By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– In the world we’re living in nowadays, what happens tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. It’s a friendly reminder to live for the moment today.
Over the course the past few weeks both Cascade and Stayton have trained in part of the OSAA Season 1 guidelines, the Stayton boys and girls have gotten a few scrimmages in over that span while Thursday was the Cougars lone scrimmage of the session for both the guys and the girls.
It’s scary to think about it too. March is right around the corner and their season isn’t promised. So for the Seniors of the four programs Thursday, scrimmaging at Stayton High School, this could be the last time they’ll get to put on their school uniforms.
“It’s pretty scary, I mean I try not to think about it too much,” laughed the Cougars Lucy Roache. “Yesterday at practice we took our last picture and everything. It’s pretty scary but we’re really hopefully we get a season.”
“I’m definitely glad I get to play my last year. It would’ve sucked if it didn’t happen, but hopefully if things go how it suppose to…if we do have a season, we’ll still have a good season like we always do and hopefully we’ll make it last. Hopefully it’s a good memory,” adds the Eagles Omar Renteria.
Regardless if it’s the only time they’ll play, like Cascade, or their second, third game like Stayton, there’s nothing like ending it against your rival. The two schools are only separated by a seven mile stretch on Shaff Road.
“Oh man it’s good because we play them two times a year with them being in our conference, so with us getting our one game we get to play for sure against them. It’s going to be one of those games that I’m going to remember,” said the Cougars goalkeeper Dylen Wolf.
“We beat Stayton twice, both times at home. Those two are like the games that I think about; Stayton’s definitely a team…if it really is our last (game), I’m fine with it being them.”
Their 1-0 win in 2018 prevented Stayton from tying with Woodburn for the Oregon West Conference-title that season while their 1-0-win last season came on Cascade’s Senior Night. Both programs have well-known coaches with Chris Shields with the Eagles and Tim Farr with the Cougs.
The girl’s programs feature two new Head Coaches with former Cougar Head Coach Skip Collins at Stayton and Renee Cantrell taking over with the Cougars. This session has given both teams an opportunity to learn their new coaches while getting to know one another.
“We’re molding together pretty good, we’re all communicating better. We’re getting to know each other. It’s definitely a different team than last year and that was a struggle trying to get to know everyone, but I feel like that’s one thing this upcoming season we’ll be all working together. I feel like it’ll be a pretty good season come March,” said the Eagles Cassandra Hankins.
“I think these past few weeks to getting to know the coaches have been pretty good. He’s definitely has a really good coaching style and I think he’s going to benefit our team really well and I think we’ll go further than we did last year.”
The rain held off for the most part for the pair of scrimmages, Stayton taking both on the turf. The buzz of the lights above rang out through the two full-length scrimmages, and it got eerily quiet as they went off as the last few athlete’s and coaches walked off the pitch. Maybe for the last time this school year.
Memories for sure ring true through this time and putting on their school uniforms one more time with the hopes they’ll have a season on the other side of the New Year.
“(It means) a lot,” laughed Roache on playing. “It’s my favorite sport, so it means a lot that we get to at least get the three weeks in and one game.”
“Probably when I scored against Woodburn (my sophomore year), that was probably one of my favorite memories here. That was probably one of my favorite memories,” said Renteria. “Or any of the times we made it to the Finals.”
“It feels pretty good to be back touching the ball, working with our team and getting to know people we didn’t play with before,” adds Hankins.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald