Historic season for Stayton runners

December, 2016 Posted in School, Sports & Recreation

James DayThe Stayton High boys cross country team took fifth place Nov. 5 in the OSAA Class 4A boys cross country championships at Lane Community College.

The Eagles, who won their first district title Oct. 29 at the Oregon West Conference championships, were led by Casey Pugh, who finished 10th overall in 16:53. Also scoring were Matthew Frazeur (26th, 17:22), Troy Saari (35th, 17:31), Brody Johnson (60th, 18:20) and Ben Kirby (69th, 18:26). Also participating for Stayton were Dylan Cudd (78th, 18:34) and Isaac Nieto (86th, 18:46).

Pugh, Frazeur and Saari finished second, third and fifth to lead the charge at district.

The Stayton High boys cross country team won the Oregon West Conference district title and took fifth at the Class 4A state meet. In a photo at state are, from left, Troy Saari, Casey Pugh, Brody Johnson, Dylan Cudd, Ben Kirby, Matthew Frazeur and Isaac Nieto.

The Stayton High boys cross country team won the Oregon West Conference district title & took fifth at the Class 4A state meet. In a photo at state are, from left, Troy Saari, Casey Pugh, Brody Johnson, Dylan Cudd, Ben Kirby, Matthew Frazeur and Isaac Nieto.

“I was very excited for the boys,” Eagles coach Erin Holm told Our Town. “They knew that Stayton had never won a district title and put in a lot of time and focus on achieving it. I felt during our summer training that we had a group that should make it to state but wasn’t sure to what level we would be able to compete. Our district is very competitive so there really were about four teams that I thought would be in the hunt at the end of the season.”

Of the state meet Holm said “overall the boys ran really solid considering the wet and muddy conditions. I was very happy at how hard they competed that day.”

Pugh made a huge jump from 46th last year when he ran as an individual. The future also looks bright given that all of the Stayton runners are coming back next year.

“They all know what it will take next season where I think they will be in the hunt for the state title,” Holm said.

In addition to the boys’ performance freshman Jessica Mitchell also qualified for state as an individual and finished 35th in 21:30. Mitchell was fifth at districts.

Football: Cascade, the defending Class 4A champions, made another strong run in the playoffs, advancing to the semifinals despite a No. 15 seed.

The Cougars shared the Oregon West title with Stayton and North Marion, but caught fire once the playoffs began, traveling to Klamath Falls to pound No. 2 Mazama 40-21 and to Roseburg to smack South Umpqua 34-21. The run ended with a 48-20 loss to undefeated Cottage Grove in the semifinals.

“Our boys love to play on the road,” first-year coach Brandon Bennett told Our Town. “They also enjoy the underdog role. It gets them pumped to know everyone is betting against them. The Mazama game was our first game all year that we were healthy. Plus with a bye week we were able to make some changes up front and get on track. The South Umpqua game was more of the same.  The boys came out on fire.”

Cottage Grove led 389-370 in the total offense yardage battle in the semifinals; the Cougars hurt the cause with five turnovers.

“In big games it comes down to who makes the fewest mistakes,” Bennett said. “They are a good football team and capitalized on most of the mistakes we made.”

The Cougars placed six players on the all-Oregon West team, led by linebacker Cota Wakem, the co-defensive player of the year, and Dominic Federico, the lineman of the year. Also on the first team were offensive/defensive lineman Cody Teal, wide receiver Michael Biddington, and defensive backs Kevin Kuenzi and Justin White.

Running back Justin Marcott, guard Louie Sanchez and defensive back Brandon Martin made the second team, while quarterback Quinn Legner, tight end J Mix, running back Isaiah Roniger and linebackers Kade Van De Hey and Riley Morris received honorable mention.

Stayton and Santiam, meanwhile, both showed continued development in their second years under new management. Andy Campbell led Stayton to a co-title in the Oregon West, the first football league title for the Eagles since 2009. Stayton lost in the play-in round to Baker, finishing 4-4.

Eagles junior Jerry Daniels shared OWC offensive player of the year honors with North Marion’s Hunter Martin and was co-defensive player of the year with Cascade’s Wakem. Also on the first team for the Eagles were tight end Ryan Beresford, linebacker Jacob Jungwirth and defensive back Dean Bodi. On the second team were quarterback Aidan Hill, tackle Sean Taylor, punter/wide receiver Kurtys Hernandez, linebacker Andrew Kuenzi and defensive backs Ryan Burton and Cade Nau. Earning honorable mention were running back Seth Dailey, tackle Andrew Kuenzi and wide receiver Brayden Neuharth.

Santiam improved from 4-5 to 7-4 under second-year coach Dustin McGee. The Wolverines won 35-20 at Lost River in the Class 2A playoffs before losing in the quarterfinals to No. 2 Stanfield, 13-0. It marked the first winning season for Santiam since 2009; the first playoff win since 2008.

Lineman Randall Klagge was a first-team all-Tri-River Conference pick on offense and defense for the Wolverines. Also on the first team were defensive back Jordan Lanham and linebacker Dustin Keys. Lineman Jackson Klagge was a second-teamer on both sides of the ball, with running back Trevor Tinney and wide receiver Lanham also on the list. Earning honorable mention were quarterback Riley Nicot, running back Kraig Arndt, lineman Keys, defensive back Kole Amaral and Tinney at linebacker.

Soccer: Emma Woods of Cascade shared Oregon West Conference girls player of the year honors with Loren Rogers of Philomath. Woods led the Cougars to a co-title in the Oregon West. Cascade’s lone loss of the season came in a 3-2 defeat against Gladstone in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

Woods was joined on the first team by Brooklyn Petterson, Elisa Kanoff and Halee Wright. On the second were Jenica Wiebanga and Diana Colin-Martinez. Nyah Collins, Kelsey Molan and Maliah Russell received honorable mention.

Lupita Cruz and Silvia Gomez of Stayton were named to the second team and Valeria Navarro earned honorable mention.

The Stayton boys team, which finished second behind eventual state champion Newport in the Oregon West, placed seven players on the all-OWC team. Alex Cramer and Jose Navarro made the first team, David Gomez, Levi Summers, David Ramirez and Javier Hernandez were slotted on the second team and Jacobe Croff received honorable mention.

Cascade, meanwhile, place William Pelayo-Uribe on the first team, while Alexander Gutierrez and Rio Solano earned honorable mention.

Alumni watch: Former Cascade High and Western Oregon athlete Tyrell Williams continues to shine for the San Diego Chargers. Williams, in his second year in the league, has caught 43 passes for 720 yards and four touchdowns. His average of 16.7 yards per catch is 10th in the league and his yardage total is 16th. He leads the Chargers in receptions and yardage.

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