For the title: Kennedy football

December 2015 Posted in School, Sports

James DayBy James Day

The Kennedy High football team is one win away from the first state championship in school history.

The Trojans (10-1), who were runners-up in 1989, 1991 and 2009, tangled with (11-0) Heppner on Saturday night at Hermiston High in a game played after Our Town’s presstime.

Kennedy, ranked No. 4 by the OSAA, took out Irrigon 53-12, Burns 42-28 and Stanfield 34-20 to advance to the title game. The Trojans used a punishing ground game to down Stanfield on Nov. 21 at Liberty High in Hillsboro in the semifinals.

Quarterback Brett Traeger rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown and running backs Jacob Lopez and Bishop Mitchell added 111 and 108 yards, respectively. Lopez, the workhorse with 23 carries, scored a touchdown.

Traeger also sparked the offense through the air, hitting 5 of 11 passes for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He hit Mitchell on a 36-yard touchdown and Jack Suing on an 18-yard score. Mitchell completed the scoring for the Trojans with a 17-yard interception return for the final score of the game.  Mitchell totaled 186 yards, counting rushing, receiving and returns.

Dylan Arritola (7.5 tackles), Owen Seiler (6.5 tackles) and Tom Schmidt (6 tackles) sparked the defense, which forced three Stanfield turnovers. Mitchell finished with two interceptions and Christian Larios recovered a fumble.

Turf update: The campaign to add artificial turf and remodel McGinnis Field at Silverton High has reached the halfway point in terms of cash donations and grants, athletic director Greg Kaatz said. The group has $225,000 in donations and grants. “A special thanks goes out to Jeremy McCart and Silverton’s Les Schwab Tire Center for their support in the amount of $25,000,” Kaatz said. In addition, the project is teaming with K&E Excavating of Salem to work on the foundation for the field.

The project is looking for community assistance for some in-kind donations. Immediate needs are:

1,250 linear feet of 6-inch concrete for curbing

1,250 linear feet of  2 x 6 boards and installation to the curbing as a border for turf attachment.

Asphalt paving at the south end and partial paving at the north end.

800 linear feet of asphalt sawing/cutting

Those who want to help should contact Kaatz at 503-507-2240 or

Volleyball correction: I erred in my column in the Nov. 15 edition on the Silverton volleyball program. Yes, the Foxes had a tremendous season with an 11-3 Mid-Willamette Conference record and a spot in the Class 5A quarterfinals, but it turns out it wasn’t the best season in 40 years. Jim Bingham, who started the volleyball program, has advised Our Town that his 1975 and 1991 teams both reached the state semifinals. In 1975, the Foxes, who were playing in Class 3A, then the highest classification, won their quarterfinal match against Grants Pass before falling in the semifinals to eventual champion Beaverton. Bend defeated the Foxes in the match for third place. Karen Fleming and Rene Hatton of the Foxes were named second-team all-tournament. In the 16-team 1991 tourney the Foxes opened with a win against Glide and downed Burns in the quarterfinals. Silverton again was defeated by the eventual champion – this time it was Henley – in the semifinals and lost a hard-fought match for third place with Lakeview in which the third set was 15-12. Linda Redman of the Foxes was a first-team all-tournament selection.

Hazelnut race: It’s not too late to sign up for the Run For Your Nuts, on Saturday, Dec. 5 in Mount Angel. The 5K event starts and finishes at the Festhalle and $27 day-of-the-race signups and bib pickups for those who signed up early starts at 9 a.m. The race starts at 10 a.m., with finishers receiving a bag of hazelnuts and admission to the Hazelnut Festival.

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