Pacific Northwest champs: Pop Warner football team takes title

January 2017 Posted in Community, Sports

James DayFor the first time in its eight-year history, the Silverton Pop Warner football program has produced a regional champion. The Future Foxes’ pee wee squad, which consists mainly of sixth- and seventh-graders, traveled to Washington state to beat the Spokane Highlanders, 26-13, in the Nov. 13 regional semifinals, then thumped the South Valley Grizzlies of San Jose, Calif., 25-6 in the Pacific Northwest championship on Nov. 20.

The squad had an opportunity to move on to Florida for further competition, but the fundraising challenge of arranging for a traveling party of 30 players and coaches and 10 cheerleaders proved too great.pwarner-2

“I thought it was a great accomplishment for the kids,” Head Coach Wes Kuenzi said. “We’d never been that far before. We played our best football and ended on a real high note.”

Swimming: The Silverton High girls squad has raced out to a 7-0 dual meet record, with the boys not far behind at 6-1. Included was the first win by the girls against Corvallis in school history.

“We are doing well and slowly improving as the year is progressing,” second-year Coach Lucky Rogers said. “We are very deep this year and we have a lot of swimmers that are doing real well.”

Jason Orr is ranked second in the district in the 100 backstroke, fourth in the 50 free and sixth in the 200 individual medley. Marie Tolmachoff is second in the 100 breaststroke, while Ross Mackinnon is fifth in the 100 breast and Jaiden Davis is sixth in the 100 free and seventh in the 50 free.

In addition, both the boys (Orr, Mackinnon, Davis and Blake Doerfler) and girls (the all freshman quartet of Tolmachoff, Samantha Zurcher, Maggie Kelley and Maddie Broyhill) are ranked second in the medley relay.

Boys basketball: The Foxes remain a work in progress, taking a 4-7 record into the week. Silverton lost 45-36 to Central in its Mid-Willamette Conference opener on Jan. 6.

“We’re a young team and have played a tough schedule,” Coach Steve Roth said. “A couple of those games I wish we could have gotten, but I haven’t been displeased. Our goal has been to get better every day and that’s a tough thing to do.” Roth chose a youth movement roster for this season, keeping just one senior, post Elijah Nielsen.

“I like our kids and I like our team,” Roth said. “I’m never going to use youth as an excuse for anything. These kids have played a lot of basketball and have shown the ability to be successful.”

All eight Mid-Willamette teams are ranked in the top 20, with South Albany the highest at No. 3. “It’s a really competitive league,” Roth said. “Anything can happen on a given night. I don’t think there is one team that sticks out above everybody else.”

Junior guard Cade Roth led the way against Central with 17 points, including four 3-pointers.

Kennedy, meanwhile, is just 6-7 overall, but the Trojans are the current leaders in the Tri-River Conference at 3-0. Kennedy has lost to just one Class 2A squad, Vernonia, and has wins against 3A teams Scio and Umatilla.

Girls basketball: Silverton was 1-0 in the Mid-Willamette and 7-2 overall heading into the week. The Foxes, the defending Class 5A state champions, are ranked fourth by the OSAA, two spots behind league rival Corvallis. The MWC appears loaded this season with six teams ranked in the top 14.

Silverton’s losses were to Tigard, which is ranked eight in Class 6A, and La Salle, currently No. 1 in 5A. The Foxes opened the league season with a 50-33 win at Central. As usual under Coach Tal Wold, Silverton is doing it with defense. The Foxes have surrendered 33 points or less to six opponents and they are outscoring their foes by a 54.9 to 33.2 margin. And here’s is a note for your calendar: The Foxes host Corvallis on Jan. 27 and close the regular season Feb. 24 at Corvallis.

Kennedy, meanwhile, the defending Class 2A champions, have started 3-0 in the Tri-River Conference and are ranked sixth by the OSAA. The Trojans are 7-6 overall, but like the boys squad they have been playing up all season and have lost to just one Class 2A team.

Five teams in the Tri-River are ranked in the top eight, and Kennedy already has beaten two of them, No. 4 East Linn Christian and No. 8 St. Paul. Big games loom ahead for the Trojans against No. 2 Western Mennonite on Jan. 20 and Feb. 10.

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