Academic standout: Foxes lineman earns national honor

October 2019 Posted in Community, School, Sports

James DaySilverton High senior Spencer Von Flue finished in the 97th percentile among those students nationwide who took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Qualifying Test.

Silverton football’s starting center Spencer Von Flue. James Day

He is the senior class president, a member of the Key Club and a participant in the school’s National Honor Society chapter. And his class schedule is riddled with Advance Placement Classes.

Von Flue’s performance in the PSAT earned him a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Von Flue was the lone Silverton High student to receive
such an honor.

Oh, and he also plays a little football. Von Flue is the starting center on a Foxes offensive line that has opened the holes for Silverton to rush for more than 200 yards in all three of its games, wins against Central, South Albany and Lebanon that have the Foxes sitting atop the Class 5A rankings.

But it’s always student first with Von Flue, who can cite the statistics on how many high school athletes play college sports and how many of those play professionally.

“Being smart and knowledgeable will take you farther and longer than if you are just an athlete,” Von Flue told Our Town.

Von Flue, who credits his parents with encouraging him to work hard, said “I’ve always pushed myself to be the best. It’s a pride thing. If you are good at something why not try to be the best. I want to work hard at everything I do and be the best I can be.”

Von Flue is hoping to study chemical engineering in college, although he also is looking at mechanical and nuclear engineering.

“Last year I took chemistry and I loved it,” Von Flue said. “I like working with chemicals and I’ve always been good at math. I like the idea of being able to create things with chemicals.”

Among the colleges Von Flue is considering are Oregon State, Montana State, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Washington. He says it is unlikely he will pursue football in college. Administrators, coaches and fellow football players rave about Von Flue.

Principal Wade Lockett: “We are fortunate to have a student like Spencer that gets involved and works as hard as he does to set a great example for this peers.”

Football coach and Key Club adviser Josh Craig: “Spencer is the kind of kid every coach wants to have on their team. He’s the smartest player on the field. He’s tough, he’s poised, and he never seeks recognition. As the center he’s the natural leader of our offensive line, but he’s one of the leaders on the team as a whole
as well.”

On Sept. 20, Silverton drove 97 yards in 16 plays to score the winning touchdown in the showdown against Lebanon, with Von Flue and the rest of the line, Tashaun Treat, Tanner Ellsworth, Orie Schaffers, tight end Zach MacBean and Jackson Clements, dominating the Warriors during the drive, which required six minutes and 38 seconds.

Sophomore quarterback Jordan McCarty praised the offensive line for its “senior leadership.” Running back Nathan Kuenzi mentioned Von Flue specifically, noting “he kept talking to us in the huddle, telling us we needed to pick it up.”

The Foxes hosted North Salem on Sept. 27 after Our Town’s presstime. As always, look for updates on the team on Facebook and my Twitter account.

Kennedy, meanwhile, is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in Special District 2 after downing Santiam 28-6 in a rematch of last year’s Class 2A championship game. The Trojans are ranked eighth by the OSAA.

Cross country: Approximately 30 teams and 600 runners participated in the Silver Falls-Oktoberfest Invitational Sept. 11. The meet, co-hosted by Kennedy and Silverton, used a new course this year, emphasizing fire roads and the Maple Ridge Trail.

Silverton took third in JV boys, second in novice boys, third in boys varsity, second in girls JV and third in girls varsity. Kennedy was fifth in girls varsity. Teams from Class 1A up to Class 5A competed.

Top local finishers include:

Varsity boys (5,000 meters): Trevor Ortega of Silverton was fourth in 17:15.9, with teammate Jadon Mansur 11th in 17:32.5. Kennedy’s Nick Riedman was 34th in 19:00.6.

Varsity girls (5,000 meters): Talus Miller of Silverton was 13th in 21:21, with teammate Justice McBride-Steiger one spot back in 21:27.1. Kennedy’s Cassie Traeger was 28th in 23:03.8 and teammate Aleksandra Eyles was 32nd in 23:271.

JV boys (3,400 meters): Kennedy freshman Jesus Cortes won the race in 12:12.9, with Silverton’s Sam Ellingson 11th in 12:49.3.

JV girls (3,400 meters): Ellie Schmitz was third in 15:15.7, with teammate Alisha Larkin fifth in 15:45.5. Kennedy’s Kylee Rodriguez was 24th in 17:45.0.

Novice boys (3,400 meters): Silverton’s Collin Underhill was fifth in 14:36.1, followed by teammates Micah Hurley (7th, 14:46.6), Colton Underhill (9th, 15:00.0), Ammon Bastian (11th, 15:10.6) and Matthew Barnes (13th, 15:21.2). Kennedy’s Colton Baughman was eighth in 14:59.2.

Silverton cross country/track & field alumnus Haile Stuzman. James Day

Alumni watch: Former Silverton cross country and track and field athlete
Haile Stutzman has been named Crossroads League men’s cross country runner of the week. Stutzman, a freshman at Huntingon University in Indiana led the Foresters to a first-place finish in the Sept. 13 Rumble in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Stutzman finished second overall in the 8,000-meter race in 27:06.20.

Oktoberfest runs: More than 500 runners and walkers participated in the three events Sept. 14 in Mount Angel. Alex Cameron, 37, won the 10-kilometer in 32.40. Sophia Patterson, 24, of Salem, was 7th overall in 41:08 and was the first woman finisher. Kennedy High runner Korbin Wedding, 15, won the 5-kilometer event in 20:05. Shauna Litts, 29, was 10th in 22:10 and the first woman to finish. Dennis Brands, 33, of Portland, captured the 13.1-mile half marathon in 1:16:57. Karen Craddick, 35, of Seattle, was the first woman to cross, taking 7th in 1:32.23.

Volleyball: Kennedy is 17-1 overall, 6-0 in Tri-River Conference play and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A by the OSAA. Silverton, meanwhile, is 3-3 in Mid-Willamette Conference and in the hunt for one of the league’s four Class 5A playoffs spots.

Soccer: The Silverton boys squad under new coach Marty Limbird is 3-1 overall and ranked fifth in Class 5A. The girls are 2-2-1 and ranked 12th. League play starts this week.

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