By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– In 19/20 years or so of coaching, this one has been one of those unique one’s for Stayton Head Coach Chris Shields. Keeping the kids involved with workouts and scrimmages waiting to see when their season will bring.
Mix in Newport, who’s county is dropping to the ‘Moderate’-risk category, not wanting to play teams in the ‘High’ or ‘Extreme’ levels has thrown an even more of a screwball into things with games scheduled to start next week.
“It’s been unique. It’s not been that crazy in the sense that we’ve been practicing, we’ve been doing games,” “It’s not like we haven’t been doing some of the regular things or stuff, it’s just the uncertainty of when we’re going to start. The uncertainty of who we’re going to play. I think that becomes a bigger factor than anything.
“But yeah, I’m excited. I think the boys are excited, I wish the season was a little longer. I think the five-weeks are a very short-season. Overall, it’s going to be good.”
Season 1 had given them opportunities to finetune the little things, putting them in practice as they scrimmaged against teams like Cascade, Tillamook and Silverton in the process of improving as a team.
“We got a lot of practices in, more drills in. Play as a team, communicate and try to finish more of those chances that we get,” said Jayden Esparza. “At least there’s a season and we’re playing. We’re happy, a small little league. We’re just glad to be out here.”
As they wait and see if they get a game scheduled for the Week of March 4, their next solidified game beyond the initial March 4 game will be at Cascade to play the Cougars in this unique season.
With a Senior heavy crew that features Seniors like Omar Renteria, Erick and Carlos Gomez, Julian Flores, etc. it’s nice they get to have something as they move into the regular season worth of games. For Shields, he wishes there was more there for them those under that Senior Class know the impact they have left behind as they all embark on one last journey together.
“They helped me a lot because they would always communicate and talk to me. Moving me around the field and that helped me do the same for others, especially going into my senior year too (next year),” said Esparza of the Seniors.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald