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The News-Times sports editor is putting together a bracket of all-time greats from western Washington County.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Wade Evanson, sports editor of the News-Times, takes notes on the sidelines of a basketball game.Stay positive. That's my goal as we move forward through this undoubtedly dismal time.

The games, the players who play them and the highlight-level plays those players make are gone for an unforeseen amount of time. No Blazers run to the playoffs, no Oregon women's run to a Final Four, no Beavers baseball in the College World Series, nor anything else we've looked forward or become accustomed to locally as the winter ushers in the spring and later, summer.

In addition, the NBA is all but dead, the Timbers are on hiatus, Major League Baseball is on the back burner and my personal favorite, the Masters, has been indefinitely postponed.

To add insult to injury, as of March 23, we've all been told to ignore the pleasantries we've become accustomed to by staying at home in an effort to diminish the spread of the pesky virus wreaking havoc on all of our joys. And rightfully so.

All of that we know. However, what's important now — in addition to doing our best to care for ourselves and others — is protecting our sanity by way of a constant reminder of what has and will eventually again bring us joy.

It's easy to slide down a rabbit hole of negativity. Social media, cable news and casual conversations with family and friends are all informative, but also potentially detrimental to our mental health during a time when we need it most. I don't want to contribute to that, so in an effort to provide you with something different, I hope to bring you columns, features and information beyond the scope of COVID-19: Memories of players and teams of yesteryear; stories about where those players and teams may be today; and in some cases hypothetical vehicles designed to entertain and preoccupy both you and me during a time when we're desperate for distraction.

As an example, in lieu of the bracket madness we're typically accustomed to this time of year, I'm going to create a bracket of my own, comparing some of this area's best and brightest teams and individuals from the past 40 years, with the results stemming from your votes. From state and conference champions, to historical groundbreakers, or simply inspirational performances, I want to know who the athletic greats from Hilhi, Glencoe, Liberty, Century, Forest Grove, Banks and Gaston have been. What made them so great? And why do you think they're as great as they undoubtedly were?

I want to celebrate the community and do it, together, rather than lament what we've already lost, apart, during this time of quarantine.

Western Washington County has a rich history of successful sports individuals and teams. Professionals, Olympic champions, college standouts and prep icons, and — yes, I know — that history spans much more than 40 years. But for the sake of this exercise I'm going to stick to 1980 and beyond, with the potential for an exception or two.

That means football and basketball teams, baseball and softball, boys and girls soccer, volleyball, equestrian and everything else.

Golfers? Sure.

Tennis? Of course.

Wrestling? Absolutely.

And anything else, including cheer and dance, speech and debate ... whatever.

Let's celebrate what has been in preparation for what will undoubtedly return. Not just for you, but for me and everyone else. We deserve it, and I think each and every one of us needs it as well.

If you'd like to contact me or nominate an historic team for the upcoming bracket, I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via @wadeevanson on Twitter.

Wade Evanson is sports editor of the News-Times. He covers athletics at Pacific University, Forest Grove High School, Hillsboro High School, Glencoe High School, Century High School, Liberty High School, Banks High School and Gaston Junior/Senior High School, as well as the Hillsboro Hops and Portland Timbers 2.

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