PORTLAND -- Before getting to the collegiate and pro ranks, a 2012 shout-out to outstanding efforts in sports starts with kids.
The Winterhawks had a spectacular year, making it to the WHLfinals. The Hawks took care of Tri-City in the Western Conference, then took it to seven games before losing to the Edmonton Ice in the Western Conference finals for the Memorial Cup.
A shocker hit the Hawks and its loyal fans to start the current season. The WHL suspended coach Mike Johnston for the season for violating player benefit regulations. The team also lost future draft picks.
Did it bother the players?Apparently not. They headed into the holiday break for the current season on a six-game winning streak and top spot in the league.
Will any of the Hawks save a drowning man like Taylor Peters did last New Year's Day?
The Ducks were high after that win, but how high? ESPN came out with a story in April that alleged that half the team regularly smoked pot. Coach Chip Kelly said the report was inaccurate.
A year-long and looking-grim-of-late problem has been the NCAA Duck hunt about recruiting violations involving Willie Lyles. That outcome will be a big story for Oregon in 2013.
The regular season for the Ducks was spectacular, once again, at or the near the top of national rankings. Giddy Duck fans were anxious to make national championship plane reservations. All that crashed with a loss to Stanford, at home, that puzzled many when the Ducks tsunami offense never appeared.
Oregon State handed the Ducks the Civil War game with a gift basket of turnovers.
The women's volleyball team made it to the NCAA finals.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS
The Beavs started spring training as the team least likely to succeed, coming off a 3-9 season, facing an early schedule that included Wisconsin. Mike Riley had the Beavers at 3-0 to start the season and a number 14 ranking.
A top 10 ranking was unraveled with losses against Washington and Stanford. (Civil war, see above.)
With Barack Obama's re-election, Oregon State basketball continuesits special family ties to the White House.
LaMarcus is lost for the season with a hip injury.
The Blazers have a forgettable season and look ahead.
Paul Allen has to write a letter to loyal fans saying everything's cool, the team is not for sale.
Larry Miller, you're resigning. His tenure included 192 consecutive sellouts, three trips to the playoffs and drafting Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard. Just sayin'.
A sorry season the Timbers had in 2012. They could not buy a road win. They could barely win at all.
The Timbers did manage to win the Cascadia Cup.