New coach – Dan Lever chats about Silverton Fox football

July 2022 Posted in sports

James Day

I sat down with new Silverton football coach Dan Lever the other day after a morning workout. The setting was informal. His two kids, Hudson and Jade, were on hand, with swimming lessons next on the family’s summer schedule.

Lever, 36, who led Tualatin to the Class 6A championship game a year ago, takes over a Foxes program that has been operating at an extremely high level since 2012. Leaving out the 2020 COVID campaign, Silverton in the past nine seasons has won a Class 5A title, finished second once, made three other trips to the semifinals and twice advanced to the quarterfinals.

Last season was a magical one, with Josh Craig leading the squad to a 12-1 mark and a 26-20 win against Thurston of Springfield in the title matchup. The team’s lone loss, ironically, was a 35-28 non-league nailbiter against Lever’s Tualatin squad.

Silverton football coach, Dan Lever

Silverton football coach, Dan Lever

With Craig resigning for family reasons the torch is now passed to Lever, who lives with his family on a 20-acre spread in the Marquam/Monitor area. And while transition and change always can produce some hiccups and friction, this one seems to be moving forward fairly seamlessly.

“The kids have been great and the Silverton staff has been very welcoming,” Lever said. “There is a good tradition in place here. Every school operates a bit differently… where do you go to order equipment, that sort of thing. There is always some chaos involved.”

Clearly, though, given that recent record of success, there is less chaos at Silverton than elsewhere. And Lever notes that he isn’t making wholesale changes. Most of the staff that served under Craig and his predecessor, John Mannion, have been retained. The offensive structure will change from a conventional pro-set to a spread/multiple concept, but the defensive structure will stay the same.

“The roots of the program are strong and the kids are used to working hard,” Lever said.

Wins and losses don’t really enter into the equation at this point, he said.

“Our focus is always going to be on the process,” he said. “If you get too focused on the product you can lose your way. If you work hard at being a great human being… then good things are going to happen. How many wins and losses will be determined by how good we are at our process.”

The Silverton High trap shooting squad is shown amid rainy conditions at a national event in Michigan. From left are coach Fred Zurbrugg and athletes Everett Goode, Levi Haun, Jedrek Shetler, Oliver Zurbrugg and Lucas Sperle.

The Silverton High trap shooting squad is shown amid rainy conditions at a national event in Michigan. From left are coach Fred Zurbrugg and athletes Everett Goode, Levi Haun, Jedrek Shetler, Oliver Zurbrugg and Lucas Sperle.

Lever also recognizes the way football can help knit a community together.

“This is one of the best classrooms on campus,” he said. “Everyone is welcome. We need to gather together over positive things more. I love looking into the stands and seeing people who don’t go to the same church or live in the same neighborhood sitting together and watching our players.”

Lever has finalized the schedule with a road trip to the Sacramento area, where the Foxes will take on Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills on Sept. 9. The contest is part of a series of games in Southern California and Sacramento called the Honor Bowl. Proceeds benefit wounded veterans. This will be the longest non-league road trip for the Foxes in recent memory.

Shooting: Silverton sent a team of five shooters to the USA Clay Target League nationals July 6-10 in Mason, Michigan. The competition went forward despite a heavy downpour during the Friday session. The Foxes scored 436 hits out of 500 shots in team competition. It took a score of 464/500 to advance to the championship round. Jedrek Shetler qualified for the individual championship with a 93/100. He then turned in a 97/100 in the title round for a 190/200 total, but it took a 198/200 to land in the top 10. Shetler earned 3 patches for nailing 25 consecutive shots, while teammates Lavi Haun and Oliver Zurbrugg received one apiece. Also participating for the Foxes were Everett Goode and Lucas Sperle.

The team will reform for fall competition. Those interested in joining the program should contact coach Fred Zurbrugg at 503-932-5241.

New Coaches: Renee Cantrell has taken over for Gary Cameron as the girls soccer coach at Silverton, while Reilly Rosecrans assumes the volleyball position vacated by Kate O’Connor. We’ll have more on the new coaches in our Aug. 15 edition.

Got a news tip? Email me at [email protected] 

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.