Football preview: Coaches building on returning starters’ experience

August 2013 Posted in School, Sports

James DayBy James Day

The Silverton High School and Kennedy High School football teams are burning the calories in conditioning drills this week, with the first full practices scheduled for Aug. 19.

The Foxes are coming off a magical 12-1 season in which they won the Mid-Willamette Conference title and advanced to the OSAA Class 5A semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Sherwood.

Coach John Mannion has five starters returning on offense and seven on defense.

“A lot of our guys who made big contributions are back and we hope the experience they had last year and the example our seniors set will carry forward,” he said. “The success we had last season … we loved it and hope to build on that and hopefully take that next step.”

Mannion said his squad had “a good summer, with a pretty heavy dose of weightlifting and conditioning and passing league.”

The Foxes hosted a 16-team passing league tournament in June and defeated Lake Oswego to win the championship.

The Foxes open the season Aug. 30 at home vs. Springfield and play at Bend on Sept. 6. Silverton opens the Mid-Willamette season Sept. 13 at home vs. Dallas.

“Every game is big,” Mannion said. “They start off tough and get tougher every week. This is a good group to coach. They are looking forward to doing the best they can with this thing.”

Kennedy also made a nice run in 2012, winning the Tri-River Conference and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class 2A tournament before falling 6-0 against league rival Central Linn in a game in which the Trojans traveled inside the Cobras’ 5-yard line in the final seconds.

The Trojans have eight starters back on offense and defense and will play their usual tough nonconference schedule, starting with a game at Class 3A quarterfinalist Rainier (Aug. 30) before moving on to Class 3A champion Dayton (Sept. 6) and a home game vs. 3A quarterfinalist Horizon Christian (Sept. 13). Kennedy opens the league season Sept. 20 at home vs. Regis.

“I think it (the difficult schedule) is instrumental in keeping Kennedy competitive at the state level year in and year out,” said Coach Randy Traeger. “They say ‘as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.’

“We have a talented group (and the) kids and coaches will put their hearts and souls into the program. We have a time-tested offense and defense. What’s the unknown? It takes a little luck to make a run for the state championship.”

Soccer: Silverton hired Kyle Calder as its boys coach. Calder is a 2010 Philomath High School graduate who  played two seasons at Linn-Benton Community College. Calder was an assistant coach with Philomath last season. The Foxes, who were 3-7-2 overall and 2-4-1 in the Mid-Willamette last year, open the season Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. against visiting North Eugene.

Homer races: Juan Martinez of Salem took first overall in the 8-kilometer Homer Classic on Aug. 4 in 27:59.8. Korina Pongracz-Bartha of Portland was the top female finisher, eighth overall, at 32:01.9. Incoming Kennedy High freshman Noe Jines, 14, was seventh overall in 31:24.5. Luke Hall, 11, of Mount Angel, won the 2-mile event in 13:30.3. Susan Brainard was the top female finisher and fourth overall in 15:32.0.

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