By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– It’s going to be an interesting year for the Stayton Eagles offense as the Ben Rash-Logan Classen continues to develop as the incoming seniors take a more leadership role entering the 2019 season for the young Stayton team.
“I think it’s important, but I think it’s just as important as everyone’s role. We all have a role on our team and everyone brings their own thing to the table,” said Rash. “I like being a vocal leader because it take communication to be able to play against, especially in 7-on-7, we really got to communicate.
“Someone has to be a vocal leader and everyone is doing it. I’m not the only vocal leader, we’re all vocal to be good on defense for sure.”
And that teamwork helped the Eagles reach the Semi-Final round of the Mountainside 7-on-7 tournament this past weekend where they dropped a tough semi’s game to 6A power Central Catholic.
The Rams, who won the 2013, 2014 State Titles in 6A, reached the Quarterfinals last year before falling to eventual State Champions Lake Oswego last season. There’s a humbling experience going up against teams like a Central Catholic this summer.
“When you go up divisions and start playing against those bigger, faster and stronger kids…they’re more physically advanced than kids in 4A, so when you put yourself up against them all the time it just makes you into a much better football player,” said Classen. “Thanks to coach for letting us go there and do something like that, Ben’s been killing it so we just got to keep doing that and the kids are doing great competing against all those really great schools.”
The Rash-Classen connection Wednesday morning against West Albany saw 15 targets for 12 receptions and a score as the two continue their longtime connection entering the season.
“Logan is a good leader and everyday in practice, one of his goals in practice is to lead the young guys because we’re pretty young and we don’t have a lot of old guys,” said Rash. “So Logan has to step it up everyday in practice and that’s what he’s doing.”
Leading guys like a Nick Frith and the freshman that are coming up the ways of what Randy Nyquist is expecting from them on a regular basis, Rash joked too that it makes his job easier seeing Classen stepping up in that fashion. And with plays being designed for the connection, it
“Me and Ben have had a connection for a while now, we’ve been best friends since we’ve been little and coach just draws up routes for us to get looks every single possession. So that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day is coach drawing up good routes and Ben throwing it in the right spots for us,” said Classen. “That’s what we’re liking and that’s what we’re continue it into the season.”
Stayton will host their jamboree on August 30 before opening the season at North Marion on September 6.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald