A look back through the calendar as we revisit the top sports stories through highlights of 2017


Siuslaw bowlers roll to top

Despite the challenge of bitter weather conditions, Siuslaw’s bowling teams were on the lanes Saturday in Florence and North Bend, with the varsity boys away and the girls and varsity 2 boys at home.

“With the bad weather, the turnout was light at both tournaments but everyone still competed very well,” said Dusty Anderson, manager of Holiday Bowl in Florence and  bowling teams’ coordinator.

In North Bend, the varsity boys took second place to the host Bulldogs.

In Florence, both the varisty girls and JV 2 boys team took first place.


Viks sixth at Lutz Invitational

Of the four Far West League teams on the mats during Saturday’s 21-team Nick Lutz Memorial Invitational, the Vikings placed first, and sixth overall.

“It is one of our biggest meets in terms of the number of teams that participated,” Siuslaw coach Neil Wartnik said on Saturday, “and our wrestlers are really battling well.”

Leading that battle were Richard Huff (120 lbs.), Scott Simmons (138 lbs.), Kainan Lane (285 lbs.), and Nick Steinman (170 lbs), each of whom placed at the invitational, which included teams ranging in size from Sheldon to Triangle Lake.

Huff improved to 19-3 for the season after going undefeated at 3-0, pinning his way past Jaeson Jones of Sutherlin, Ezra Haddy of Junction City and Landen Timeus of Gold Beach.


Siuslaw falls to Brookings, shares fourth place in FWL

The Lady Vikings were the first to score in Saturday’s basketball game at Glenn Butler Court, with senior Brittany Long snagging a steal for a quick layup.

But Brookings-Harbor answered quickly, draining a 3-pointer that would be the first of nine for the Bruins before the final buzzer.

With four minutes left in the quarter, Siuslaw senior Destinie Tatum tied things at 8-8, which would be the closest the Lady Viking would get. Two more 3-pointers in the quarter by the Bruins left Siuslaw trailing by 6 heading into the second quarter, with Brookings extending its lead to 34-22 by the half.

The Lady Viks got solid scoring and rebounding from sophomore Madison Reynolds and junior Marika White in the third quarter, giving Siuslaw more possessions, but the Lady Bruins’ ability to hit 3-pointers negated any momentum Siuslaw was able to build.

Although freshman Mia Collins added some spark both offensively and defensively off the bench, the Lady Viks still found themselves down by 20 entering the fourth quarter before falling 53-70.


Mapleton splits with Falls City

On Friday, Mapleton hosted visiting Falls City in a non-league matchup that saw what was arguably one of the best performances of the season from both Sailor teams.

In the girls game, the Lady Sailors held the Mountaineers to just 27 points, finishing the game with just four players and holding Falls City in a tie until the final minute.

“I was proud of the girls because they never quit, even with only four players on the floor,” said Mapleton coach Mike Murray, whose team fell, 27-21. “Even though we lost on the scoreboard, it was a moral victory.”

Sophomore Haley Wells led with 8 points.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Sailors lost to Lowell and Triangle Lake, but had season-high scoring, including 16 points from Wells against Lowell and 13 points from her against the Lakers.



Siuslaw bowlers roll on to state

Siuslaw’s bowling teams were on the lanes in North Bend over the weekend, competing at district for a chance to qualify for the state tournament.

The Viking boys bowled 24 games in the qualifying round, finishing as the No. 3 seed among six teams that qualified for the semifinals.

Meanwhile, the Lady Vikings emerged from the opening round as the No. 1 seed. From there, they were among the top three finishers to head into the finals.

In the semifinals, the Viking boys improved to become the No. 2 seed along with Thurston (No. 3) and North Bend (No. 1).

The top three girls teams in the finals with Siuslaw (No. 1) were Willamette (No. 2) and Cottage Grove (No. 3).

In the boys finals, Siuslaw defeated Thurston 417 to 332 after two games, advancing Siuslaw into the championship game against North Bend, where the Bulldogs took the ditrict title, 406 to 362.

Siuslaw’s second-place finish qualified the Viking boys for the state tournament.

In the girls finals, the Lady Vikings got a bye in the first match thanks to being seeded at No. 1. In the championship round, Willamette edged Siuslaw by just 4 pins, 290 to 286, for the district title.

Still, the Lady Viks’ second-place finish qualified them for state competition.

That same day, the League All Stars were named. Among them were Second Team honorees from Siuslaw Taryn Larson and Maxine Jones.

Abby Coday was named First Team as well as the League MVP.

For the boys, First Team recognition was given to Neil DeVera, Logan Lindner and Patrick Hill, who was also named League MVP.

