By Jeremy McDonald
As one year ends and another begins, I just wanted to go back and share a few stories I was able to witness and cover this season. I know I may have missed a few so my apologies ahead of time haha.
Here is the list:
#7 One Streak Ends As Another Begins. Coming off of their 5A State Championship defeat the year before, Dallas Softball snapped Henley’s 32-game winning streak when they bulit a 5-0 lead en route to a 8-3 win in March as the Lady Dragons started the season 25-0 before falling in the opening round of the season to Crater.
#6: Central’s Kaleb Kantola pitched a gem of all gems for the Dallas Post 20 Dirtbags in the American Legion Triple-A State Playoff Second Round versus the State Champs in Medford. But though Kantola pitched a 101 pitch, seven-inning game, the Dirtbags couldn’t land a blow versus the Mustangs in the 1-0 game.
#5: McKay Boys Stun #2 Sprague In Double-OT: The Scots, who were hovering around 32nd in the State at the time of their early February game with number two Sprague, went toe-to-toe with the Olympians eventually squeaking out the 90-83 win on Senior Night. Sprague would go on to reach the second-round of the 6A playoffs, McKay reached the 6A Play-In Round.
#4: Jefferson Girls Basketball Snaps 25-Year Playoff Drought with win over Gervais. The last time the Lions made the Field of 16 Bracket, it was 1993. And against a Cougars team that featured five Seniors and five freshman, Jefferson found a way to get past Gervais to break into the bracket this Century.
#3: Stayton Senior American JBO Improbable Comeback. With a team consisting of mostly eighth-graders, found themselves down to their final three-outs in the seventh inning for the State Championship to Banks down 9-1. As improbable as it was, the Eagles tied the game up at 9 and won it an inning later for the 10-9 State Championship in eight innings.
#2: Cascade Equestrian Takes First In Drill And The Special Moment. The Cougar Equestrian team came out at the Fairgrounds in Albany and dominated the Drill portion of the District Meet in April, but it was a special moment after it was over when Hope Riesterer and her aunt hugged over Riesterer’s aunt giving Hope ownership of 13-year-old Loxley.
#1: North Salem’s Daniel Alexander get’s his crack at the plate. Alexander, a Junior at North Salem with disabilities, had been one of the North Salem 13 on their baseball team this past Spring when he got his opportunity at the plate after helping the team all season long.
David Rubio Winning State. The Scots Wrestler became the first McKay State Champion since the early 2000’s when he won the 170 Pound State Title
The Last Ride of the Class of 2018 of the Cascade High School Senior Class as they reached the State Finals this past March, finishing second to Marshfield.
Going off of the previous story, the Salem Academy Girls and Dayton Girls basketball team ended their High School careers to where the rivalry between them all started…the 3A State Title Game.
Sheridan’s football season, where they won a league title and reached the playoffs in a long time, came to an end all too soon to the hand of eventual State Champions in Kennedy in the second round of the postseason.
Amity’s Zac Blake has a tattoo on his right arm of a basketball that shows the love of the sport that currently has the Warrior alum playing at the next level at Multnomah University.
The NW Vandals 14U, based in Salem, had to work their way to the Western National Title in Medford by winning three-straight games to nab the title by day’s end.
After finishing in the Top 6 the year before, North Marion came back and finished third in 4A in 2018 with their win over Banks.