State champs! Mount Angel JBO team shines in tournament

September 2022 Posted in sports

James Day

A group of Mount Angel-based 3rd- and 4th-graders have brought back a Junior Baseball Organization state title.

The team, coached by Nathan Pratt, won four consecutive games in the July 15-17 minor American event in Lebanon and outscored opponents 52-10. The team downed a team from Stayton 17-0 in four innings in the championship game.

“I thought we had a chance,” said Pratt, who is an assistant coach at Chemeketa Community College. “We had been playing well and only lost one game in the district tournament. But we definitely played our best baseball of the year at state.”

Blake Panuke led the pitching corps with a perfect game in the title matchup with Stayton. Panuke, who also came on to close out Mount Angel’s 11-6 second-round win against Newport, struck out all 12 batters he faced in the championship game.

The Mt. Angel Junior Baseball Organization minor American squad which took home a state title last month in Lebanon. Back, left, Cash Oakley, Dean McClung, Walker Roney, Jackson Sellin, Blake Panuke, Lincoln Hoffer and Connor Rich. Front, left: Joseph Pratt, Blake Highsmith, Malachi Banducci and Hayden Jones.

The Mt. Angel Junior Baseball Organization minor American squad which took home a state title last month in Lebanon. Back, left, Cash Oakley, Dean McClung, Walker Roney, Jackson Sellin, Blake Panuke, Lincoln Hoffer and Connor Rich. Front, left: Joseph Pratt, Blake Highsmith, Malachi Banducci and Hayden Jones.

Joining Panuke on the roster were Walker Roney, Cash Oakley, Blake Highsmith, Connor Rich, Hayden Jones, Jackson Sellin, Lincoln Hoffer, Joseph Pratt, Dean McClung and Malachi Banducci.

Assisting Pratt were CJ Oakley and Michelle Dehut-Ellis.

A second Mount Angel squad competed in the junior American tournament in Milwaukie, but the team lost its first two games and did not advance.

Track Upgrade: Runners at Silverton High will have a nice, new surface this school year. Crews have just wrapped up the project, which was paid for by an anonymous donor, said Foxes cross country and track and field coach Erik Cross.

“We are so grateful,” Cross said. “The track has needed to be resurfaced for about 15 years and got so bad that we haven’t had home track meets since 2018.”

Cross noted that “there will be some changes as to how we use McGinnis Field to limit wear and tear of the new surface, but we’ll have a good plan in place that will be able to accommodate our high school and middle school track and field programs, Friday night football games, soccer games, graduation, other events, and allow for responsible community use as well.”

Homer Races: A pair of Crescent Valley High runners led the way at the Aug. 7 Homer Classic covered bridge run. Kanoa Blake, 18, won the 8-kilometer race in 26:09.8, more than a minute ahead of runner-up Tommy O’Neil, 18, of Canby. Emily Wisniewski, also of C.V., was the top female finisher in 29:05.7. She finished fifth overall. Kennedy’s Jeremiah Traeger and Rachel Kintz shined in the 2-mile run. Traeger, 16, won in 12:19.1, with Kintz taking 4th in 13:43.4 and tops among female runners. Just more than 100 individuals participated in the two events, with proceeds going to cross country programs in Silverton and Mount Angel.

Oktoberfest Fun Runs: The 10-kilometer and 5K fun runs associated with Oktoberfest are set for Sunday, Sept. 18 at Kennedy High School. The 10K costs $35 and the 5K $30. Fees go up $5 on race day. To sign up to race or to volunteer go to https://oktoberfest.org/oktoberfest-running-events. Proceeds benefit cross country programs at Kennedy, Silverton and Gervais.

Trampoline: Silverton’s Joseph Potter took home first place in the double mini trampoline event July 23-25 at the USA Gymnastics Stars & Stripes event in Phoenix, Arizona. Potter, who will be a seventh-grader at Silverton Middle School in the fall, competed in the boys level 5 division of the event. He qualified for the Stars & Stripes event with his performances in invitational events, the state meet and a regional competition. The Stars & Stripes event featured boys and girls in levels 5 through 7 and attracted approximately 600 athletes.

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