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There’s an old adage for handling things beyond your control that don’t go quite right, but I have rewritten it this fall.

Now it goes: If life hands you lemons, run cross country.

That’s what Powers student David Pedrick is doing.

Pedrick was looking forward to playing his senior football season alongside his freshman brother Michael, but then a cooperative agreement between the Cruisers and Pacific fell through and Powers also wasn’t able to get agreements with either Myrtle Point or Coquille.

So he tried the new sport — he is believed to be the first Powers cross country runner since the 1960s, school officials said.

“He was disappointed when the co-op did not work out with Coquille,” said Kayne Pedrick, the football coach in Powers. “He was wanting to play with his brother. He got one more day of hitting in after that and then he was ready to roll (with cross country).”

Pedrick is being trained by his grandfather, Don Pedrick, and is adapting to running a long distance. He has been a 200- and 400-meter specialist in track and field for the Cruisers and now is racing at 5,000 meters (3.1 miles).

On Wednesday, he raced at that longer distance for the first time and beat more than half the field, finishing in 21 minutes and 53 seconds.

Powers finally was able to get a football cooperative agreement — with North Bend.

So for Michael Pedrick and fellow Powers freshman Alex Mahmoud, the adage goes: When life hands you lemons, drive 50 miles (each way) every day to practice with guys you’ve never met before.

The two freshmen are getting a chance to play for North Bend’s junior varsity team and not lose their freshman season for football in the hopes of being able to wear the Cruisers’ uniform when the school has enough players for its own team again, probably two years down the road.

So far, so good, for being part of the Bulldogs program as JV players.

“Michael got infused into the system pretty quick,” Kayne Pedrick said as he watched the team practice Wednesday. “He ended up playing quite a bit against Marshfield last week.”

Mahmoud didn’t have enough practices in to be eligible for last week’s game, but should see playing time this coming Monday in North Bend’s JV2 (freshman and sophomore) game against North Eugene.

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North Bend was kind of a last option for Powers to get its players a chance to play, and the Bulldogs welcomed the Cruisers, though they also got approval from the Midwestern League and the Oregon School Activities Association for the rare partnership.

“When I talked to Brad Garrett and Peter (Weber), they were 100 percent supportive,” North Bend athletic director Mike Forrester said of the OSAA officials. “Class 5A and 6A (schools) usually don’t do co-ops.”

The two Powers players have been getting rides for the long drive each day for practice from a combination of Kayne Pedrick, athletic director Sam Stevens and even Superintendent Matt Shorb. And while school officials hope to be able to get a cooperative agreement with a school a little closer next year, they are happy for, and supportive of, the players.

“It’s a lot of dedication on the kids’ part,” Shorb said.

Powers wasn’t the only school that lost a team to lack of numbers this fall. The combined Coquille-Myrtle Point girls soccer team didn’t have enough kids either. But Coquille sophomores Jaylyn Rayevich and Bailey Higgins and Myrtle Point senior Sydney Sefers weren’t willing to accept no for an answer.

For them, the adage now reads: When life hands you lemons, play with the boys.

The trio joined the DevilCats boys squad and are fitting right in, coach Don Swenson said.

“They are doing fine,” he said. “The girls have a little more skill than the freshmen boys do as far as presence on the field and knowing where their teammates are.

“They might not be as fast or kick it as hard as all the boys, but they will see playing time.”

Swenson said he planned to start all three girls in the DevilCats’ season opener at South Umpqua on Thursday.

And while he said they are welcome, along with Kristen Fultz, a freshman who joined the team this week, he hopes it’s a one-season fix.

“I am happy to have them on the team, but I am disappointed that we didn’t get enough girls for them to have their own team,” Swenson said. “I would like to see in the future maybe they get it back.”

For now, being on the boys team is as sweet as a nice glass of lemonade.

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Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.

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