Aqua Foxes shine: Silverton sends record group to state swim meet

February 2019 Posted in Community, Sports

James DayThe Silverton High swimming squads turned in a record-shattering performance at the Mid-Willamette Conference district meet Feb. 8 at Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

The Aqua Foxes finished second in the boys competition and third in the girls and will be sending the largest contingent to the state meet in school history.

Silverton advanced all six of its relay squads and individuals in nine events to the OSAA meet, which is Feb. 15-16 at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton. In addition, the team set school records in five relays and one individual event.

“We had a great district and are looking to do even better at state,” Silverton coach Lucky Rogers told Our Town. “No expectations. Just go out and do our best. That is what we do all of the time. We don’t worry about who else Is in the pool. We control what we can control and that is us.”

Off to state from Silverton are:

• Girls 200 medley relay, Samantha Zurcher, Marie Tolmachoff, Maggie Kelley and Maddie Broyhill.

• Boys 200 medley relay, Emmett Bell, Carson Brighton, Cole Runion and Michael Hall.

• Girls 50 free, Tolmachoff and Broyhill.

• Boys 50 free, David Reeves III and Blake Doerfler.

• Girls 100 free, Maggie Kelley and Hailey Kelley.

• Girls 200 free relay, Maggie Kelley, Hailey Kelley, Broyhill and Tolmachoff.

• Boys 200 free relay, Runion, Brighton, Doerfler and Reeves.

• Girls 100 back, Zurcher.

• Girls 100 breast, Tolmachoff and Elle Rogers.

• Girls 400 free relay, Maggie Kelley, Hailey Kelley, Zurcher and Broyhill.

• Boys 400 free relay, Tristan Allen, Kolton Howell, Doerfler and Reeves.

The Foxes set schools records in the girls 200 medley relay (1:53.90), girls 200 free relay  (1:43.25), boys 200 free relay (1:32.75), girls 400 free relay (3:52.58), boys 400 free relay (3:28.13) and Tolmachoff’s 1:09.18 in the girls 100 breast.

West Albany won both titles, with Crescent Valley taking second in the girls team race.

And although no team scores were compiled in junior varsity, Silverton won six of the individual events. A total of 71 Aqua Foxes participated, with 40 swimming in at least one varsity event.

District wrestling: Silverton finished fifth in the Feb. 8-9 Mid-Willamette Conference district meet at Crescent Valley.

The Foxes claimed two individual titles, with undefeated 120-pounder Kaden Kuenzi taking a 14-6 win vs. Haydn Millard of Dallas, and 195-pound Owen Magill dominating Cooper Hise of Dallas 8-1 in their final. Kaden Kuenzi will be seeking his second state title. He won state as a freshman and was runner-up a year ago.

Two other Silverton wrestlers made the finals, with Robert Guenther falling to Kadin Thorsted 6-4 at 138 pounds, and Nathan Kuenzi suffering a 13-5 defeat at the hands of Ein Carlos of North Salem at 170.

Freshman Jacob Moore took third at 106 for the Foxes. Also scoring for Silverton were Eli Kemble (126), Austin Moore (132), Arte Barsukoff (145), Gerardo Cortes Cruz (160), Josten Richardson (182), Augustus Axmaker (182) and 220-pounders Uriel Cruz and Ben Reed.

The Foxes finished with 190 points. Perennial power Dallas won the meet with 367.5, followed by Lebanon (296), Crescent Valley (259) and West Albany (197.5).

The top four finishers in each weight bracket qualified for the OSAA state championships Feb. 22-23 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Hoops: The defending Class 2A Kennedy girls basketball team finished a perfect 14-0 Tri-River Conference season Feb. 6 with a 66-19 win against Sheridan. The Trojans, who are 24-1 overall and ranked No. 1 in 2A, will host the Tri-River playoff title game Friday, Feb. 15 against a team to be determined before moving on to the state playoffs.

The Trojans will host a game Feb. 23, with a win sending them back to Pendleton for the Feb. 28-March 2 state tournament.

The No. 6 Kennedy boys squad closed the league season with a seven-game winning streak that pushed them to a 13-3 record, good for second place behind undefeated Western Christian.

“Our defense has been great,” coach Karl Schmidtman told Our Town. “We have held teams below 50 points for all seven of those wins. During that stretch, only two teams scored over 40. We are a deep team and we have been able to keep up defensive pressure and energy and that has translated into some easy scoring opportunities off of our defense.”

The Trojans, who finished fourth at Pendleton a year ago, started Tri-River playoff play before Our Town’s presstime but seem likely to be playing a home game Feb. 22 with a return trip to Pendleton on the line.

Both Silverton teams, meanwhile, are ranked No. 3 in Class 5A as the Mid-Willamette Conference season enters the home stretch. The boys were 12-1 at Our Town’s presstime, needing just one win in their final three games to clinch its second consecutive league title. The girls, meanwhile, trailed No. 2 Lebanon by one-half game after falling to the Warriors 56-50 on Feb. 6.

Both Silverton squads are likely to host state playoff games the first weekend in March. The girls finished third at last year’s state tournament, with the boys taking fourth.

Silverton football players William Perry, left, and Levi Nielsen, get set to sign their letters to play college football at Western Oregon University at a ceremony Feb. 6 in the school library. James Day

Football signings: Feb. 6 was national signing day for high school players to declare their intentions for college, with two players each from Silverton and Kennedy signing letters.

Foxes quarterback Levi Nielsen, a four-year starter for the team, signed to play at Western Oregon, with offensive line teammate William Perry also choosing the join the Wolves.

Lineman Nick Suing and tight end Rocco Carley, who helped lead Kennedy to the Class 2A title, signed with Oregon
State University.

Youth wrestling: The Silverton Mat Club turned in a series of fine performances Feb. 1-3 at the Oregon Kids State Tournament at the Truax Indoor Center at Oregon State University.

Top finishers were Blake Panuke, who took first in the 8U Bantam division at 70 pounds; Steve Powell, second in the 16U Cadet division at 145 pounds; Luke Bischoff, fourth in the 16U Cadet Division at 160 pounds; and Boden Sowa, sixth in the 10U Intermediate division at 71 pounds.

Others earning points for Silverton were Andrew Kostner Jr. (Pee Wee), Max Bischoff (Pee Wee), Blake Highsmith (Bantam), Andrew Bischoff (Intermediate), Elijah Bischoff (Novice), Damien Rael (Novice), Oscar Marks (Schoolboy), and Thomas Bischoff (Schoolboy).

Coaching the squad were Dan Davis, Chris Bischoff, Nick Immler and
Jake Marks.

Roth in town: Former Silverton High basketball standout Sam Roth is coming back to Oregon next weekend for a pair of games. Roth, a redshirt sophomore guard for Northwest Nazarene of Nampa, Idaho, will play Thursday, Feb. 21 at Western Oregon and Saturday, Feb. 23 at Concordia of Portland. Both games are at 7:30 p.m. Roth and his Nighthawks are 16-4 overall and 11-3 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, one game behind St. Martin’s and one game ahead of Western Oregon. Roth has played in all 20 games and averages 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Wurst Run: A 5-kilometer run-walk and a 10-kilometer run are set for Saturday, March 2, as part of the three-day Mt. Angel Volksfest, rebranded this year from its previous Wurstfest moniker. Those registering for the races also will receive festival entry and a complimentary beverage and glass. To register go to

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