Historic night: Coach Don Carey honored

January, 2016 Posted in School, Sports & Recreation

James DayBy James Day

Friday, Dec. 18 was a night of memory and history and community acknowledgment at Stayton High. The court at the Eagles’ gym was rededicated to honor legendary longtime coach Don Carey.

Carey, a fixture at the school from 1959 to 1998, won 486 games in hoops and a pair of state titles and added nine state crowns as a golf coach. He was honored between the boys and girls games where the Eagles faced Estacada.

Don Carey, accompanied by his wife Helen, holds the plaque he was presented with at the Dec. 18 rededication of the Stayton High gym in his honor.

Don Carey, accompanied by his wife Helen, holds the plaque he was presented with at the Dec. 18 rededication of the Stayton High gym in his honor.

School board chairwoman Laura Wipper was the MC, with speakers including Superintendent Andy Gardner and Mike Miller, a state champion golfer under Carey. Stayton Boosters President Randy Forrette presented a plaque to Carey. Carey’s son, Jon, the former longtime athletic director at Western Oregon University, thanked the school and the crowd on behalf of the family.

College update: Here is a look at how athletes from the Stayton area performed for local college squads during the fall season (and please report any omissions using the contact information below).

Lexi Mitzel, the former Cascade High runner, finished her college cross country career with her name all over the Corban University record book. Mitzel was 12th at the Cascade Collegiate Conference meet, helping the Warriors take fifth as team, and she finished 52nd at NAIA nationals, a record-high finish for a Corban runner. Mitzel turned in five of the top 10 5K performances in Corban university and is No. 2 at 6K.

Two other former Cascade runners also contributed at Corban. Sophomore Kristen LaChapelle was 35th at the CCC meet, while junior Calvin Vetter was 65th in the men’s meet.

The Farr brothers, Jordan and Nic played key roles in a sterling season by the Corban men’s soccer team. The  former Cascade athletes and their Warriors teammate finished second in the Cascade Conference with an 11-2-0 record and advanced to the NAIA national tournament before falling to Biola and finishing 17-3-1. Sophomore Jordan had a 16-3 record in goal, allowing just 10 goals while pitching 12 shutouts. He stopped 56 shots. Freshman Nic, meanwhile, was the second leading scorer for Corban with seven goals and one assist.

In soccer, former Cascade player Kayla Loukojarvi scored eight goals and Jazmin Ramirez of Stayton also scored a goal for the Chemeketa women’s soccer team, which finished 10-6-2. John Enriquez of Stayton played in eight games with one start for Willamette University men’s team.

In football, former Cascade standout Justin Kruse was a tower of strength in the defensive line at George Fox. Kruse, a 6-1, 265-pound sophomore, had 41 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. In addition he forced one fumble and recovered another. Former Scio standout Daniel Harper, meanwhile, played in eight games for Western Oregon, including one start. Harper rushed for 119 yards on 42 carries with a long run of 17 yards. Former Stayton High athlete Reece Hack was one of four individuals to throw passes for Willamette. The freshman QB played in six games and was 9 for 12 for 54 yards.

All-state: Stayton, which finished second in the Class 4A boys soccer tournament for the second consecutive year, placed its two top playmakers on the all-state team. Ivan Navarro was a first-team selection and cousin Freddy Navarro was a second-team pick. The Eagles’ lone loss was 2-1 against Sisters in the state final.

Meanwhile, Regis placed four athletes on the Class 2A all-state football team. Tight end-linebacker Eric Gustin was a two-way first-team pick, while wide receiver Austin Moore also was a first-teamer. Defensive back Sam Nieslanik was named to the second team and defensive lineman Austin Voltin received honorable mention. The Rams finished 8-4, advancing to the 2A semifinals before losing to Heppner 26-3.

Boys hoops: It promises to be another wild season in the Oregon West Conference. The league placed three squads, Cascade, Philomath and North Marion into the Class 4A state tournament last season, with North Marion finishing second, Philomath third and the Cougars fourth. Stayton finished third in the league before being eliminated by Madras (sixth at state) in the playoffs.

“The Oregon West will be a very strong league this year,” said Cascade Coach Steve Ball. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see five teams from our league make the playoffs.”

The Cougars boast key returners John Schirmer, Cameron Molan, Tyler Walker and Garrett Coffey but there might be growing pains. Schirmer, Molan, Coffey and Lucas Bjorklund all played on the school’s championship football squad. “It may take a couple of weeks to make the full transition,” Ball said. “But this is a very special group of young men and expectations are high.”

Expectations are high at Stayton, which turned in a 6-4 league record last year. “We have a scrappy group of kids,” said Coach Joseph Kiser. “We’ll be able to defend, but we need to find a way to get shots for everybody. I think we can compete for a league title.”

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