Farewell: Coach Mannion moves on

May 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

James Day

Silverton boys basketball coach Steve Roth, who led the Foxes to the 2015 Class 5A state championship, has resigned his position.

“When I took over three years ago I didn’t expect it to be a long-term decision,” Roth told Our Town. “I’d been a head coach before and knew being an assistant coach is more in my wheelhouse.”

The Foxes were 51-26 in the past three years, including a 22-4 campaign in 2014-15 that included a 33-32 win against Wilsonville in the state championship game at Gill Coliseum. The past two seasons the Foxes came within one victory of returning to Gill.

“I tend to agonize over certain aspects of the job,” Roth said. “We had to cut about 30 kids this year. I hate that. I don’t like losing games we should win or losing any games for that matter. But I think that for all my shortcomings the Foxes are in a good place. We have great kids in the program and a positive culture. My hope is that the next coach will take them higher.”

Foxes athletic director Wade Lockett has two big hires to make this spring. In addition to the boys basketball position Lockett is interviewing candidates for the football position – John Mannion is leaving for a school in Beaverton.

“They’re tough losses,” Lockett told Our Town. “No doubt about it. It will be very difficult to replace those guys. They are both amazing mentors for kids, the kind of people you want your kids to learn from.”

Lockett said that there were in-house candidates for both positions and that he hoped to have hires announced by this week.

Roth, who has been affiliated with the program for more than 20 years, will remain a teacher at the school and hopes to serve the new coach as an assistant.

“I’ve been part of a state championship as well as a 2-22 season, but the struggle is always the same,” Roth said. “Ego and effort and humility and teamwork and sacrifice and poise are necessarily challenged in basketball (and other team sports) in a way that if done right will translate into marriage and family and career and life.

“Like with everything else I do in life I tend to get so focused on the immediate results (wins and losses) that I lose the big picture. But winning games isn’t very important when it is compared with that.”

Softball: Kennedy remains undefeated in Special District 2 and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A/1A by the OSAA. The Trojans are 11-0 in league, two games ahead of Central Linn with four games to play. Central Linn comes to Mount Angel on May 16. The Trojans have clinched a state playoff spot and almost assuredly will play a home playoff game May 24.

Silverton, meanwhile, also is in good shape for the postseason. The Foxes are 12-4 in the Mid-Willamette Conference and ranked No. 6 in Class 5A. Silverton also looks primed to host a playoff game May 24.

Foxes junior shortstop Maggie Buckholz continues her impressive slugging. Buckholz, who has committed to play in college for Oregon, belted two home runs May 5 in a 10-5 loss at No. 2 Dallas. In the process Buckholz extended her single-season school record to 10 homers.

Baseball: Kennedy is 10-2 in Special District 2, two games behind undefeated Regis. The Trojans, who are one game ahead of 9-3 St. Paul and 1.5 games in front of 8-3 Western Mennonite, need to stay No. 2 in the league to guarantee them a Class 2A-1A playoff spot. Kennedy has a chance to play its way in with two games vs. Western Mennonite and one against St. Paul down the stretch.

Music: Silverton senior Marah Christenson took home first place in flute at the OSAA solo music competition April 29 at Pacific University in Forest Grove. Christenson totaled 966 points among the three judges, three points ahead of runner-up Courtney Badura of North Medford.

OSAA classification: The OSAA committee looking at classification and districting has softened its position on changing from six classes to five. After receiving another batch of comments opposing the move to five classes at its April 10 meeting in Wilsonville and from athletic directors at their April 24 conference in Sunriver the committee released a report that only includes a six-class approach. Class 5A athletic directors voted 22-3 in favor of retaining the current six-class model, with Class 2A ADs backing six classes by a 19-7 margin.

In the current six-class draft Silverton would be placed in a nine-team Class 5A league that also would include Central, Corvallis, Crescent Valley, Dallas, Lebanon, North Salem, South Albany and West Albany.

Kennedy, meanwhile, would have to travel a bit more because the school would be in a league with Culver, which is a 300-mile round trip. The new alignment also would put Kennedy in a different league than long-time rival Regis.

Moffatt, the Kennedy AD, told Our Town that he was not enthusiastic about his teams traveling to Culver “but sometimes you have to accept what is best for the majority of the state, not just what is best for your school.”

The committee meets again May 22 and also will hold meetings in June and September before a final decision is made. The new system will be instituted in the fall of 2018.

Track and field update: District competition for Silverton and Kennedy occurred after Our Town’s presstime. We will have a report on our Facebook page and a wrap-up of district and state meet results in our June 1 edition.

Got a news tip? Email me at jamesday590@gmail.com. Follow Our Town on Facebook.


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