By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– Who would have guessed when they entered the 2016 5A Playoffs as the 11th-seed and the third-best team out of the Mid-Willamette Conference the journey that the Silverton Lady Foxes embarked en route to the State Championship Game versus La Salle Prep.
They methodically moved through the playoffs with the highlight being when they upset the four-time 5A State Champions in Summit 4-3 to advance to the State Championship game. There, they pushed a really good Spartan team to PK’s before falling 4-2 there for second at State.
“Just no one expecting it, it was crazy. It was like you were in a dream,” said Savannah Reilly, who’s entering her junior year and was a second-team selection in 2016. “Like we went up there (to Summit), we had our pep-talks from our coaches and one another and then it all just happened…what we’ve all been practicing for forever, just happened.
“And then we went to the finals, it was pretty intense I could tell (Head Coach) Gary (Cameron) was definitely nervous and Fred (Geroge) was too, but having each other around was it helpful. That we all had each other for support and it was disappointing at first on what happens with the PKs and stuff, but then you step back and look back and you look and were like, ‘whoa, we’re here’. I mean the experience was amazing.”
Though Reilly (Bone Spur) and Co-Captain Brylee Mead (ACL) are coming off injuries this year, them along with co-captain 2016 First-teamer and senior Maggie Roth are all going to lead a relatively youthful squad this year looking to carry that momentum into 2017.
And Roth points to how important that leadership is going to be this season for the team.
“Leadership is one of the key…is going to be a key points on this team,” said Roth. “So it’s going to be super important for us to have leadership because a selection few of us that know that how the Fox play and what we’re use to; so it’s going to be our job to show those kids, be good role models to them and show them by our own actions how we do it and just help them along the way so they can do that when they’re older.”
A returner though not a household name that’ll too help the younger athletes in the transition to Varsity is a somewhat unfamiliar name outside of the Silverton Family:
Having starting soccer in eighth-grade the rise of Sinn has been remarkable, going from one of the JV teams to the starting Varsity lineup as a defender by her sophomore year
“Obviously it was exciting, I just felt very nervous at first at the beginning, you really want to help your team and you just want to work hard for your team,” said Sinn who started all but Senior Night as a sophomore en route to a Honorable Mention nod in 2016.
In 2017, Sinn once more will make a move. This time to the front line as a forward, and the junior did not think twice about the move once she was approached about the move.
“I doubt myself, but I don’t doubt my coach so obviously he sees something and so I’m just going to work as best as I can to be as he thinks as I can be and help our time the best that I can,” said Sinn.
As for helping the young, the possible future captain is going to be learning from this years captains for that moment, but speaks to her personal experience of gaining confidence as she once did.
“Honestly I think they just need the confidence,” said Sinn. “I’m sure that they get intimated but once you have confidence and you put your mind to it, you can do anything,” said Sinn.
And as they prep for their scrimmage this Friday and their jamboree at Woodburn next Thursday, it’s just prep of what’s to come with the what is called a ‘College Football’-sic schedule with some powerhouse teams on the schedule.
South Salem, West Salem, La Salle Prep and Churchill to name a few to prepare them for Conference; and with them knowing that they have a target on their backs, they’re slowly embracing it as champions.
“Really the only thing we can do is push past that and just show that we can do this again,” said Mead on not thinking about what other teams perceive them being 5A’s Runner-Ups at State. “Other teams are going to be aware of that too and hopefully we can look past that, we can’t just think about that honestly.”
The kick-off time for the scrimmage is at 10am at the Varsity soccer field.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald