Swimmers dive in: Aqua Foxes look to build on successes

January 2019 Posted in School, Sports

James DayThe Silverton High swim program, 85 athletes strong, is off to another strong start. Both squads are 5-1 overall and 3-1 in Mid-Willamette Conference encounters.

“Overall I am happy with how we are doing,” said coach Lucky Rogers. “We returned a lot of girls that are on pace to do even better this year. We lost Jason Orr, our best swimmer in every event on the boys side to graduation, but the boys have been working very hard and will be quite the surprise by the district meet.”

Top girls performers include Marie Tolmachoff, Samantha Zurcher, Maggie Kelley and Maddie Broyhill, with boys Tristan Allen, Michael Hall, Carson Brighton, Emmett Bell, Blake Doerfler, David Reeves III, Charlie Petrik and Cole Runion also contributing.

“All are either on their times right before districts last year or have already passed it.,” Rogers said.

The lone losses for the two squads came against Crescent Valley, but the girls came within one event of scoring the upset, losing 147-139. In addition the Fox 200 medley relay team beat the Raiders for the first time ever.

Silverton had a breakthrough season last year, with the girls finishing seventh in the Class 5A state meet with 14 points. The boys were eighth with 18. This was the first time in school history that the Foxes cracked the top 10.

Rogers, who is in his fourth year in charge of the program, thinks his athletes can finish in the top three at districts. And keep the momentum going at state.

“Our goal this year is to maintain,” he said. “We sent five relays to state and they all medaled. Our goal this year is to send all six relays. We will have to really improve our times to medal in some of them. Our other goal is to send more individuals. I love my country kids. We work very hard to compete against kids that swim all year around and have been doing it for years. We have learned how to compete with them being an underdog every time.”

Basketball: The defending Class 2A champion Kennedy girls are 10-1 and ranked No. 1 by the OSAA. The Trojans won their first ten games by an average score of 57-33 before falling 36-29 on Dec. 21 at No. 2 Oakland. Kennedy already has recorded dominating Tri-River Conference victories against No. 5 Santiam and Western Christian. The next big challenge comes from No. 7 Culver, which is 9-1. Kennedy returns from the holiday/tournament season with a Jan. 7 home date vs. Culver.

The Silverton girls, third in Class 5A a year ago, are 8-1 overall, ranked third and are undefeated at 3-0 in the Mid-Willamette Conference. No. 5 Crescent Valley also is 3-0, but the Foxes and Raiders don’t tangle until Jan. 22. Also in the mix is 2-1 Corvallis, ranked eighth and No. 9 Central, 1-1. Silverton downed Central, 38-35, on Dec. 14, running out to a 36-21 lead and holding on against a furious rally.

Silverton, which has outworked and outhustled taller teams in the past few years, including its state championship run in 2016, offers its biggest team under coach Tal Wold, with 6-footers Riley Traeger and Truitt Reilly giving the Foxes a strong presence in the post. And Josslyn Ames provided a key spark against Central with 13 points.

The Silverton boys, 9-1, are ranked No. 5 in Class 5A and are tied with Corvallis at 3-0 in the Mid-Willamette. Early on Silverton was forced to play without injured guards David Gonzales and Jonah Downey, but they have returned with a vengeance. Downey had 18 points and four assists in an 80-61 Dec. 18 win vs. previously undefeated South Albany. Gonzales, meanwhile, poured in 30 points on Dec. 20 against Liberty in the Les Schwab Invitational. The Foxes took two out of three in the Schwab’s Eight bracket, finishing third while beating a pair of Class 6A teams. The lone loss came against runner-up Pacifica Christian of Newport Beach, California.

Silverton and Corvallis tangle Jan. 11 in Corvallis. A key challenge for the Foxes will be handling 7-3 junior Jasper Reinalda, who is vastly improved in his second year on the Spartans’ varsity squad.

The Kennedy boys, meanwhile, have won four in a row in the Tri-River after opening with a loss to No. 3 Western Christian. The Trojans, ranked eighth in Class 2A, are 4-1 in league, one-half game behind Western and Sheridan.

Hoops doubleheaders: The Mid-Willamette Conference experimented last year with “stacking” the boys and girls basketball games at the same site rather than, say, the boys playing at home and the girls on the road. The model was not continued this year. Athletic director Rise said stacking led to scheduling inconsistencies and could not be implemented at some schools because of their facilities.

Silverton participated in six “stacked” sessions last season, with Rise noting one of the positives was that the boys team could watch the girls play and vice-versa.

Alumni watch: Here is a look at how athletes with area ties performed on college teams during the fall season:

Maddie Fuhrman, Silverton: The Oregon State redshirt sophomore cross country runner who transferred from Hawaii, had a best of 15:00.0 in the 4,000 meters, 18:51.0 in the 5,000 and 22:16.7 in the 6K for the Beavers, who finished the NCAA championships at 27th.

Ethan Crofts, Silverton: The sophomore soccer forward at Northwest Christian University had seven starts and played 503 minutes for the Beacons, 4-12-1 overall and 3-9-1 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Crofts had 13 shots on goal but did not score. Former Foxes teammate Ethan Risby served as the backup goalie but did not see action.

Bishop Mitchell, Kennedy: The sophomore wide receiver played in five games for Portland State, which finished 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big Sky. Mitchell returned one kickoff for 15 yards and recorded one assisted tackle.

Kaylin Cantu, Kennedy: The cross country runner at Western Oregon turned in a strong freshman season, running 23:22.6 for 6,000 meters and finishing 42nd in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships and turning in a 22:31.40 for 62nd at the NCAA Division II West regional. The Wolves were 7th in the GNAC meet and 18th at the regionals. Cantu also finished third at WOU’s Ash Creek Invitational (19:57.1 for 5K), 7th at the Linfield Harrier Classic  (15:46.6 for 4K), 9th at the San Francisco State Invitational (23:03.1 for 6K) and 12th at OSU’s Beaver Classic (23:40.5 for 6K).

Spencer Clements and Kobe Garcia, Silverton: The former Foxes both played their freshman seasons for George Fox football, which finished 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the Northwest Conference. Clements, a 6-3, 190-pound wide receiver caught 7 passes for 112 yards and 2 TDs. Garcia, a 5-10, 178-pound defensive back had three tackles.

William Wright, Silverton: The freshman cross country runner at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, had bests of 26:47 for a 4.2-mile course and 29:47 for 8-kilometers. His 26:47 earned him 35th place in the Nationball Classic and his best placing at 8K was 60th in 32:54 at the Biola Invitational.

On college rosters but not seeing action were Kennedy’s Brett Traeger (Western Oregon football), Silverton’s Noah Dahl (University of Oregon football),

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