Amazing run: It’s raining honors

March 2015 Posted in School, Sports

James DayBy James Day

This is turning into an historic school year for the Silverton High athletic program.

The Foxes’ football team won the Mid-Willamette Conference title and advanced to the championship game of the Class 5A tournament before falling to Hermiston, 34-12. Coach John Mannion was named Mid-Willamette coach of the year and quarterback Cole Chandler and linebacker Sam Kuschnick were named offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.

Fast forward to winter … and the success has continued. The Foxes’ boys basketball team won the Mid-Willamette title, and the girls team shared the title with Corvallis. Boys coach Steve Roth was named coach of the year, as was girls coach Tal Wold. Players of the year? Silverton’s Sam Roth for the boys and Alia Parsons for the girls.

Folks, this … just … does … not … happen very often. And it has never happened at Silverton.

“We just have great kids,” athletic director Greg Kaatz told Our Town. “It’s not me, that’s for sure. Our kids have a blue-collar mentality. They are smart enough to know that hard work is the key to being successful. And they’ll go through a brick wall for the guy next to them.”

Kaatz is being a little modest here. Mannion and Wold were terrific hires and when boys hoops coach Darren Shryock moved on to become the AD at Stayton, longtime assistant and former head coach Steve Roth was ready to take over seamlessly.

And both the girls and boys teams still are playing. The boys closed Tuesday’s state quarterfinal game against Churchill on a 14-2 run to win 46-41 and move into a semifinal matchup Thursday (after Our Town’s presstime) with No. 1 Mountain View. The girls, meanwhile, lost a 41-40 heartbreaker Wednesday to Corvallis and dropped into a consolation bracket game Thursday against Pendleton.

(Follow the Foxes throughout the tournament on my Twitter feed, @jameshday or on the Our Town Facebook page.)

The Kennedy High girls basketball team finished fifth in the State in 2A play

The Kennedy High girls basketball team finished fifth in the State in 2A play

Kennedy girls hoops: The Trojans had a magical season, rising to No. 2 in the OSAA rankings and advancing to the semifinals of the Class 2A state tournament in Pendleton. Kennedy beat Tri-River Conference rival Regis in the quarterfinals, lost a hard-fought overtime semifinal game vs. Burns and finished in fifth place.

“This season was amazing,” said Kerry Hall, who co-coaches the team with her husband, Peter.

“The girls had a fantastic season. Yes I wish we could have made it into the finals. We played so well in that semifinal game. Our girls showed heart by not giving up. The girls accomplished so much this year they made it to Pendleton. We beat Regis three times, which is never easy.”

Lakin Susee of the Trojans was named first team all-tournament, while teammate Kenzie Ratliff was named to the second team. Both players are juniors, and the Halls are losing just two seniors, Amelia Grosjacques and Hannah Kloft.

“We should be pretty tough next season,” Kerry Hall said.

Wrestling: Silverton took 14th as a team in Class 5A at the OSAA championships Feb. 27-28 in Portland. Austin Reed (third at 126) was the top finisher for the Foxes, who were third in the Mid-Willamette district meet. Also placing were Cody Gubbels (fourth, 220) and Jacob Whitehead (sixth, 106). Also participating were Valentin Garcia (106), Boston Merrifeild (113), Braden Sinn (160) and Camryn Clokey (285).

Banquet triumphs: Foxes boys basketball coach and history teacher Steve Roth was honored as Silverton High’s teacher of the year at the Feb. 28 First Citizens Banquet at the Festhalle in Mount Angel. Longtime Foxes coach and science teacher Jim Brueckner was awarded the lifetime achievement honor and cross country runner Valeria Vazquez-Trejo was named Future First Citizen.

Spring is here: Practice for the new season began March 2, with first contests set to start Monday. Of course it is raining as I write this so you never know.

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