In the district tournament, All-District honorees included Taryn Larson, Maxine Jones and Abby Coday, who was also named District Tournament MVP.


Four Viks headed to state mats

When the top wrestlers in the state take to the mats at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland on Feb. 24 and 25, among the names being called out over the echoing loudspeakers will be four members of Siuslaw’s wrestling team.

Richard Huff, a junior seeded at No. 1 in the state 4A’s 113-pound bracket, along with seniors Kainan Lane (285 lbs.) and Nick Steinman (170 lbs.), and sophomore Riley Jennings (152 lbs.) will have the chance to compete for a state title in each of their weight divisions. Members of the group earned state qualification during last weekend’s Special District 3 wrestling tournament at South Umpqua High School, where the top five finishers in each weight class advanced to state.

Huff had one of his closest matches of the season during the championship round, defeating Marshfield’s Frankie Harlow with a narrow 6-5 decision for the district title. The junior pinned his first two opponents, Jonah Kugler of Mazama and Oscar Baza of Henley, in 25 seconds and 40 seconds, respectively.

At 285 pounds, Lane defeated Jaret Remington of South Umpqua by pin in 1:30 to open the meet, then fell to Cameron Hankins of Mazama, 5-2. Lane then went on to win his next two matches, including a pin over Ishmael DeLaTorre of Phoenix (3:20) in the match for third and fourth place.

Steinman, wrestling at 170 lbs., lost his first match by pin, then came back to win his next three matches, including against Jon Zebadua of Brookings-Harbor, with a pin in 2:13. In the match for third and fourth place, Steinman was pinned by Alonzo Nalls of Brookings-Harbor in 58 seconds.

At 152 pounds, Jennings won his opener against Hidden Valley’s Tommy Mintey, 9-8, but lost his second match. He went on to pin Joey Wilson of Phoenix (4:34) before losing a slim 5-4 decision in the battle for third and fourth place in a close rematch with Mintey.

Viking freshman Matthew Horrillo (285 lbs.) was eliminated during consolation on Saturday, while seniors Eyza Abbas Carrasco (120 lbs.), Joaquin Cervantes (138 lbs.) and jesus Sierra (145 lbs.) were each eliminated during Friday’s round of competition.


Sailors on course for state

In an all-or-nothing situation on the road at Eddyville Monday night, the Mapleton boys basketball team managed an upset win to secure a spot at the state tournament. Leading the upset was senior guard Hunter Simington, who had a career-high 32 points in the game, along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots.

“Hunter realized it could be his last night playing high school basketball, and he delivered the best game of his career,” said Mapleton coach Will Crook. “More than that, it was the best performance of any Mapleton player in my three years coaching.”


Viks advance to state

The Viking boys basketball team came into Friday’s final Far West League match-up in hopes of upsetting undefeated rival and league champion North Bend for several reasons — not the least of which was to secure the league’s No. 2 spot heading into the state play-in game.

To do so would mean the first post-season appearance by the Vikings in nearly a decade.

In addition, it was also Senior Night, and potentially the last game on the home hardwood for seniors Brogan Cornish and Marcos Reyna-Ayala.

The Vikings, with scoring from junior Jared Brandt, freshman Sam Myers, Reavis, King and Hickson, were within 2 points, 41-43, with just over 1 minute to go when foul trouble for the Vikings put the Bulldogs at the charity line three times in the last 45 seconds.

During that time, North Bend was able to extend its lead to 6 and hold out for the win, 47-41.

That same night, the Viks got a little help from rival Douglas, which hosted Marshfield for a upset that shifted standings in the Far West League.

The win by the Trojans bumped them up into a tie for second place with Siuslaw, with Marshfield dropping into fourth place. Since the Vikings had defeated Douglas twice this season, Siuslaw automatically won the tie for second place in league, dropping the Trojans into third place.

As a result, Douglas will open the state play-in on the road; Siuslaw will host a game this Friday, most likely against Newport or Cascade.


Huff pins state title

The Vikings took a total of four wrestlers to this year’s Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) 4A state wrestling meet at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, where junior Richard Huff (113 lbs.), senior Kainan Lane (285 lbs.), senior Nick Steinman (170 lbs) and sophomore Riley Jennings (152 lbs.) were on the mats for a chance at state titles.

The two-day competition began Friday, with Steinman and Jennings unfortunately eliminated by day’s end. However, Lane and Huff continued into Saturday after two wins in the qualifying rounds.

Huff pinned both of his opponents, first against Colton West from Marshfield in 1 minute, 40 seconds. He then went on to battle Jarrett Graff in the quarterfinals in 5:01.

Lane also pinned his way into Saturday’s semifinals, defeating Miguel Galindo of Ontario (2:32) and Rogelio Ramirez of North Marion (3:51).

Both wrestlers advanced to the semifinals, where Huff earned a spot in the championship round with a major 13-3 decision over Robert Watkins of Sweet Home.

Lane, however, picked up his first loss of the tournament after being pinned by Dylan Porter of Elmira in 1:31.

The loss moved Lane into the consolation semifinals, where he lost by decision to Caleb Parrott of Crook County, 6-1. From there, Lane faced Donnie Clark of McLoughlin, who came into the meet ranked at No. 2. Lane hammered Clark, pinning him in just 1:40 for fifth place overall.

In the championship match at 113 pounds, Huff squared off against Molalla freshman Maximus Tate, who had beaten Marshfield sophomore Frankie Harlow in the semifinals, 10-6.

In this match, Tate quickly found himself in trouble as Huff took him to the mat within the first minute then pinned him in 1:42 for the 113-pound 4A state title.

Huff went undefeated at state, 4-0, and was 40-3 for the season — and undefeated at 18-0 in the 113-pound bracket.


Boys third, girls 9th at state bowling

The Siuslaw boys and girls bowling teams competed in the annual state bowling championship tournament held at KingPin Lanes in Portland Feb. 25 and 26.

The Vikings were among the 32 best teams from around the state, with 16 teams competing in both the girls and boys divisions.

In Saturday’s qualifying round, each team bowled 24 baker games before returning at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to bowl six additional games to decide the seeding for the double elimination semi-finals. After the 30 games, the Viking boys team was the No. 12 seed and the girls team landed the No. 4 seed headed into the finals.

The Lady Vikings started the double elimination tournament by bowling 12th-seeded McKay High School. A narrow, 2-pin loss by Siuslaw put the girls team into the consolation bracket for a chance at third place.

Meanwhile, the boys opened the double elimination round against district rival North Bend. The Vikings were able to avenge a tough district loss to the Bulldogs by defeating them in the finals.

In the second round of competition for the Lady Vikings decisively defeated Oregon City by 19 pins, earning them a chance back into the finals. To do that, they first needed to beat No. 1 seed Henley.

Unfortunately, Siuslaw was stung by the Hornets, who went on to win the state title.

The Lady Viks finished 9th overall.

Siuslaw managed a second consecutive win over the Bulldogs, which advanced Siuslaw into a two-game matchup with South Medford.

After losing the first game, the Vikings were able to overcome a deficit for the win and a rematch with rival McNary for third place.

Again the Vikings had to overcome a deficit after the first game but made a big charge in the game two to bring home the third place trophy.


Siuslaw cornered by Cubs in final game

The Vikings came into last Friday’s state play-in game looking for a shot at redemption against a team that had narrowly defeated them in pre-season play, as well as a shot at reaching the state play-offs for the first time in nearly a decade with a win over the visiting Cubs.

The Vikings nearly matched the Cubs point-for-point in the second period, posting 12 points to Newport’s 13, the Viks entered the second half with a 9-point deficit after the Cubs drained a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

The third quarter belonged to the Cubs, who outscored Siuslaw 18-8 for a 45-26 lead heading into the final period.

Though the Vikings had the advantage with freethrow attempts after Newport quickly racked up fouls, Siuslaw only went 17-of-28 from the line. That, combined with 12-of-38 from the field, kept the Vikings from finding traction against Newport — which went on to win it, 58-41.

Despite the loss, it was Siuslaw’s most successful season in seven years. Under first-year coach Dylan Perry, the Vikings were 10-14 over all, compared to 1-21 just a year ago.


Seven Viks named to all-league

The Far West League announced its top basketball players as voted on by league coaches.

A total of seven Vikings between Siuslaw’s boys’ and girls’ teams were recognized for their efforts this season.

For the Viking boys, junior Trent Reavis had the top honors by being named to the league’s First Team roster.

Making the Second Team was junior Kyle King, with Honorable Mention given to senior Brogan Cornish and juniors Jared Brandt and Jake Hickson.

Brandt was also named to the All-Defensive Team.

Lady Viking seniors Destinie Tatum and Abby Watkins each received  Honorable Mention nods.


SHS grad in Pac-12 spotlight

By the time Jake Thompson left the mound after Saturday’s win over Arizona State, the Oregon State University pitcher and Siuslaw High School graduate had left 10 batters swinging at the air.

It was a career record for Thompson, whose performance drew the attention and accolades of the Pac-12 by being named a Player of the Week.


Sailors sweep home meet

It wasn’t your typical meet as athletes from Eddyville, Alsea and Mapleton competed at the first — and if all goes well, the last — Mapleton Lack of Lane Lines Spectacular, a.k.a Mapleton 300 on Tuesday.

Since having the track resurfaced back in September, Mapleton High School athletic director Aaron Longo has needed three consecutive days of sunshine in order for the resurfacing to be dry enough to paint.

“And we’re still waiting,” said Longo, who renamed the event and moved forward with the meet — minus any track events accept for the 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters.

Something else made Thursday’s meet one-of-a-kind: The hammer throw, which is a field event that hasn’t occurred in Mapleton for more than two decades.

Fittingly, the Sailors swept the event, as well as the entire meet, with Sailor boys and girls teams scoring 50 points each.


Huff picked to wrestle on Russian mats this summer

Siuslaw junior Richard Huff placed second in the Oregon State Junior Freestyle wrestling competition in Cottage Grove on April 22, then went on to place third in the Oregon Junior Greco-Style competition the next day — high achievements in two fields of the nation’s best wrestlers from all classifications.

“It was literally some of the best competition in the nation, wrestling each other regardless of classification,” said Siuslaw wrestling coach Neil Wartnik. “Ricky mowed through the competition on his way to the top two and three.”

In the freestyle competition, Huff opened the 120-pound competition with a 17-6 win by technical fall over Gavin Sherrill, then beat Jacob Whitehead of Silverton High School in just 2:13 by fall.

That advanced Huff into the championship round against 6A state champion Hunter Sparks of Roseburg.

“Richard met his match there,” said Wartnik. “He took some risks that he couldn’t capitalize on.”

Huff lost 10-0 for second place overall.

The next day, he returned to the mats for the Greco-Style competition, a style Huff hadn’t competed in since he was 10 years old.

Still, Huff managed to battle back from an early loss and into consolation, where he faced Sparks once again but fell short — but still high enough to finish third in the 120-pound division.

Huff’s performance this season has qualified him for the Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D. this summer.



Thompson named nation’s ‘Top Pitcher’ for April

Oregon State University redshirt junior Jake Thompson was named the nation’s Pitcher of the Month for April on Monday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

Thompson, who improved to 10-0 yesterday in his first start in May, went 4-0 in April, allowing just a 0.71 earned run average (ERA). He earned two of his wins in rubber games, and held opponents to three runs, 22 hits and nine walks while striking out 35 in 38 innings over five starts.

The award is his second major honor over the last week. On Thursday, Thompson was named as one of three Oregon State players to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 team.


2017 Siuslaw HOF inductees announced

The public is invited to attend the 7th annual Siuslaw High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will be held Friday, Aug. 18, at Three Rivers Casino and Hotel.

The 2017 Siuslaw Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • The late Ray Hines (Class of 1948)
  • Dick Hoberg (Class of 1968)
  • Rich Ross (Class of 1984)
  • Kelli Lang (Class of 1985)
  • David Brackney (Class of 1991)
  • Ricky Lowe (Class of 1994)
  • Deacon Perkins (District Staff & Coach)
  • 1983 and 1984 Girls State Champions 4x100 relay team of Kelli (Lang) Hagen, Tammy (Courtney) Johnson, Terri Gortler and Shelly (Smith) Conro.
  • 1967 Boys mile relay team of Bob Hylton, Everett May, Greg Wells and Larry Ulrich.


Sailors land eight spots at state

The Sailors we at McKenzie High School over the weekend, where they competed with nine other schools in the Mountain West District to earn spots at this week’s 1A state meet.

When the final timer stopped, the Sailors had qualified for eight events at state.

Perhaps no one’s performance was more inspiring than senior Tyler Packebush, who came into the meet after four days of sickness and the loss of more than 10 pounds.

In spite of a queasy stomach, he finished second in two events, qualifying him for state in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 19.06 and in the pole vault at 9-0.

The winning vault was 9-6, a height Packebush had easily cleared earlier this season.

In the javelin, junior Tanner Wilson threw for the win at 128-02, then placed second in the discus at 99-09 on his final throw.

Freshman Nathen Roane also advanced to state, landing a person best on his last throw in the javelin at 121-10 for second place behind Wilson.

For the girls, senior Josi Hays swept the throws category, winning the shot put (30-07), discus (89-10) and javelin (94-07), advancing to state in all three events.

“Four athletes competing in eight events at state isn’t bad for a school our size,” said Longo.


