By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.– Bringing back some alumni’s to watch the current bunch of kids is always a great thing, but playing against them is even better.
On one side of the court, the 2016 Clackamas Community College team, days away from their season opener versus Highline College at home. On the other, the alumni’s of the Cougar program over the past 27 years.
The oldest alum out on the court, current Athletic Director and Women’s Head Coach Jim Martineau; Martineau played at CCC from 1989-1991, and though he hasn’t been called, ‘Grandpa’ out on the court, Martineau likes to see all the former players like himself come out and participate in the game.
“The fun part is seeing all the guys who come through,” “We got guys back to 2006, 2007. Guys who’ve been out 10 years who you haven’t seen in a while. That’s the fun part, kind of see how old people have gotten and making sure no one gets hurt.
“We always give them a good run for their money. We beat them a couple of times, then beat us a couple of times.”
Martineau only played 10 minutes in the game, but was able to compete well when he played by the hoop against today’s generation of Clackamas Cougars.
On the players side, it was cool to play against former Cougars and even former teammates.
“It’s cool, it’s good to see a lot of old players, they come to open gyms and stuff,” “Even play with them. Joey Baldwin out there, one of my good teammates from last year so it was fun to play out there.”
For the 6’9 Thiesen, it was cool to play against his former teammate in the 6’0 Baldwin, as both lined up with each other on the foul line blocks several times during the scrimmage and there were a few trading of words along the way.
“It was fun,” said Thiesen. “We were being friendly talking smack. I told him, I told Joey I couldn’t let him get this rebound and he was like, ‘We’ll See’. Went out there and almost got it, so it was good.”
It was good times. A few times Baldwin looked over to Head Coach’s Clif Wegner’s clipboard trying to steal plays or make a few 30-foot bank shots as he did last year as a player at halftime. Martineau and the other alumni’s shared stories on their bench of the glory days.
On the bench that hosted the current wave of Cougars, they enjoyed the experience versus fellow, though former, Clackamas players as the season looms.
For Wegner, it was cool to see so many of his former players (with the exception of Martineau), play in Sunday’s scrimmage and hopes that the example that they’ve left will help them in the future.
“It’s just a good time to see the guys come back,” said Wenger. “We got so many good players. I was looking at the roster and was like, everyone that played today were either apart of a league championship or NWAC Championship; there not in game shape obviously but there still darn smart, they can still shoot and there still good competition.
“It’s great to combined the old with the new so our kids can see the people who came through the program in the past and hopefully emulate things that they’ve done.”
As for the older guys who played, they know Father Time is undefeated when it comes to playing and know tomorrow won’t be easy when they wake up as they walk out the gym talking about how sore they are.
“I didn’t play very much, so it won’t be bad,” laughed Martineau.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald