Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Honorees For October 8

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

Sprague’s Blaise Pearson (football), West Salem’s Jack Meier (Cross Country), South Salem’s Araeya Watanabe (Volleyball), West Salem’s Natalie Cunningham (Girls Soccer) and McKay’s Sydney Haines (Cross Country) were honored by the Salem Sports And Breakfast Club for October 8.

Here’s the Press Release:

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from Sprague Football, is Blaise Pearson.  Blaise, a senior, is a wide receiver and defensive back for the 3-2 Olys.  In the big win over undefeated McNary last Friday, Blaise had 5 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. The TD came on a 66 yard pass on a Logan Smith scramble with 11 seconds remaining in the game to pull out the victory over the Celts. (Congratulations to previous SSBC honoree Smith as well.) Coach Jay Minyard added that “Blaise is an outstanding young man and a great leader in our program.  He is a model student and has overcome a lot over the past year.”  Congratulations Blaise from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from West Salem Boys Cross Country, is Jack Meier.  Jack is a sophomore runner for the Titans.  At the Northwest Classic at Lane Community College, Jack finished 3rd in a talented field with a PR 15:39.9 leading the Titan boys to an overall 4th place finish. Coach Dalton Linsey added, “Jack has taken a huge step in his development this year as a runner and a leader. He kicked off the season with a huge PR of 15:45.7 at Ash Creek finishing 14th and followed up a week later with another PR of 15:39.9 in a 3rd place finish at the Northwest Classic. Most recently finished 15th at Nike Portland in a time of 15:45.6 despite taking some spiking to his leg. Jack shows up to practice and meets with a competitive attitude ready to tackle anything thrown at him and is capable of fighting through the pain to accomplish his goals. I am very proud of what he has been able to do thus far, and I look forward to seeing how he caps off the season.”  Congratulations Jack from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from South Salem Volleyball, is Araeya Watanabe.  Araeya, a senior and team captain, is an outside hitter for the 14-3 Saxons. In the 4 set win over West Salem last Tuesday, Araeya had 22 kills and 11 digs while passing a 2.36 out of 3 on serve receive. She followed that up with 13 kills and 6 digs in the 3 set win over McNary. Coach Matt Leichty adds that Araeya, “has been a leader and consistent performer all year. She has been playing great all season, but this week was exceptional, especially the match against West.” Congratulations Araeya from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!

West Salem’s Natalie Cunningham has three shutouts this season for the Titans, who are 3-5-2 on the year (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from West Salem Girls Soccer, is Natalie Cunningham.  Natalie, a senior, is the starting goalkeeper for the Titans.  The Titan defense anchored by Natalie in goal, has recorded four shut outs so far this season and allowed only two goals in the last six matches.  She has made some crucial saves in big games during pre-season vs Jesuit, Sherwood, Sunset, and Lincoln. Coach Benje Orozco added, “Natalie’s presence in goal gives us a lot of confidence knowing she can get the job done.  She commands her goal box and organizes our defense well.  She is a leader, an excellent shot blocker, reads the game well and is our first point of attack while distributing the ball to our offense.” Congratulations Natalie from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from McKay Girls Cross Country, is Sydney Haines.  Sydney is a senior runner for the Scots.  In the super competitive Harrier Classic in Albany, Sydney ran a 7 second PR, finishing with a time of 19:08.  She placed 19th overall at the meet and was the lead runner for the 6th place Royal Scot ladies.  Her time places her at 4th best all-time at McKay.  Congratulations Sydney from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!

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