy, Biggs, Maxwell and Portola. Volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball will compete in the 5-Star League made up of Liberty Christian, Redding Christian, Mercy, Chester and Los Molinos. Raider track and cross-country will remain in the Shasta-Cascade League.
For A List of the Leagues Subscribe
News Basketball Division Created
The Northern Section California Interscholastic Federation (NSCIF) is introducing a new basketball division for both boys and girls basketball teams - Division VII.

In previous years, D-6 was the division for small school’s of 200 and under enrollment. The new D-7 will be for school’s of enrollment of 100 and under.

All schools with enrollment of 399 and under are originally classified as being part of Division-5, and schools of 200 and under have had to declare themselves entering D-6 by December of each year prior to start of the season.

That date will not change for declaring entry into either D-6 or D-7.

D-6 will still have a Nor-Cal Regional state tournament, while D-7 will only determine a section champ
Co-Ed Softbal Practice Continues

TWO CATCHES... TWO OUTS. Co-Ed softball continues at Lions Comunity Park in Fall River Mills with games Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm & 7:30.

The Beautification of Burney
By Ron Mosher
Mountain Echo Reporter
Main Street in Burney has undergone massive changes over the past decades. From a narrow 2- lane highway running through town to what it is today, including a center turn-lane, parallel parking and the installation of sidewalks. These things virtually changed the look of our town. Through all these changes, their were still a lot of vacant commercial buildings as wells a patches of barren ground overgrown with weeds.

Thanks to the vision of Rick Morris, things have changed. Vacant weed-strewn patches dotting Burney’s ‘main drag’ have been converted into landscape showplaces - complete with shrubbery, flowers, boulders antique wagons benches, splitrail fencing, and even metal sculptures - all thanks to the Burney Chamber of Commerce and the Burney Beautification Committee.

Trying to improve the looks of life along our Main Street actually began some 50-years ago, when Mary Lakey planted spruce trees in what is now referred to as ‘Christmas Tree Lane.’ That strip of land between the highway and Mountain View was a barren weed infested strip that did nothing to enhance the area. Lakey got permission for her 4-H club to take over maintenance of that strip of land, planting the trees and removing the weeds. As the trees grew, the town adorned them with lights to celebrate the Christmas season, and thus the name Christmas Tree Lane was adopted. The strip also is home to the town flag pole and clock.
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BHS Softball Coach was Part of Repblican Convention Security

By Ron Mosher
Mt. Echo Reporter
CLEVELAND, Oh. - For Burney High School softball coach Kevin Luntey (pictured in the middle above), this summer will definitely go down as a different period in his life. Luntey, who is a California Highway Patrolman based out of Susanville, was one of 300 California CHP personnel travelling here to help strengthen security surrounding the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) held last week.

The California group is a special response team trained for civil disobedience and Luntey led twelve CHP officers out of the northern California division making the trip.

The group gathered in Sacramento on July 12 for three days of specialized training, then flew out on a chartered 747 out of Mather Air Force Base bound for Cleveland and returned on July 23rd.

While on duty for the RNC, the California contingent stayed in dormitories at Case Western Research University and worked 17 hour shifts daily during the national confab.

“I know many of us were scared following on the heels of the murders of police officers around the country,” said Luntey, “but we went anyway.”

He went on to note that they all left loved ones and asked their families to be strong while they were gone.
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Fall Sports Practices Set to Start August 3rd

Fall Sports in the Intermountain Area will begin Wednesday, August 3 at all three area high schools. That is the earliest date allowed by the CIF.

Prospective players must have their insurance and medical paperwork ready to hand in before they can participate in practice. Those needing paperwork should stop by their respective school office when they re-open on August 1st.

Fall River high will hand out football equipment on Monday and Tuesday (August 1 and 2) from 5-7pm in the school gym.