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Champs again – Future Foxes claim state title in girls hoops

By James Day

The Future Foxes sixth-grade girls are on a roll.

The squad won its second consecutive state championship last month in Bend and Redmond by capturing the gold division. Last year the squad won the fifth grade competition.

Payton Brautigam was named player of the year and her father Dave earned coach of the year honors. Mirren Knudsen was named to the first team and Clara Scamahorn received honorable mention.

“We are so unbelievably proud of our kiddos,” coach Brautigam said. “They absolutely battled this season and had to fight with a target on their backs all season long. We spent a majority of our season playing up a grade level and against club teams. The players, parents, and fans represented Foxes’ nation with class and dignity this weekend. These kids fight on every possession, every single game and play as a team.”

The Future Foxes finished this season with a 31-5 record and are 73-9 in the past three years.

“I’m unbelievably proud of your heart, desire, and relentlessness to get better as individual and as a team,” said Coach Brautigam, who also thanked the team’s sponsors, Timothy Yount of Edward Jones and John’s Waterproofing.

Football: Silverton has moved into Class 5A’s Special District 2 for the upcoming fall season. Because it is a six-team league (also including Canby, Central, Woodburn, McKay and Wilsonville) the Foxes get to play four non-league games. They include two 6A teams, Lake Oswego and Mountainside of Beaverton as well as 5A teams Summit of Bend and West Albany. Summit (7-5) made the 5A semifinals a year ago and West Albany (8-3) lost to Silverton in the quarterfinals. Lake Oswego (6-4) and Mountainside (7-4) both played in the 6A brackets.

“This has gotta be one of the toughest preseason schedules in the state,” Foxes coach Dan Lever told
Our Town
. “We want to push ourselves. If you play good teams it helps you later on. We’re all about preparing ourselves for November.”

Track & Field: Longtime Foxes coach Erik Cross has a bit of a problem. More than 200 athletes turned out for track and field this season, far more than the pre-pandemic highs of about 175.   

Logistically, it’s a nightmare. Organizing practices is a challenge, even with the 11 coaches Cross has on hand. How do you set up a meet when 120 athletes want to compete in the 100 meters?  

“The league doesn’t like us,” Cross said.

Also, traveling to an away meet requires four full-size school buses and two mini buses. The good news is that you can score a lot of points at meets with 200 athletes and many of those 100 stalwarts ultimately can be talked into trying something else, such as longer races and the long jump. Asked how he was doing, Cross said, “I’m tired.”

Signings: Silverton High football stars Xavier Orozco and Brody Sullivan have finalized their college plans, with Orozco selecting Linfield University and Sullivan signing with Lincoln University of Oakland, California. Orozco, a defensive lineman, and running back Sullivan announced their plans at a March 18 signing ceremony in the gymnasium.

Other Foxes athletes who have signed in recent days include:

Kyleigh Brown, basketball, Portland State

Alexis Haury, volleyball, Washington

Braezen Henderson, softball, Northwest Nazarene

Makayla Rose, cross country, Corban University

Sidney King, soccer, Umpqua Community College

Kate Kofstad, softball, Carroll (Montana) College

Cade Wynn, baseball. Mt. Hood Community College

Wrestling: The Frenzy at the Festhalle turned into an overtime wrestling thriller on March 16. Twin brothers Jared Wilson, the coach at Silverton, and Jeff Wilson, the coach at Sherwood, took to the mat to continue their family rivalry, with Jared winning a 6-4 decision that required extra time. And produced minor amounts of blood. A large, appreciative crowd turned out for the bout, part of the Foxes’ annual fund-raising banquet. Jared told Our Town that he was really sore for the next couple of days.

Dance & Drill: Silverton participated in two events at the OSAA dance and drill competition March 15-16 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion in Salem. The team scored 78.11 points to finish 5th in Class 5A-4A-3A-2A-1A jazz and accumulated 78.75 points while taking seventh in Class 5A-4A-3A-2A-1A traditional. Longtime power Valley Catholic won both categories, scoring 87.69 in traditional and 85.42 in jazz. The Mid-Willamette Conference put on a good show, with South Albany and West Albany taking third and fourth, respectively, in traditional and Lebanon taking second and South Albany finishing sixth in jazz.

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