Male student has longest throw in fundraising contest

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Seven-year-old Jonas Procter gives it his all as he tries his hand at tree tossing.The sun shone on the Lakeridge High School rugby team’s first Christmas tree toss on Saturday.

Donors gave almost $300 on the cold, bright day at the C3 Church in Lake Oswego. Tree-tossing participants hurled small trees that organizers provided, and attendees also could recycle their fading evergreens. Proceeds support scholarships, jerseys, medical kits, cleats, mouth guards and other rugby team needs.

“I really appreciate the community coming out and supporting the kids,” said Sione Aisea, head rugby coach. “Sometimes people just think about winning the game, but, this is what it’s about: It’s about coming out to support the team.”by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Ethan Oh gets ready to unleash a big throw during Saturday's tree toss.

Lakeridge Junior High sixth-grader Ethan Oh said the contest was great and so was the service the team provided at the event.

“I think it’s a really good idea, instead of throwing away your trees, recycling them,” Ethan said.

Lakeridge High junior Malik Newton said what he loved most about the event was: “Everybody doing this just for us, just for the team.”

Winning throws

Several groups faced off in the contest, competing in their division for the farthest throw with judges accounting for style in the event of a tie. Student winners, in male and female categories, pocketed gift cards for Blast Burger, Chuck’s Place and UU REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge rugby team members, from left, Jake Moser, Jacob Gordon and Massen Newton judge contestants.

With a throw of 51 feet, Lakeridge high junior Lopeti Aisea, a rugby team member and son of the head coach, landed first place not only in the student male category but also overall.

“This is pretty cool, better turnout than I thought,” Lopeti Aisea said as he observed young kids throwing trees Saturday morning. “It is adorable.”

Lakeridge Junior High sixth-grader Ava Procter took home the gold in the female student category with a throw of 22 feet. Jordan Divers earned the silver medal, and the two were the sole competitors in their category.

“It’s harder than it looks,” Procter said, after a few REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lisa Procter demonstrates her form as she attempts a tree toss.

Her little brother, Westridge Elementary first-grader Jonas Procter, looked down at his hands: “I got a lot of splinters.”

Cody Divers earned silver in the male student category, and Jadon Procter snagged bronze.

Adult winners, also split in male and female categories, walked away with gift cards for Nicoletta’s Table, World Class Wines, Lady Di’s British Store & Tea Room and Stickmen’s Brewery & Skewery.

Austin Lind had the longest distance in the male adult category: 42 feet 9 inches. Mike Fuller earned silver, and the bronze went to Scott Birdsall. Tonya Divers had the best throw in the women’s category: 25 feet 9 inches. Karen Spalding nabbed the silver, and Kirsten Heckes won the bronze.

New team

The Lakeridge rugby team was launched last fall, and West Linn High School also has a team. Lake Oswego High doesn’t have one yet.

John Perkins, Lakeridge High School rugby team assistant coach, said the idea for a tree toss to raise funds for the new team came from visiting his daughter last year in Ireland, where he saw a local competition.

“We want to make this an annual event, as long as people come and enjoy it,” Perkins said.

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.

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