Siuslaw sending nine to state meet

After two days of Far West District track and field competition at Frank Shriver Field in North Bend, nine Vikings had either thrown or run their way into qualifying for this weekend’s Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) 4A state meet in Eugene.

On the track, senior distance runner Jack Pickell finished second in the 3,000 meters (9:33.51) to qualify, while fellow senior Clark Hooper claimed the title in the 110-meter hurdles (16.20) and placed second in the 300-meter hurdles (42.80) for a chance to compete in both events at state.

For the girls, defending state 800-meter champion Destinie Tatum won the event at district (2:25.76) and will race for a chance to retain her title. Tatum was also a member of the winning 4x400-meter relay team (4:21.67) with senior Celie Mans, junior Kaylee Graham and sophomore Kaeli Ramos.

Mans went on two claim titles in both the 1,500-meter race (5:04.87) and 3,000 meters (11:08.64) to qualify for both events at state. Joining her in both events after finishing second in each at district will be freshman Hannah Rannow, who ran 5:08.89 and 11:21.94, respectively.

In the hurdles, Graham ran season-best times for second place in both the 100 meters (17.09) and 300 meters (50.79).

She will run both races at state.

Junior thrower Trent Reavis qualified for state in three events after claiming wins in both the shot put (52-00.5 for a PR) and discus (150-11), and finishing second in the javelin  with a personal record at 172-06.

Senior Carissa Oliver won the shot put and discus for the girls, throwing 41-05 and 136-05, respectively.


Nine Vikings named All-League

The Far West Leagues for baseball and softball announced the 2017 All-League rosters, and among those making the list were nine Siuslaw players.

For FWL softball, senior Claire Waggoner received First-Team honors for her work at first base. Also getting recongition for the Lady Viks was senior Heidi Jones for her performance in the pitcher’s cirlce this season.

Joining Jones on the Second-Team All-League roster was freshman outfielder Mia Collins.

Receiving Honorable Mention from Far West League coaches was senior catcher Nikki Launius.

For the boys, the Viking baseball team received five All-League nods, beginning with senior infielder Brogan Cornish with First-Team recognition. Second-Team honors went to junior shortstop Jared Brandt, with Honorable Mentions for senior pitcher and outfielder Kelby White, senior catcher and outfielder Hunter Simington and sophomore pitcher and first baseman Gabe Simington, both of Mapleton.


Oliver claims shot put state crown

At last weekend’s OSAA Class 4A state track and field meet at Hayward Field in Eugene, Siuslaw senior thrower Carissa Oliver launched the shot put for a personal record and the state title with her mark of 41 feet, 7.75 inches.

Oliver also threw a PR in the discus at 132-11 for the 4A’s second-best mark of the day.

Meanwhile, junior Trent Reavis set a school record in the javelin with a throw of 181-11, which earned Reavis a second-place medal at state. It also topped Siuslaw’s IAAF javelin record of 177-9 set by Kody Reavis in 2008.

The Vikings girls finished 11th overall in team scoring with a tally of 23 points; Oliver accounted for 18 of those points.

The Vikings boys team finished 14th in team scoring with a total of 20 points.

Sailors land three top-10 marks at state

Four Sailors were on hand for last week’s two-day 1A state track and field meet at Hayward Field in Eugene, May 18 and 19.

Senior Tyler Packebush, junior Tanner Wilson and freshman Nathan Roane represented the Sailor boys while senior Josi Hays was the lone Lady Sailors representative, competing in three events.

Hays, who sept the throws at the Mountain West District meet, competed in the discus, shot put and javelin.

For the boys, Packebush competed in both the pole vault and 110 hurdles, with Wilson competing in the discus and javelin. Roan joined Wilson in the javelin.

Packebush ran the 110 hurdles with a personal best time of 18.30 for 11th place. He also cleared 11-0 in the pole vault for eighth place overall.

In the discus, Wilson threw 106-02 for 12th place, then landed 11th in the javelin at 127-05.

Roane was 12th with a mark of 123-05 for a personal record.

Hays had a pair of top-10 finishes at state, beginning with seventh place in the shot put at 31-01.5. She went on to finish ninth in the discus (86-05) and 11th in the javelin at 81-05.


Viks, Sailors to be recognized during ‘Evening of Excellence’

Thirty-nine athletes from Siuslaw and Mapleton high schools will be honored Wednesday, May 31, during the sixth annual Athletic Recognition, Evening of Excellence at Siuslaw High School.

Athletes being honored will be: Hunter Simington, Tyler Packebush, Jared Brandt, Celie Mans, Trent Reavis, Nick Steinman, Makenzie York, Elyssa Rose, Evan Moso, Brittany Long, Claire Waggoner, Josi Hays, Macie Wells, Jack Pickell, Kaeli Ramos, Emma Collins, Brogan Cornish, Michael Larson, Richard Huff, Jakob Hickson, Destinie Tatum, Jesus Sierra, Kainan Lane, Alyssa Richards, Kyle King, Abby Coday, Dominic Wells, Eyza Abbas, Riley Jennings, Sam Meyers, Carissa Oliver, Heidi Jones, Mia Collins, Clark Hooper, Ryan Rendon-Padilla, Gabe Simington, Hannah Rannow and Anne Wartnik.



Mans, Reavis named Athletes of the Year

At the close of Wednesday night’s  awards ceremony, which included entertainment by Siuslaw’s cheerleading squad and an array of specialty desserts prepared by SHS culinary students and served by PRIDE members, Siuslaw senior Celie Mans and junior Trent Reavis were announced as the 2017 Athletes of the Year.


Red Sox draft Jake Thompson

The Boston Red Sox took their continued interest in Siuslaw High School alumni and Beavers pitcher Jake Thompson a step further Tuesday, when the Major League Baseball team drafted the red shirt junior during the fourth round with the No. 131 overall pick.

Thompson, a 6-foot-2 right-hander, has received national attention for his performance in Oregon State University’s pitching rotation this season, where he is 14-0 with a 1.52 ERA — with the Beavers headed to the College World Series.

Thompson was recently named a first-team All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.


Tackle football sacked at B&G Club

For nearly a decade, fifth- and sixth-graders have been slipping into their first set of shoulder pads and football helmets at the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County each fall, moving from flag football into the realm of full-contact tackle. And until recently, it was believed that the hits players often take to the head were less impactful on younger, developing brains.

However, research now shows that the brains of children and teens are even more vulnerable than the adult brain to the long-term effects of repeated impacts to the head. It was this revelation that prompted B&G Club Athletic Director Tracy Aaron to recommend the suspension of the club’s tackle football program for fifth and sixth graders.

“I was researching a program that was similar to our basketball program, where we teamed up with the Portland Trailblazers through the NBA’s community outreach program,” said Aaron. “That’s when I started finding research and articles on youth football.”



Sportsmanship in the spotlight

Last year, a survey of departing officials taken by the OSAA showed that “family” and “job demands” were among the top reasons many officials were either hanging up their whistles or deciding to not grab a whistle at all.

To address the issue, the OSAA established a special committee last year that includes high school athletic directors and coaches who meet to discuss the problem and coming up with solutions to curb the trend.

Siuslaw High School Athletic Director Chris Johnson says that he feels the issue is quickly approaching a crisis stage. The struggle to create and maintain a workable game schedule for sports like baseball, football and volleyball are compounded when the availability of officials becomes a factor.

As a result, athletic directors and principals from all schools in the Far West League, in conjunction with the OSAA, have agreed to take steps to foster a safer, more respectful environment at athletic events.



Viks nab Tugman titles

Often referred to as the Far West League “preview” meet, the annual Tugman Invitational offers a first look at many of the league’s teams in direct competition. And if Thursday was any indication, Siuslaw fans have a lot to look forward to this season — and the seasons ahead.

Though both Viking teams carry rosters dominated primarily by underclassmen, Siuslaw made it clear that its relative lack of experience isn’t a detriment when coupled with talent and determination.

Both teams claimed first place at Tugman, with the boys team nudging Bandon, 49-50, and the Lady Vikings finishing 4 points ahead of South Umpqua, 45-49.


Siuslaw football makes tough choice

Concerns over potential dangers of fielding an underclassman-dominated Viking team against North Bend’s upperclassman powerhouse prompts administrators to forfeit Friday’s game.

In the week before last Friday’s 43-point loss to Douglas during Siuslaw’s football league opener, Siuslaw High School officials were already discussing their concerns over the team’s upcoming game against undefeated North Bend (4-0) — a team that is literally and figuratively twice the size as Siuslaw.

It’s an equation that members of the Oregon School Activities Association Reclassification Board have been wrestling with for the past year in an attempt to level the playing field for schools within leagues where the disparity between school sizes has become more prevalent.

“There’s always a certain level of risk when it comes to sports, but this was more like throwing our freshmen and sophomores to the wolves,” said Viking coach Jamin Pool. “Not acknowledging that and putting the safety of our kids first would be wrong, no matter how unpopular.”



Sailor homecoming includes upset win

Coming into last Friday’s homecoming game against North Douglas, the Sailors were the underdogs against a team that has been steamrolling opponents in the preseason.

Before the night was over, the Sailors would rush for 532 yards, including 8 touchdowns and 4 conversions.

Senior Dominic Wells at quarterback claimed 162 yards on 16 carries, including 3 touchdowns and a pair of conversions. Junior wide receiver Evan Moso had 290 yards on 16 carries for 3 TDs and a conversion, and freshman wide receiver JJ Neece had 80 yards, including 1 touchdown rushing and 1 TD receiving.

It was also Mapleton’s homecoming night, with princesses and princes gathering at halftime for the crowning of king and queen.

The Mapleton 2017 Homecoming Court included:

  • Freshmen: Princess Trinity Peterson and Prince Jeremy Bender • Sophomore: Princess Trinity Holmes and Prince Nathaniel Neece • Juniors: Princess Brittany Wilson and Prince Evan Moso • Seniors: Princess Erin Michael and Prince Tanner Wilson, Queen Alexis Gierke and King Dominic Wells.


Siuslaw battles Pirates, names royalty

The Vikings, outnumbered nearly 3-to-1 in terms of roster numbers and experience, continued to battle through all four quarters, even after entering the half with a 42-0 deficit.

The Viks managed to score twice in the second half while the Pirates posted a field goal to finsih with a 45-12 win on the Viks’ Homecoming Night.

The loss puts Siuslaw at 0-3 in league (0-6 overall) heading into the Friday’s home game against South Umpqua during what will be the Vikings’ Senior Recognition Night.

Siuslaw’s 32-play roster includes a total of five seniors: Jared Brandt, Patrick Hill, Ryan Lee, Trent Reavis and Salvador Sierra.

During the game, the 2017 Homecoming Court was announced, along with the crowning of this year’s queen and king, seniors Nicole Alum and Evan Teter.

The court included: • Freshmen: Princess Kya Blake and Prince Jacob Foskett • Sophomores: Princess Elizabeth Lewis and Cai Fleming • Juniors: Alex Paasch and Heaven Job-Lewis.


Siuslaw finishes with 31-26 victory

It was a long-time coming, at the very end of what was almost winless season for the Vikings football team last Friday at Brookings-Harbor.

With both teams coming into the matchup at 0-4 in the Far West League and 0-7 overall, it was an opportunity to end the season on a high note — and Viking seniors Jared Brandt and Trent Reavis served as composer and conductor for an upbeat swan song.

Not only did the game mark the final contest of the regular season and the Viks’ only win, it also represented the final football game of the Far West League, which will dissolve next year following the Oregon Schools Activities Association’s (OSAA) final approval of the new 6-classification system — along with 4A Sky-Em and 3A Umpqua River Conferences, with Siuslaw moving to the Sky-Em in 2018.

So the Vikings’ win was a particularly sweet note, in a game that was hard-fought.

Viks claim dual XC crowns

As Siuslaw cross country coach Chris Johnson explained it, “When it all comes down to it, we train all season for one day — the district meet. That’s a lot of pressure. If you don’t do well that day, you’re done.”

For Siuslaw, that one day was last Thursday, when both the varsity girls and boys teams not only did well, they came home with matching Far West League crowns. The No. 1 finishes made good on predictions of a title sweep that had been circulating for most of the season.

To top it off, they day also included the very first individual boys’ title for senior Isaac Griffes, who clocked in at 16:57.12, which was just 10 seconds short of his PR set little more than a week ago. It was a particularly satisfying finish considering Griffes hadn’t even made the top 12 at last season’s district meet after getting ill just days before.

In the girls’ race, sophomore Hannah Rannow led the Lady Vikings with a second-place finish individually in a time of 20:08.33.

Freshman Brea Blankenship was the second Siuslaw runner and sixth individually to cross the finish (20:23.96), followed by sophomore Anne Wartnik with PR time of 20:30.85 for 7th place.

The girls team took the title with a 27-point advantage over second-place South Umpqua, 38-55. North Bend was a close third place (58), followed by Marshfield (70).

In the boys’ division, the Vikings came in with 28 points, followed by Marshfield (49), North Bend (86), South Umpqua (99) and Brookings-Harbor (116).


Nine Vikings receive all-league honors

The Far West League announced its all-league rosters for football and volleyball earlier this week, and nine Siuslaw athletes were among those honored by district coaches in those sports.

Receiving First Team nods were Viking senior football tight end Trent Reavis, and junior Makenzie York at middle blocker in volleyball.

Reavis was also named Second Team on defense for his contributions as a linebacker, and on special teams as a punter.

