Trojans start fast: Baseball, softball teams also battling weather

April 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, School, Sports

James DayThe Kennedy baseball team is off to a 9-1 start and is 3-0 in Special District 2 play.

The Trojans, who won three of four games in a tournament in Redding, California, are ranked No. 4 in Class 2A-1A by the OSAA after a 2018 campaign in which they advanced to the state semifinals.

“We are off to a nice start,” coach Kevin Moffatt told
Our Town. “I was worried about our pitching after graduating two of our main guys.”

Now, like a lot of baseball and softball teams in the valley Kennedy is “trying to battle the weather now.”

Sharing the pitching load for the Trojans are sophomores Brady Traeger, Dylan Kleinschmit, and Isaiah Basargin, juniors Bruce Beyer and Josh Valladares, and senior Braden Dover.”

“They have kind of been the key to our start,” Moffatt said. “None are dominant, but they have all thrown a lot of strikes and kept us in games.”

Offensively Traeger and Beyer have been leading the way, along with lead off hitter/shortstop Sam Grosjacques, Valladares and Cole Boen.

Defensively, Moffatt said, senior Angel DeLaRosa and junior Demetre Marseille have been solid on the infield, along with catchers Kleinschmit and Valladares.”

Trailing Kennedy in the league standings are Colton (2-0), Culver (2-1) and seventh-ranked Santiam.

“The league is as deep as it has been in a long time,” Moffatt said. “We will have our work cut out for us if we are going to be competitive in the league this year, but the kids are working hard so far and if they continue playing like they have then we will be in the thick of the league race.”

Silverton is 6-1 overall under new coach Jeremiah Runion and ranked 5th in Class 5A. The Foxes had yet to play a Mid-Willamette Conference game by Our Town’s presstime, while Central and West Albany already have two league games in amid the weather challenges.

Two of the Foxes, Hunter Runion and Caleb Ward, have announced plans for college ball, with Runion heading to Montana State-Billings and Ward to Treasure Valley Community College. Silverton will field a veteran squad, with the roster boasting eight seniors.

The Silverton softball squad is 2-8 overall and 0-1 in the Mid-Willamette Conference. The Foxes have had a pair of tournament games washed out. Ralph Cortez is in his 19th year coaching the Foxes.

“We went through our preseason with a tough schedule against some quality opponents,” Cortez told Our Town.

It’s a young squad with six freshmen, one sophomore, four juniors and three seniors.

Leading the way are senior second baseman Riley Barba, who is hitting .465, and junior catcher/third baseman and cleanup hitter Abby Hickam, who has hit five home runs in the first nine games. Junior Erin Breshears, is playing third base and first base and hitting well in the third spot.

Sharing the pitching duties are a pair of freshmen, right-hander Mila Perez, who also plays first base, and lefty Otyillia Hefley. Another freshman, Olivia Hickam, plays shortstop and is batting second.

“We are in one if the toughest leagues in the state in 5A and we hope to have a good showing with our young group of players,” Cortez said. “Growing pains will subside, and we are excited about our journey to be in the top echelon of teams in our classification.”

The Kennedy softball squad is 3-3 overall and 1-0 in district play (with two rainouts). The Trojans were 24-4 a year ago and won the first state title in school history after outscoring their four Class 2A-1A state tournament foes 46-1.

Gone from that team are four seniors who made amazing contributions, pitcher Tressa Riedman, catcher Abby Frey, first baseman Molly Jaeger and shortstop Hannah Arritola.

Back are some key contributors from that championship team, including Hailey Arritola, Emily Cuff, Ellie Cantu, Elise Suing and Kelsey Kleinschmit. Hailey Arritola, then a freshman, singled, doubled, walked twice and knocked in 3 runs in Kennedy’s championship game win vs. Pilot Rock.

Silverton’s Jori Paradis at the signing ceremony where she committed to participate in cross country and track and field at Concordia of Irvine. James Day

Signings: Three-sport Silverton High athlete Jori Paradis has signed to participate in college at Concordia of Irvine. Concordia is an NCAA Division II school that plays in the Pacific West Conference.

Paradis was a standout in cross country, basketball and track and field at Silverton. She will participate in cross country and track at Concordia.

Paradis finished second in the Class 5A state meet last spring in the 800 and also is part of a 4×400 relay squad that holds the school record. She is 7th all-time in school cross country history in the 5,000 meters.

Paradis told Our Town at Wednesday morning’s signing event that she chose Concordia because she liked the environment, the coach and the team.

“The situation reminded me of the one here at Silverton,” she said. “It felt like home.”

Paradis said she is not sure what role she will fill on the Concordia track and field team. She said she wants to continue to run the 800 while also expressing interest in the steeplechase, an event that is not available for Oregon high school runners.

Paradis said she plans to study nursing at Concordia.

Also announcing college plans recently were Foxes
Jonah Downey, who will play basketball at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, and Ben Willis, who is planning to play football at Utah State. Downey was a first team all-Mid-Willamette Conference player who helped lead the Foxes to third place in the Class 5A tournament. Willis was a first-teamer on the offensive and defensive lines and as a place-kicker for Silverton, which finished 9-2. Willis plans to play defense
in college.

Wrestling: Keegan Davis, a standout wrestler at Sprague High School and Oregon State as well as a successful coach at Silverton, has signed on to be the first wrestling coach at Corban University in Salem. The Warriors will begin competition in the 2019-20 season.

Tennis: The Foxes’ girls squad has a pair of undefeated doubles teams. The No. 1 doubles team of Alyssa Khieu and Aneisa Fink and No. 2 squad Genevieve Pavlicek and Jenevieve Overlin both won their matches on April 9 in a 7-1 team win vs. West Albany. Freshman Andrea Khieu also was impressive against West Albany, scoring a, 6-3  6-0 win at No. 3 singles.

Basketball: Darren Shryock, who led the Foxes to a pair of third-place finishes in Class 5A boys hoops, has stepped down as the Stayton girls coach after three seasons. Shryock, who twice led the Eagles into the Class 4A state tournament, will continue as the athletic director at the school.

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