2010 was the year the Metro League displayed its dominance in Oregon high school 6A basketball as all four teams vying for the state title in the the boys and girls championship games were from the Metro League. The Jesuit boys over-powered Westview 66-44 to win their third straight 6A title. The Jesuit girls faced Southridge in their championship game, but a first place finished eluded them once again has the Skyhawks claimed their fifth championship in as many appearances in the title game with a 48-37 victory. The Jesuit girls have finish second in each of their three 6A championship game appearances.
The 2010 high school rugby season kicked off with Canby hosting a jamboree on March 6th. Rugby in Oregon continues to grow with 26 boys teams competing in three division and the girls fielding 17 teams, also in three divisions. A majority of the teams are from the Portland area, but the state is well represented with teams from Pendleton, Bend, Eugene and Corvallis. There are also three teams from the Vancouver, Washington surrounding area participating. Matches are played on Saturdays with many being held at Delta Park in Portland. For game schedules, check out the Rugby Oregon website.
So I am shooting hoops at Beaverton High School...the Beavs versus Jesuit. The student section is decked out in a sea of orange as the night included a big fund raising effort for Make-a-Wish Foundation and, in part, Reser's Fine Foods donated food that was being sold and bucket loads of Reser's orange t-shirts. Since Reser's is a major supporter of the Oregon State Beavers, as in Reser Stadium, I could see how they might have a few extra orange t-shirts laying around. The atmosphere was more electric than your usual Friday night game. I just assumed it all had to do with the Beav's long standing rivalry with Jesuit, the excitement around the Make-a-Wish fund raising efforts or perhaps the magic that a few hundred donated orange t-shirts could do for student spirit.
Alas, it was when half-time came around when I understood why the energy was at such a peak level. The announcer started to introduce the half-time entertainment. As he started, the female students began screaming widely....it was like a 1960's Beatles concert. The noise was deafening. What was all the excitement about? Enter the "Rhythm Boys." For over 50 years the Beaverton High Rhythm Bees have performed precision dance routines at basketball games and numerous other events. The Rhythm Bees are a time honored tradition at the school...and have always been an all female squad. So, as I soon found out, the "Rhythm Boys" is an annual tribute that the BHS guys pay to the ladies and, at the same time, lift the school spirit up several notches.
Dressed in horrendously ridiculous self-designed costumes, the boys put on a great show. Their routine was surprisingly well rehearsed and fairly complex. I was amazed at how most of the lads stayed very much in character despite the over-the-top screaming coming from the crowd. The whole routine was hilariously funny and the boys put their all into it. Of course, the execution of the dance moves left lots to be desired, but no one was caring about that.
FOURTEEN and ZERO! OSAA 1A STATE CHAMPIONS! Big and bold, the St. Paul Buckaroos stamped their mark in Oregon high school football history with a perfect season of fourteen wins and zero losses. For the season, the Bucks scored a whopping 796 total points against opponents while yielding 334. On Saturday December 5th, the Buckaroos' fourteenth win of the season earned them the OSAA 1A Football Championship state title with a 38-34 win over Imbler. Ryan Pierson was an offensive force for St. Paul as he tallied five touchdowns and rushed for 384 of his team's 398 total yards on the ground. Matt Gooding also scored for St. Paul and quarterback Daley Smith completed four out of seven passes for 60 yards in the air.
After trailing 26-14 at halftime, Imbler was able to pull within four points when quarterback Bryan Mills ran for a seven yard TD with 1:08 left in the game, but the Panthers could not pull off the onside kick letting St. Paul run out the final seconds of the game. Other scorers for Imbler were Jace Eisiminger, Zack Phillips and Wesley Burgess who got into the endzone twice. Burgess led his team with 129 yards on the ground and 74 receiving. Quarterback Bryan Mills threw 16 passes, completing five for 144 yards and one touchdown.
When I read an article on OregonLive about Oregon State's Danny Mwanga being a potential #1 draft pick in the Major Soccer League SuperDraft, I took particular interest in the story. You see, I played my last year of college eligibility at OSU and then coached the team for three years back in the '80s. The team has come a long way sense then, and has developed a lot of talented players over the years. After OSU, I coached a fair amount of youth soccer in the Portland area and was proud to see some of my past players end up playing on the Beavers' squad.
Last Spring I shot a scrimmage match between the OSU Varsity Team and a team of OSU alumni players played at Pacific University in Forest Grove to support the Banks Youth Soccer Club. This was the first time I saw Danny play; needless to say, I was quite impressed with his skill and commanding presence on the pitch. It's great to see a player of excellent quality and character have the potential to move on to the next level. And it's not so bad that he was a product of my alma mater.
It's No. 1 vs No. 2 for the OSAA 6A Football Championship as Jesuit and Sheldon both advance to the championship game after posting semi-final victories at PGE Park in Portland. Jesuit defeated West Salem 21-7 in the first of the semi-final double-header with touchdowns by the Crusaders' explosive runningbacks, Jordan Talley and Keanon Lowe. Talley notched Jesuit's first with a 34 yard run at 8:52 in the first quarter and Lowe added a pair with a one yard charge late in the second quarter and a 22 yard run with 1:42 left in the third. Jesuit's defense kept the West Salem high octane offense in check as they held the Titans to only seven points after averaging over 40 points per game during the season. The lone West Salem touchdown was scored off a four yard run by quarterback Brett Smith.
Sheldon used a dominant aerial attach to out-distance Canby 49-14 during the second game of the night. Quarterback Jordan Johnson threw four touchdown passes and ran into the endzone twice. Johnson completed 19 of 24 passes for an impressive 372 yards. On the tail end of the TD passes were Curtis Write in the first quarter and John Campbell scoring two in the second quarter and one in the third. Cameron Abeene also scored for the Irish with a 14 yard run at the start of the second quarter. Canby's first strike off a 23 yard touchdown pass from Josh Yoder to Adam Bell was the only opportunity the Cougars had to lead the game. A two yard Richy Nanez touchdown in the second quarter was the last Canby was able to change their side of the scoreboard.
It's a common claim in sports...defense wins games! When St. Paul battled a talented team from Mohawk (located in northeastern Oregon) in the OSAA 1A Football Championship semi-final game at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, the honor to compete for the State Championship went to St. Paul as a defensive stand successfully thwarted a two point conversion attempt by Mohawk late in the fourth quarter, giving the Buckaroos a 32-30 victory. The two teams literally traded touchdowns throughout the game as St. Paul struck first in the opening quarter on a 46 yard pass reception by Ryan Pierson with 1:43 left on the clock. Mohawk wasted no time evening up the score when Matt York tapped a 55 yard drive in less than a minute to equalize at 8-8 as each team were successful with the two-point conversions. As time ran out in the first quarter Pierson scored his second of three touchdowns on the day with a 64 yard run.
In the second quarter, on cue, Mohawk tied the score again when Matt York closed out a 75 yard drive in 4 plays with a 6 yard touchdown. With that, St. Paul returned the favor to close out the first half with a 24-16 lead as Pierson scored his third TD with a 38 yard run with 6:10 remaining in the second quarter. Dillon Tuyls scored the only touchdown in the third quarter to once again level the game at 24-24 with a 9 yard run, plus a conversion by Matt York. St. Paul went into the lead for the last time at 11:10 in the fourth quarter when quarterback Daley Smith ran for a three yard touchdown and completed a pass to David Furguson for the conversion making the score 32-24.
To finish out the trading of touchdowns, Mohawk marched 72 yards in 13 plays to score on a Cord Wilkins two yard run to set up a chance to tie the game with the two-point conversion. Mohawk quarterback Cord Wilkins rolled right and sent a high pass to Anthony Wallace in the corner of the end-zone, but St. Paul's Ryan Pierson's coverage was just enough to disrupt the play and preventing the catch to tie the game. The Buckaroos were able to hold off one last Mohawk drive in the final minute as their defense played a major role in their 32-30 win to go on for the OSAA 1A Football Championship game the following week at Hillsboro Stadium.
The OSAA Soccer Championships were held November 21st for 5A and 6A boys and girls at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon. The first three matches were played in favorable weather with cloudy skies and calm wind, but the final match of the day found Jesuit and Westview girls battling in driving rain and gusty winds as a storm front moved into the area as night fell.
In the 5A boys match, the Corvallis Spartans survived a late surge by Mt. View of Bend when Zane Meehan converted a penalty kick with 8:05 remaining in the match to give Corvallis the 3-2 victory. The Spartans' 2-0 lead evaporated in the span of one minute when Mt. View's Cam Riemhofer scored a goal with 14:20 remaining and tallied another with 13:49 left to equalize at 2-2.
The 5A girls were up next in a battle were the defenses of Sherwood and Bend refused to give way as the teams ended 80 minutes of regulation play in a 0-0 draw, only to repeat with the same result in 20 minutes of extra time. The championship was settled on penalty kicks where Bend was able to put away four of their spot kicks with Sherwood only converting two.
South Salem and South Medford faced each other for the 6A boys title in a match of two half. South Medford dominated play in the first half and took a 1-0 lead into halftime off a Kory Kellum goal in the eight minute. After the break South Salem found their offense, equalizing 17 minutes into the second half on a goal by Pablo Ceja. After a hand ball on the edge of the South Medford's penalty box resulted in a free kick, South Salem's Ethan Jones scored the go-ahead goal with 13:45 remaining after Cameron French's shot rebounded of keeper Mitch North and rolled to Jones' foot at the back post.
The final match of the day was played under miserable conditions when a storm front moved in as darkness fell, bringing driving rain and very gusty winds that lasted throughout the match. Metro league rivals, Jesuit and Westview, played in the girls 6A championship match. After a fairly evenly played first half, Jesuit took the upper-hand when Sarah Bridges scored six minutes into the second half and the Crusaders added insurance five minutes later with Emily Fellows scored a ten yard shot, with the score ending 2-0 giving the title to Jesuit.
Corvallis 3 - Mountain. View 2
Bend 1 - Sherwood 0 (4-2 penalty kicks)
South Salem 2 - South Medford 1
Jesuit 2 - Westview 0
The Glencoe High School boys soccer team had their season end one game short of their goal as they fell to Corvallis High School 0-2 in the semi-finals of the OSAA 5A Soccer Championships at Hare Field in Hillsboro, Oregon. The match was played at a furious pace the entire 80 minutes as Glencoe's quickness and skill up front could not break the Corvallis defense which stayed compact and industrious.
After failing to capitalize on a great opportunity early in the match, the Tide fell a goal behind in the 27th minute when Andres Nieves-Bernal of Corvallis ripped a 35 yard shot into the upper-far post. Glencoe continued to throw attacks at Corvallis, but could not get their chances solidly on net. The final goal of the match was scored off a 20 yard free kick when Banner Schaffer of Corvallis tucked a driving shot past the left side of the defensive wall and just inside the left post.
As the Fall sports season comes to a close, I can't let it wrap up without a youth football post. Shooting the young guys is always a lot of fun, and they provide some great action to capture. I shot a couple my nephew's games, who plays for the Sunset youth football program...the duty of being a good uncle. Below are a handful of shots from the games.