Other members of the football team named to the all-league Honorable Mention roster were senior quarterback Jared Brandt, senior wide receiver Patrick Hill, sophomore lineman Matt Horillo and junior lineman Tim Lowder, who also received HM accolades at linebacker.

On the volleyball court, Lady Vikings’ senior outside hitter Emma Collins and junior outside hitter Jordan Long each received Second Team honors, with sophomore middle blocker Mia Collins making the Honorable Mention list.



Sailors’ state run ends

Mapleton: 32  Lowell: 66

The Sailors went into last Friday’s league play-off game at home against Lowell hoping to secure a seed to state for the first time since 2002. And early in the first half, it looked as though Mapleton had the momentum to make it happen.

Though the Red Devils were the first to score with a little over 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Sailors were able to strike back a little over a minute later on a 38-yard bomb from senior quarterback Dominic Wells to freshman wide receiver JJ Neece. While the conversion was denied, it put Mapleton within an easy 2-point striking distance of Lowell, 8-6.

Then, on the ensuing kick-off, an onside kick by Mapleton ended up in the hands of Wells, who recovered the ball on Lowell’s 46-yard line to end the quarter. Finding themselves with 7 yards to go on the third down, Mapleton was able to advance to the 25-yard line for a first down. From there, Wells found Neece on a 25-yard pass into the end zone, followed by a QB keeper for a 2-point conversion — and a 14-8 lead just 48 seconds into the quarter.

On its next possession, Lowell put together a 7-play drive to tie things up at 14-14 after being denied a conversion attempt.

Then, just as quickly as the wind had caught Mapleton’s sails, it shifted in favor of Lowell and never really came back.

Mapleton (4-5) finished 5th after one of its strongest seasons in 15 years.


Viks fifth, seventh at state

Beneath cloudy skies with occasional sun bursts, members of the Viking girls and boys cross country teams competed in last Saturday’s 4A state meet along with the other top 14 high school teams in Oregon. The 5,000-meter course at Lane Community College in Eugene is a combination of soft terrain and narrow, winding paths that end on the flat track leading to the finish line.

When the final scores were tallied, Siuslaw’s girls team claimed fifth overall, with the boys placing seventh in their race.


Seven Sailors named to football All-League roster

After its most successful football season in more than a decade, Mapleton received seven All-League nods from coaches in Special District 3.

The Sailors’ eight-man team, which finished fifth and advanced to the league playoffs, was driven primarily by the efforts of three seniors, one junior, two sophomores and a freshman.

Seniors Dominic Wells, Tanner Wilson and Cole Spencer each received First-Team honors — Wells at quarterback and defensive end, Wilson as a punter and offensive lineman, and Spencer at defensive back.

Freshman JJ Neece was named First-Team All-Offensive Utility, with sophomore Nate Neece making First-Team on defense and junior Evan Moso named First-Team at runningback.

Second-Team honors also went to Nate Neece as an offensive lineman, along with Second-Team recognition for fellow sophomore Dylan Rogers at center, and Second-Team to JJ Neece as Defensive Utility.

In addition, Wells has been selected to play in the 8-Man All-Star game, with Wilson selected as an alternate.


SHS, MHS football may join new special districts

After being moved to the new Sky-Em League by the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) during the most recent round of reclassifications and redistricting, Siuslaw was set to join powerhouses Marist, Cottage Grove and Marshfield, along with Elmira and Junction City beginning next fall.

At a public meeting held Dec. 18, the committee submitted its recommendations to the OSAA Executive Board for review.

Among the committee’s suggestions was to include Siuslaw among 30 schools playing down a classification in new Class 3A special districts. The proposal would put the Viking football program in the 12-school Special District-2 with Harrisburg, Brookings-Harbor, Cascade Christian, Hidden Valley, La Pine, Pleasant Hill, Santiam Christian, South Umpqua, St. Mary’s (Medford) and Sutherlin.

The committee used a 22 percent or less Colley winning percentage formula, based on the last two seasons rather than four years, to determine which schools would qualify to drop into a lower classification for football for the 2018-2022 seasons.

While the changes won’t have a big impact on Mapleton’s 8-man football program, it will mean a shift in competition as teams from Alsea, Eddyville, McKenzie, Powers and Triangle Lake — all of whom have been part of the Mountain West — have expressed interest in 6-man programs.

That would mean The Sailors would join the 1A Special District-1, with Crow, Elkton, Mohawk, Myrtle Point, North Douglas, Siletz, Waldport and Yoncalla.

The changes would only apply to football; all other sports would continue to compete within each school’s primary classification and district.

For more information, visit www.osaa.org/governance/committees.


And now,

On to 2018...