New coach: Stayton’s Nyquist took West Albany to three state titles

April, 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, School, Sports & Recreation

James DayRandy Nyquist wanted to come home, and Stayton had a place for him. Sometimes life is that simple.

Nyquist, who won 119 games and three Class 5A state championships in 15 years at West Albany and fielded three Class 6A playoff teams at Oregon City from 2014-16, is the new football coach at Stayton High.

Nyquist, 55, will teach physical education and health at the high school. He replaces Andy Campbell, who led the Eagles to the playoffs in his two seasons at the helm. Campbell will coach defensive linemen at Willamette University.

Nyquist’s 82-year-old father, Duane, farms 110 acres of grass seed and pumpkins near Jefferson.

“It was a challenge at Oregon City getting down here to help him,” Nyquist told Our Town in an interview at the high school. “I had some feelings about not being able to do that. Then this job came open and I thought I could still teach and coach and be close enough to my father to be able to help him.”


Randy Nyquist, the new football coach at Stayton High, won three state championships at West Albany.

Nyquist, who praised the administrative staff of Superintendent Andy Gardner, Principal Andy Kirby and Athletic Director Darren Shryock, said he thinks Stayton will be a good fit for his family. Four of his five daughters will be attending schools in the North Santiam School District.

“Stayton is a nice small town with hard-working people who have good values,” Nyquist said. “That’s attractive to me being a father and a husband.

“I’m excited. I’m excited about the challenge. I think it’s going to be fun. I know how to work hard and be a leader and a teacher and help the kids get where they want to go. As a football coach and teacher I want my kids to go out and be good husbands, fathers, sons and employees and develop the qualities to be successful in life.”

Shryock told Our Town that Campbell will be missed, but added that he is “ecstatic” about Nyquist joining the Eagles.

“Andy did great things for Stayton football. We were sad to see him move on to Willamette,” Shryock said. “Having said that, we are ecstatic Randy Nyquist is going to be our head football coach. He is a man of character who brings a proven record of winning with him. Hiring him is a coup for Stayton High School.”

Basketball: It’s been a long time coming for Santiam High. The Wolverines, who had not played for a state boys basketball title since 1976, scored their first crown since 1974 in dramatic fashion last month in Pendleton.

The fourth-seeded Wolverines, who pounded No. 1 Western Mennonite 53-33 in the semifinals, stormed back in the fourth period to down No. 2 Stanfield, 57-54, in the title game.

Santiam trailed 44-37 at the end of the third period but outscored Stanfield 20-10 in the final eight minutes. The Wolverines took the lead for good at 53-50 with 2:21 left on a four-point play by senior Julian Downey, who made the free throw after being fouled on a successful 3-pointer.

Downey scored 33 points and sophomore brother Jonah added 21 for Santiam. Both Downeys were named first-team all-tournament.

It was the second state title in three years for Julian Downey, who transferred to Santiam for his senior year after helping lead Silverton to a Class 5A title in 2015.

The Cascade girls, meanwhile, saw their state title dreams end in a quarterfinal loss to Seaside in the Class 4A tournament at Pacific University in Forest Grove. The top-seeded Cougars, who came into the tournament 20-0, gutted their way to a fourth-place finish without standout 6-0 junior Halle Wright, who was injured in the loss to Seaside.

Junior Kelsey Molan scored 20 points in a 41-36 win against Mazama and added 18 more in a 41-33 victory vs. North Marion in the game for fourth place. Molan was a second-team all-tournament selection.

Wrestling: Cascade junior Louie Sanchez turned in a dominating performance in the OSAA Class 4A state wrestling championships.

The 220-pound Special District 2 champion reeled off four impressive wins to take the state title Feb. 25 night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Sanchez, the No. 1 seed at the weight, won twice by pin and once by an 11-2 margin to get to the finals before dispatching No. 2 Spencer Wells of McLoughlin/Weston-McEwen 10-4.

Sanchez, who took third at 220 last year, helped the Cougars score 90 points and grab seventh place in the team race. Stayton, meanwhile, led by 120-pounder Ryan Ninman, was 23rd with 18 points.

Here are highlights for Stayton and Cascade wrestlers at state:

113: Cascade freshman Kane Nixon, the district champ and No. 2 seed, lost his opener but battled his way to five wins in the consolation bracket to take third place

120: Unseeded Ninman, a Stayton senior, advanced to the semifinals before losing to Tyler Cooper of Scappoose. Ninman finished fourth.

152: No. 6 Kade VanDeHey of Cascade advanced to the quarterfinals and finished fifth.

195: Cascade district champion James Van Agtmael advanced to the quarterfinals and wound up fifth

Alumni: Here is a look at how athletes with Santiam Canyon ties fared during the college season:

Cody Crawford, Cascade: The Oregon State University junior wrestler moved up to heavyweight this season and compiled a 24-9 record. He was 2-2 in the NCAA championships after taking second at the Pac-12 Tournament. Crawford, a three-time state high school champion at Cascade, is 75-33 lifetime at OSU.

Shelby Jenkins: The Salem Academy athlete from Stayton played 32 sets for the College of Southern Idaho volleyball team, which finished 27-6 and came within one match of advancing to the national junior college tournament. Jenkins, a 5-10 outside hitter/right side sophomore, had 27 kills and 53 digs.

Alix Biddington, Cascade: The 5-6 Oregon Tech sophomore guard played in 23 games for the Owls, scoring 15 points and adding eight rebounds in 149 minutes.

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