ROSEBURG, Ore. -- As Charlie Sheen would say: "Winning!"
That was the mood around KPIC this week, after a well fought donkey battle between our staffers and the 'ringers' brought in by the Douglas County News (DCN).
This weekend was the third annual Douglas County Shriners Donkey Basketball match, which raised a little over $3,000 to help children in the area.
After guaranteeing a victory late last week, the KPIC team showed up with their donkeys firing on all cylinders from the start.
It was a hard fought battle, with KPIC leading by two points at halftime, and pulling out the 54-50 win when it was all over.
Team KPIC coach Kevin Taggart says he was impressed by his young team's determination, but was especially pleased with the way his team played a solid four quarters, even in the face of the DCN team cheating. "Becky and the gang over there, they are great to come out here and help raise money for a good cause, it's just sad that from the very start, they felt the need to cheat."
The DCN team sent reporter Tom Baker over to spy on the pregame warm-ups and try to overhear the team's plan, but luckily KPIC noticed and quickly moved the meeting to an undisclosed location.
According to an article in the DCN this week, coach Becky Holm says that they, "decided it would only be fair to allow them to receive the trophy this year." Taggart replied, "They sure looked like they were trying really hard to me... One of them even tried to run over me with his donkey!"
In the end, team KPIC, led by arthritic coach Taggart riding 'Big Momma' capped off a see-saw battle with four unanswered points to come away with the win. "It feels really great to pick up the win, especially after Holm didn't even ride this year, opting instead to load her team with Marine recruits. Obviously it's not about brawn, it's about heart."
Team KPIC hoisted the trophy in it's Monday morning newscasts, along with the uniform of the DCN gang, which was a T-shirt proclaiming victory over KPIC. Morning news anchor Glen Beeby, who was the team's leading scorer, said that the victory was especially satisfying for him, due to the fact that last year, he almost lost his life playing the game. "I almost had a run in with a metal pole last year, and it really got in our heads. This year, we just came out focused and ready to win."
Coach Taggart added that, "We will be ready to defend our championship title, but rest assured, the DCN team will be scheming for 12 months about how they can cheat next year." Taggart then abruptly left the interview for a doctors appointment. He had to be assisted out of the building because he still can't walk after riding in the game.
In the end, both teams agreed that the true winners are the kids in the county that are helped by the Shrine Club.