Mid-Willamette Conference plays gets underway for the Silverton soccer squads this week, with both teams hoping to be contenders in the tough Class 5A league.
The boys squad is 3-0-2 and ranked No. 4 in Class 5A. The girls are 1-2-1 but have had to cope with the loss of three scheduled matches because of COVID protocols.
Boys coach Marty Limbird has 11 returning players and nine newcomers, which he told Our Town “makes for a young, or fairly inexperienced team where we are leaning on the returning players a lot.”
Juniors Carlos Flores, Jason Leon and Ezra Bradford are providing much of the offense.
“We are dangerous attacking from multiple positions,” Limbird said, “but for us it will come down to tightening up and staying disciplined defensively that we will continue to have to refine.”
Key defenders include senior center back Solomon Moore and senior midfielder Dominic Doyle. “They are huge pieces through the center of the field for us,” Limbird said.
Sophomore Travis Grimes and senior Brady Mykisen give the squad a solid one-two punch in goal.
“We have the toughest 5A league, with 5 to 6 of our teams in the top 10 in the state,” Limbird said. “This makes every league game a big game. It will be mentally tough, physically and technically challenging, but that’s what we play for, and it definitely makes coaching fun and challenging, too”
The girls squad returns 14 players, led by senior captains Marissa Johnston, Natasha Fink, Allannah Sessoyeff and Carmen “CJ” Shepard.
Foxes coach Gary Cameron noted that “Marissa is very experienced and skilled attacking midfielder, Natasha is a very physical outside defender, with a very high work rate, Allanah returns as a forward and CJ moves to forward from the D line.”
Cameron added that the squad has 13 players who have started six games or more in their career, and a few of those have started 30 or more games “so we are fairly experienced.”
“Conference is tough again,” Cameron said, “with the usual contenders. I expect us to compete for the title.”
Football: Silverton and Kennedy both came into the week at 3-1 and highly ranked in their respective classes. The Foxes are No. 2 in Class 5A, with their lone loss a 35-28 defeat at the hands of Tualatin, which is 4-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class 6A. Kennedy lost for the first time last Friday, a 34-28 home defeat at the hands of Heppner. The Mustangs are ranked No. 2 in Class 2, with Kennedy one spot behind at No. 3.
Cross Country: Silverton and Kennedy hosted the Silver Falls Oktoberfest Invitational on Sept. 15, with more than 30 schools and nearly 400 runners participating on a pleasant day with temperatures in the mid-60s at Silver Falls State Park. The event was severely limited last spring because of COVID.
Silverton showed its strength, taking fifth in the boys race, third in the girls and also won the girls JV race.
Logan Parker of Mountain View won the boys 5-kilometer race in 16:18.7. Silverton was led by Makani Buckley (16th, 18:06.3) and Carter Gauvin (20th, 18:13.4).
Ava Betts of Corvallis won the girls race in 19:36.6. Freshman Rachel Kintz finished 12th in 21:29.7 to lead Kennedy to a sixth-place finish. Hannah Bashor (23rd, 22:37.9) led the way for third-place Silverton.
The Foxes won the girls junior varsity race with 29 points, 28 better than runner-up South Albany. Silverton placed all five scoring runners in the top 10 in the 3.4K event: Sarah Kurns (3rd, 16:14.2), Paige Traeger (4th, 16:15.4), Paige Davisson (6th, 16:21.7), Joanne Noordam (7th, 16:23.9) and Addie Bashor (10th, 16:28.2).
Silverton also finished fifth in the boys JV race, led by third-place finisher Kellen Hayter, who ran 12:58.9.
Volleyball: Silverton was 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the Mid-Willamette Conference heading into this week’s play. The Foxes are ranked No. 6 in Class 5A, with the league also including No. 1 West Albany and No. 2 Crescent Valley. Silverton is in third place in the MWC. Four teams qualify for the Class 5A playoffs.
Redistricting: The Oregon School Activities Association committee working on new leagues for the next four-year cycle is looking at a five-class system as well as one that continues the current six-class approach.
The five-class model would move Silverton into a league with McNary, Sprague, McKay, North Salem, South Salem and West Salem. Also joining the new league would be South Albany and West Albany from the current 5A Mid-Willamette Conference. The MWC would become a Class 4A league and would include Cascade, Central, Dallas, Lebanon, Molalla, Stayton, Sweet Home and Woodburn.
The six-class plan would keep Silverton in a 5A league. Both the five-class and six-class proposals would keep Kennedy in Class 2A.
The committee meets
Oct. 11, Nov. 1 and Nov. 22 before presenting its final recommendation to the executive board on Dec. 13. The new league structure will take effect in the fall
Alumni Watch: Former Silverton athlete Jori Paradis of Concordia-Irvine was named PacWest Conference cross country athlete of the week for her performance in a Sept. 18 invitational at UC-Riverside. Paradis took 14th, finishing the 6K course in 21:23.6.
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