Tip of the hat to the Pendleton Round-Up Association for its plan to hire a full-time, year-round general manager.

We think there is a lot of value in the position, and we appreciate the board’s bravery to make such a significant change to the century-old, tradition-rich event.

In 103 years, the rodeo has never had a paid executive position and its volunteers and nonprofit status have certainly served it well during that time. But the financial responsibilities (and opportunities) of today necessitated this move.

We think the Round-Up, Happy Canyon and the city of Pendleton will be rewarded for making the change. A quality general manager can improve the Round-Up and Happy Canyon experience and facilitate discussion and efficiency between the boards. He or she can also have an eye and an ear out for other ways to use the facility, identify alternative sources of revenue?that will not just validate?their own salary, but increase Round-Up coffers as well.

We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. The opening hasn’t even been filled yet. But an experienced, driven, civic-minded, results-oriented candidate should be targeted. A strong job description and a candidate who fits the bill can have a powerful, positive effect on the Round-Up and the region.

A tip of the hat to the Blue Mountain Community College volleyball team, which claimed their third Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championship in four years.

BMCC?topped Olympic in a dramatic four-set final to claim the tournament title.

Coach Dave Baty has been at the helm of the team for five years and deserves a lot of credit for building — and keeping —?the Timberwolves as the premiere program in the Washington and Oregon-based league. The Timberwolves finished their spectacular year with a 42-5 record.

Eastern Oregon sports fans who haven’t seen the girls volleyball team in action, and ache for a time when a local school was a dominant dynasty in the state, should be sure to attend a match or two next year.?Odds are the Timberwolves, with a good young returning core that should include freshman tournament MVP?Samantha Odren, will be a force to be reckoned with once again.

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