Going out on top: Carcade Coach Steve Turner retires after state title

February, 2016 Posted in School, Sports & Recreation

James DayBy James Day

It’s a whole new world for Steve Turner.

The long-time high school football coach, who led Cascade to the Class 4A state title last season, has retired.

“After 40 years of coaching football, I have announced my retirement,” Turner said in a release on CascadeFootball.com. “Next football season will be the first time since 1966 that I will not be part of a football team.”

Steve Turner

Steve Turner

Turner, 61, told Our Town that he plans to “travel, play some golf and do a little fishing.”

Turner said he made his decision during the holidays.

“My wife (Mary) and I took the break to think things out,” Turner said. “There was no real a-ha moment.”

Turner added that coming back to the Cascade area after 28 years coaching throughout Oregon was a positive fit for his family (the couple’s two sons live in Eugene).

He was a roaring success in his final four years, running up a 37-9 record that included a 4A semifinals appearance in 2012 as well as the 2015 title.

“Steve Turner has been an outstanding mentor to our student-athletes,” Cascade Athletic Director Heidi Hermansen told Our Town. “He knows the game of football well, and he has built a personal connection with every player in the program. Steve has built relationships with parents, and re-established relationships with community members.

THE TURNER FILE
Name: Steve Turner
Age: 61
Hometown: San Bruno, Calif.
Education: Willamette University
Family: wife Mary (retired, taught
elementary school for 24 years),
2 sons Robert and John
Coaching career: Cascade 1976-84
(includes 1980 state title);
Rainier (3 years as head coach);
North Medford (11 seasons as assistant coach,
includes 1993 state title);
Crook County (7 years as head coach);
Mountain View (7 years as head coach,
includes 2011 state title);
Cascade: 2012-2015 (37-9 record,
includes 2015 state title)

“I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with Steve the past four years. He is what every school wants their head football coach to be. We have large shoes to fill as we search for a replacement head football coach.”

Turner’s Cougars finished 12-1 this season, with the squad avenging its lone regular-season loss to Oregon West rival Philomath with a thrilling 35-34 win in the state quarterfinals. Cascade outscored Banks 42-21 in the semifinals and rallied from a 14-0 deficit to beat Scappoose 37-28 in the title game.

So what will Turner remember most about the magical 2015 campaign?

“How do you prioritize a season like this?” he said. “No moment was better than any other. The fun part is when you look back and talk about it with the players. As things are happening, you don’t look at it as special because you are pressing to win and move on.”

Hoops: This is the week in which things will start to sort themselves out for Oregon West Conference girls basketball squads. Top-ranked Cascade, No. 10 Stayton and No. 12 North Marion all entered the week 2-0 in league. However, Stayton hosted North Marion on Tuesday (after press time) and Cascade on Friday, with the Cougars hosting North Marion Feb. 2.

Both of the local squads are hot as a pistol. Cascade has won 14 in a row since a season-opening loss to a team from Hawaii. Stayton, meanwhile, is on a seven-game winning streak and the Eagles’ three losses are to Silverton, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, plus top 10 4A teams Seaside (No. 2) and Molalla (No. 7).

Wrestling: Cascade wrestling finished second at districts and sixth at state last season and coach Jason Lovell thinks he has another good batch ready to make its mark.

“This year we have had lots of dual meets,” Lovell told Our Town. “We started out a little slow and now are doing a lot better. The kids are working very hard in practice and we are starting to see big improvements. We have some returners that did well last year and are big contributors now,” noting Darien Fagin, Connor Kelly, Austin Brill, Collin Brill, Asa Alexander, Hayes VanDeHey, Seth Everetts, and Chris Allen.”

Also contributing for  the Cougars are freshman Devin Privratsky, Marshal Christman, who was injured last year, freshman Adam Stratemeyer, senior Sam Garee (5-0 at the Oregon Classic), James Baxter and 220-pound sophomore Louie Sanchez (also 5-0 at the Oregon Classic).

“I know we have some ranked wrestlers, but I honestly couldn’t tell you which ones,” Lovell said.. “Rankings really don’t mean anything. How they perform at the end of February is what is important.”

Cascade wrestles in district competition Feb. 19-20, with the state meet Feb. 26-27.

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