Emotional win: Stayton victorious on new turf field

October, 2016 Posted in Community, Other, People, School, Sports & Recreation

James DayStayton High, led by the heroics of defensive back Aidan Hill, pitched a
6-0 shutout against Sweet Home on Sept. 16 while inaugurating the new artificial turf on its football field.

“Getting the win at home on the new turf was awesome,” second-year Coach Andy Campbell told Our Town. “Our kids, school and community deserved that win. The atmosphere was great. Students, parents and alumni stormed the field after the last-second interception that sealed the game for us.”

Hill had four interceptions for the Eagles, who struggled offensively. “He found himself in the right spot all night which was set forth by a great pass rush underneath him,” Campbell said of Hill.

The Eagles are 1-2 and had an unanticipated bye Sept. 23 because Philomath canceled its season amid a hazing investigation.

That means Stayton had an extra week to prepare for the Sept. 30 game at rival Cascade, the defending Class 4A state champions.

The Cougars are 2-2 and coming off a 60-8 thumping of Yamhill-Carlton in their Oregon West opener. Cascade is ranked 12th in Class 4A under first-year Coach Brandon Bennett.

“Our biggest focus right now is the little things,” Bennett told Our Town. “We are creating good habits from how we practice, the locker room, to our individual techniques. Being a disciplined mistake-free football team will help us as the season progresses.”

Bennett praised the leadership of Justin White, J Mix, Brenden Murphy and Quinn Legner, who are up from last year’s junior varsity squad. “They have played huge roles as verbal leaders,” Bennett said. “It has been a nice surprise.”

Santiam has ripped off a 4-0 start and the Wolverines are ranked No. 7 in the OSAA’s Class 2A ratings. It’s the fastest start since the 2009 Santiam squad opened 7-0. The Wolverines are in their second year under Coach Dustin McGee, who was 4-5 in year one.

“I know a lot of people didn’t expect a whole lot out of us this season,” McGee told Our Town, “but our coaching staff and players knew all throughout the winter and into the spring that we had a good team and that we could accomplish anything we put our minds to. We have an amazing group of young men representing Santiam. Very proud of what they’ve done so far.”

Santiam has outscored its opponents 144-54 heading into the Sept. 30 Tri-River Conference opener against No. 12 Central Linn (all five Tri-River squads currently are ranked in the top 12).

McGee offers a rather simple formula: depend on your offensive line and be physical on defense.

“Everything for our offense starts with those offensive linemen,” McGee said. “We don’t get caught up in individual stats because we know none of it would happen if those big guys up front weren’t executing their jobs on every play.”

Defensively McGee said “those guys have really taken the physical style of play that we have tried to incorporate and ran with it. As a group, guys are focusing on doing their jobs and making the unit work as a whole, instead of individual parts.”

Regis, which opened Tri-River play Sept. 30 at home vs. Kennedy, is 2-2 and ranked No. 9. The Rams’ two losses were to Class 3A Dayton and No. 3 Stanfield by a total of nine points.

Soccer: Stayton, which has won or shared the past six Oregon West boys titles, is off to a 5-0-1 start, and the Eagles are ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by the OSAA. The Eagles are 2-0 in the Oregon West, and the only blemish so far is a 2-2 draw against No. 11 Molalla.

Oregon West foe Newport is 4-1-1 overall and 1-0-1 in league and ranked second in the state behind Stayton. The two teams play to Oct. 4 in Newport and close the season with a match in Stayton. The Eagles won the 2010 state title and were runners-up in 2011 and 2015.

The Cascade girls, meanwhile, are off to a 5-0 start and are ranked No. 2 by the OSAA. The Cougars, who won the Oregon West a year ago and lost in the state playoffs to eventual runner-up Brookings Harbor, are 2-0 in league and have outscored their opponents 18-1.

Volleyball: Cascade also is off to a hot start in volleyball, where the Cougars are 9-2 overall, 4-0 in league and ranked No. 7 by the OSAA. Cascade is seeking its fourth consecutive Oregon West title.

Cross country: Cascade’s girls team won the Santiam Christian Invitational on Sept. 21 and the boys finished third.

“I feel like they are developing as quickly as we hoped,” Cascade Coach Dan Petersen told Our Town. “With the work ethic on this team I have no doubt we won’t be disappointed with the results.”

Top returnees for the Cougars include Lizzie Mack and Celina Ciampi-Hicks, who are both three-time state meet qualifiers as well as sophomore Savanna Waters. Waters, Mack and Ciampi-Hicks finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, at the Santiam Christian meet. Senior Nate Lack also competed at state last year and finished second at Santiam Christian.

Freshman boys runner Kane Nixon (18th at Santiam Christian) “is clearly mentally and physically going to be outstanding,” Petersen said. “He’s been running varsity all season.”

Regis also competed at Santiam Christian. The girls finished fourth, led by Belen Martinez (19th) and Maureen Duncan (20th). The Rams’ boys squad finished eighth, led by freshman Sam Hernandez, who finished 19th in a personal best 19:18.09.

Regis hosts its Regis/Stayton Invitational on Oct. 6 at Stayton Middle School.

Stayton, meanwhile, hosted an invitational Sept. 21, with Churchill of Eugene claiming both the boys and girls team titles. Eagles junior Casey Pugh finished fourth in a seasonal best 17:12 to lead Stayton a runner-up boys finish. Freshmen Jessica Mitchell (personal best 25:21) and Bridget Spencer (25:22), finished 22nd and 23rd, respectively, to lead the Eagles’ girls squad.

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