Making history: Aqua Foxes capture first district title

March 2023 Posted in sports

James Day

“We just had an amazing year,” said Silverton High swimming coach Lucky Rogers.

What else could he say? Rogers’ Aqua Foxes, who historically have used their huge turnouts, depth and relay strength to even up the odds against schools with a high volume of club participants, won the Mid-Willamette Conference district girls title Feb. 10-11 at Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

The Aqua Foxes totaled 388 points, 18 more than Crescent Valley. Silverton’s boys, meanwhile, took 3rd with 262 points, trailing Crescent Valley and West Albany.

“I always expect us to perform very well at districts, but this year was amazing,” said Rogers, who collected the first district title in his eight years leading the swim program. “We totally outperformed what I thought we were capable of  – boys and girls.”

Catherine Hyde.  File Photo

Catherine Hyde. File Photo

Leading the way for the girls was Catherine Hyde, who won the 100 free and 100 back. It was the fourth consecutive backstroke district title for Hyde, who closed out her high school career with school records in six of the eight individual races as well as being a participant on two of the three relay record-holders.

“She participated in 16 events at state, the most possible and first Aqua Fox to do so,” Rogers said.

“That is also because of her wonderful teammates – can’t do relays without them.”

The heralded Aqua Foxes depth once again proved crucial at districts. Silverton swimmers won seven consolation/B finals, earning 63 team points. Rogers noted that the C.V. girls had 12 swimmers competing on the meet’s second day, while the Foxes had 17.

At the Feb. 17-18 state meet at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton, Silverton’s boys, led by freshman Nolan Horner, finished eighth with 12 points, while the girls were 11th with four.

Horner took fourth in both the 50 free and 100 free and helped the 200 free relay team to fifth place and the 200 medley relay team to sixth. Joining him on the free relay were Cade Mantie, Carter Daniel and Sawyer Beckman, while Joey Walker, Nathan Barnes and Beckman also swam on the medley foursome. Hyde, meanwhile, took third in the 100 free to account for the girls team points.

Kennedy sent one swimmer, Cameron Miller, who finished fifth in the 100 back and sixth in the 100 butterfly to earn the Trojans team points.

Wrestling: Kennedy, led by 113-pound champion Adam Beltran, captured second place in the 15-team Class 2A-1A Special District 1 championships at Knappa. It was the second consecutive district championship for Beltran, who was named most outstanding wrestler for the lower weights. Beltran also recorded a lightning quick nine-second pin in the championship match.

13 of coach Dewey Enos’ 20 wrestlers finished in the top 6 in their weight classes. In addition to Beltran they are Timmy Fennimore (5th at 106), Kira Boitano (4th at 106), Julio Reyes Hernandez (6th at 113), Jesus Espinoza (3rd at 120), Angel Lopez (6th at 126), Grant Bruner (4th at 145), Zach Talbot (5th at 152), T-Boy Este (6th at 152), Maverick Maynard (6th at 182), Matthew Chapman (4th at 195) and Daniel Lopez Sanchez (6th at 220).

Silverton, meanwhile, took 4th in the Class 5A Mid-Willamette Conference district meet at the Salem Armory behind Dallas, West Albany and Lebanon.

“Districts went well,” Foxes coach Jared Wilson told Our Town. “There are always some great wins and some heartbreakers at culminating wrestling tournaments. Overall, I’m proud of how hard everyone competed.”

Brash Henderson (220) and Oscar Marks (160) captured district titles, while Bo Zurcher (132), Joshua Jones (152) and Steven King (182) finished second. Kingston Meadors (3rd, 106), Dalton Richie (4th, 285) and Zachary Lulich (5th, 195) all contributed valuable team points.

Wilson had strong words of praise for Jones and Lulich.

“Lulich was unseeded and took fifth,” Wilson said. “He came back and beat some kids that he lost to previously this season. It’s always great to see kids out wrestle their seed. And Joshua Jones beat a kid in the semis that he had lost to twice before to get to the finals.”

Kennedy and Silverton’s boys and girls teams wrestled in the OSAA state championships in Portland after Our Town’s presstime. See our March 15 edition for the results.

Boys Basketball: Kennedy is one win away from a return to the Class 2A state tournament in Pendleton. The No. 2 Trojans captured the Tri-River Conference title with a pulse-pounding 55-53 win at Santiam on Feb. 18 and hosted Portland Christian after Our Town’s presstime in the first round of the playoffs.

The matchup with No. 15 Portland Christian marks the first state playoff game at home in coach Karl Schmidtman’s 11 years at the school. “We’re excited to be in this position,” Schmidtman told Our Town, “and we’re hoping to play well and give us a chance in Pendleton.”

The Trojans advanced to Pendleton a year ago as the No. 9 seed and lost to No. 1 Western Christian and No. 12 Bonanza.

Kennedy, which lost to Santiam by three and seven points during the regular season, built up a 43-30 lead in the third matchup and then held on for dear life as the Wolverines rallied to tie it at 45-45 on a Quentin Clark three-pointer with 4:24 left. But the Trojans steadied the ship behind six points from Brett Boen down the stretch. Boen finished with 18 points and was supported by 12 from Charlie Beyer and eight from Ethan Kleinschmit.

The all-Tri-River Conference team was announced after the title game, with Kennedy earning five spots. Kleinschmit made the first team, Boen the second, Charlie Beyer the third and Luke Beyer and William Schaecher received honorable mention.

Girls Basketball: Silverton was two wins away from a Mid-Willamette Conference title at Our Town press time. The Foxes were 14-2 in league play, ranked No. 2 in Class 5A and all but assured of a home match in the first round of the playoffs. Junior guard Kyleigh Brown continues to shine for the Foxes. She scored 32 points in a 61-29 home win vs. Corvallis on Feb. 17 and 31 more in a 52-40 loss Feb. 21 at Crescent Valley.

Alumni Watch: Former Foxes swimmer Maggie Kelley helped Linfield University take home the women’s team title in the Northwest Conference championships, held Feb. 9-12 in Federal Way, Washington. Kelley, a junior, took seventh in the 50 free, eighth in the 100 free and swam legs on the 400 free relay and 200 free relay squads, both of which finished first.

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