Getting a grip: Fox wrestling

February 2015 Posted in School, Sports

James DayBy James Day

“The wrestling team started out the year with high numbers and a lot of enthusiasm,” Silverton Assistant Coach Jesse Davis told Our Town. “We have a young team with lots of potential. We are now in the part of the season that has become known as the ‘grind.’ Practice will get harder and competition will increase. The wrestlers will take their biggest strides in wrestling and will grow in character the most during this time.”

Among the top performers for the Foxes have been Boston Merrifield (126 pounds), Austin Reed (132) and heavyweight Cody Gubbels. All three participated on the Foxes squad that finished seventh at last year’s OSAA Class 5A state meet.

Other wrestlers who have shown strong improvement, Davis said, have been sophomore Nathan Butsch and junior Braden Sinn.

“Many of the athletes are very inexperienced,” said Davis, who added that the squad has “made great strides in the last two months.”

Silverton hosts this year’s Mid-Willamette Conference district tournament Feb. 13-14. The state meet starts Feb. 27 in Portland.

Boys basketball: Silverton is off to a 4-0 start in Mid-Willamette Conference play and is ranked No. 6 by OSAA. The Foxes are 9-3 overall, with just one loss to a Class 5A team. Silverton took a seven-game win streak into Jan. 28’s home game vs. No. 2 Central, which is also 4-0 in league play. Silverton has been doing it with defense all season, with Springfield the only team to pass 50 points against the Foxes.

“The kids play with a lot of confidence and we have benefitted from strong leadership, especially on defense,” Silverton Coach Steve Roth told Our Town. “They take a lot of pride in their defense (and) they are patient and unselfish, so when things aren’t clicking offensively they are pretty good about sticking together until it starts clicking.”

Girls basketball: Silverton is 3-1 in the Mid-Willamette and also had a showdown with Central this week. Central took a 4-0 record (tied with Corvallis for first place) into Tuesday’s matchup against the host Foxes, who lost to Corvallis 45-40 on Jan. 20.  Silverton is ranked 12th by the OSAA.

“We are playing well defensively,” Foxes Coach Tal Wold told Our Town. “We still have a ton to learn: We are playing two freshmen and four sophomores. I really like the potential of this team on defense.”

Alia Parsons leads the team in steals and deflections and is battling with Maggie Roth for the rebounding lead. Others playing key roles defensively include Brooke, Kacey McLaughlin, Hannah Munson and Haley Smisek.

Kennedy, meanwhile, is 13-4 overall, third in Class 2A and tied for second place in the tough Tri-River Conference with five-time defending state champion Regis. Both squads are 5-2 in league, trailing No. 1 Western Mennonite (6-0). The Trojans lost a close 46-42 decision Jan. 23 against Regis.

Mannion: Former Oregon State University standout Sean Mannion participated in the Jan. 24 Senior Bowl all-star game in Mobile, Ala. Mannion hit on 9 of 14 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown for the North squad, which triumphed 34-13.

Coaching opening: Mount Angel Middle School has an opening for a softball coach.  The position is open until filled.  Further information and application materials can be found on the district website,

Wurst Run: The Wurst Run begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14 in Mount Angel. There is a 5K run and walk and a 10K run. Registration includes race entry, festival entry, stein and complimentary beverage. Pre-registration is $25. Day of race registration is $30. For information visit:

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