By Jeremy McDonald
McNary’s Rudy Garcia (Football), West Salem’s Johnny Withers (Football), West Salem Kaden Young (Boys Soccer), Sprague’s Sarah Jones (Volleyball), South Salem’s Brooksie Isham (Volleyball) and West Salem’s Veronica Orozco (Girls Soccer) were honored by the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club for the week of November 5.
Here’s the press release:
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from McNary Football, is Rudy Garcia. Rudy, a senior, has played wherever coach Jeff Auvinen needed him this season, helping the 6-3 Celts earn a host game in the playoffs this week versus North Medford. Coach added the following about Rudy. “[Rudy] has been the ultimate team player for us this year. He started out as a running back/linebacker but moved to d-line during week 3 against Newberg for the good of the team. Last week with almost our entire offensive line out (most because of a COVID quarantine), he stepped up to play offensive tackle and did a great job. He plays with a smile on his face and couldn’t be more positive for us. He was rewarded with first team (all Mountain Valley Conference) recognition this week. [He] has 11 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles, .5 sacks, and 2.5 tackles for loss this year.” Congratulations Rudy from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from West Salem Football, is Johnny Withers. Johnny, a senior, is a running back and linebacker for the 8-1 Titans. In West’s 34-28 win over Bend Johnny had 12 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. For the season he has 804 yards on 105 carries (over 7½ yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He also gets the job done defensively with 35 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and a sack. Coach Shawn Stanley added the following about Johnny, “Great young man who has waited his turn in our program and has stepped up BIG TIME.” Running backs Coach Rick Lacey adds, “Johnny Withers is a great football player and an even better person!! As a Titan running back Johnny possesses great vision, speed, and physical toughness!!! Johnny is a team first guy who has been an impact player for the Titans on both sides of the ball!! … it has been an honor for me to have the opportunity to coach him!!!” Congratulations Johnny from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club.
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from West Salem Boys Soccer, is Kaden Young. Kaden, a senior and team captain, plays midfielder for the Titans who finished 8-7-1 on the season and ranked #19. He finished the season with 13 goals and 4 assists. Coach Sean Young shared the following about their 4-3 first round victory over #14 Liberty, “There are rare times when we get to witness an athletic performance that is special and memorable. This past week we were able to witness that with Kaden Young. He scored all 4 goals in West Salem’s first round 4-3 victory of the boys soccer playoffs. Two of the goals were in regulation time and tied the score. Then, after falling behind with 3 minutes left in OT, Kaden scored a 65-yard wonder goal to tie the game and then followed up with a spectacular blast into the upper corner with under a minute to play to help West record the biggest upset in the first round of the playoffs. Kaden is a captain on the team and has worked hard with the other leaders on the team to build a true sense of family here on West Salem’s soccer team.” Congratulations to Kaden from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from Sprague Volleyball, is Sarah Jones. Sarah, a junior, is the libero for the Olys who finished 11-15 on the season. The #22 Olys made it deep into the playoffs upsetting both #11 Newberg and #6 Sherwood on the road before falling at #3 Jesuit in the quarterfinals. In the 3-2 win over Newberg Sarah had 5 aces and passed a 1.91 pass average. In the five-set win over Sherwood she had 38 digs. Coach Anne Olsen added, “Sarah has been one of the most consistent players on our court this season. She has continually pushed herself to extend her play and it’s been fun to watch her grow as a player.” Congratulations to Sarah from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from South Salem Volleyball, is Brooksie Isham. Brooksie, a junior, is a middle blocker for the Saxons who finished 19-7 on the season. South made it to the quarterfinals where they lost in an incredibly tight five set match to Central Catholic. Brooksie had 12 kills and 4 blocks in the match. She played a key role in the two playoff wins leading to the quarterfinals, contributing 9 kills on 19 attacks in the 3-0 first round win over Sunset, and followed that up with 7 kills, 4 aces, and 4 blocks in the 3-1 win over McNary in the second round. Coach Matt Leichty added, “Brooksie has steadily contributed more each week both on offense and defense as the season has progressed and has really helped us to be more diverse with what we do as a team.” Congratulations to Brooksie from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from West Salem Girls Soccer, is Veronica Orozco. Roni, a senior, plays forward for the Titans who finished 7-6-2 on the season. Roni led the Titan’s offense with 5 goals and 3 assists.
In the 2-1 win over Summit, 10 minutes into the second half, Roni received the ball at the top right side of the box, dribbled around a Summit defender and hit a left footed shot over the outstretched arms of the Storm goalkeeper. Roni also participated in the winning Titan goal with a free kick that the goalkeeper was not able to catch, and her teammate was able to follow through and punch into the back of the net for the winning goal.
In Friday’s 3-0 win over McNary Roni scored an insurance goal for the Titans in the 38th minute of the second half off a West Salem corner kick. After the Celtic defender cleared the ball, at the top of the left side of the 18-yard box, Roni trapped the high bouncing ball, settled it and hit a right footed volley to the far post beyond the reach of the McNary goalkeeper.
Coach Benje Orozco added, “Roni is a very technical player with good soccer IQ and the ability to shoot with both feet. She has been developing well at the 9 this season and is able to post up and hold up play so her teammates can get in better positions as they attack. Roni is at her best when she’s able to hold and shield the ball, help create offensive threats and is able to link up play with her teammates.” Congratulations to Veronica from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club!