June 7, 2022 — On June 3, the entire Siuslaw High student body gathered in the school’s mall area and awaited an important announcement from KCST News Director George Henry.
Henry was there to announce the 2021-22 KCST/Siuslaw News/Sports Club Athlete of the Year, an award for Siuslaw or Mapleton student/athletes.
The ten finalists, who, at some point this past season, had all won the KCST/Siuslaw News/Sports Club Athlete of the Week, were seniors Opal Burruss, Rylee Colton, Hayden Muller, Bailey Overton, Beau Erickson, Chad Hughes, Camp Lacouture and Joe Shepard and juniors Desi Tupua and Hunter Petterson.
After great anticipation, Henry announced the winners were Colton for the girls and Lacouture for the boys.
“Congratulations to all of the outstanding athletes at both Siuslaw High School and Mapleton High School this past year,” said Henry.
Colton finishes her career as one of the greatest female distance runners in Siuslaw history.
In the fall, Colton was the senior leader of the Viking cross country team.
On Oct. 15, Colton won the West Coast Classic cross country meet in Tillamook (19:16.5). A week later, she won The Run for the Brownies, an event held at Florence Golf Links (11:34).
To complete a three week victory streak, on Oct. 28 she led her team to a Sky-Em district title when she won the league’s individual title finishing the race, at Lane Community College in Eugene, in 19:30.7.
The following weekend, also at Lane Community College, Colton finished fifth (19:39.9) at the OSAA 4A State Championships and led her Viking team to the 4A state title. Colton also finished fifth at state in 2020.
Colton took the winter off from competing for Viking athletic teams. When she isn’t on a trail or the track, she is an outstanding student. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was a nominee for Future First Citizen.
In the spring, Colton’s success continued with the Siuslaw track team. She raced the 400m, 800m, 1500m and 3000m at different points during the season, picking up race wins in all but the 400m.
On May 13, at the Sky-Em League Championships at Junction City, Colton finished third and set a personal record in the 1500m (4:56.67). She followed that with another personal record in the 3000m (10:44.17) and this time it was enough for the victory and the district title.
Colton was also a member of the district champion 4x400m relay team.
At state, which was held at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Colton finished 10th in the 1500m (5:13.29) and seventh in the 3000m (10L44.18). The 4x400 relay team also placed 10th.
Colton will continue her running career on a familiar track at Lane Community College. She plans to study nursing.
Lacouture was a three-sport star for Siuslaw, competing in football, basketball and track and field.
In one of the greatest football seasons Siuslaw has ever seen, the Viking team went undefeated to win the OSAA 3A State Championship on Nov. 27.
Lacouture, captain of the Siuslaw defense, was chosen as 3A Defensive Player of the Year — an honor awarded to the best defensive player in the entire state in the 3A division.
Lacouture was just as dominant on the offensive side of the ball. He rushed for 1,607 yards in 2021, the second most in SHS history, which earned him the spot of first team all-state as running back. The multi-positional star also was named to the third-team all-state as a place kicker.
During the winter sports season, Lacouture played for the Siuslaw basketball team. After taking his junior year off from roundball, he returned to the court to be an important senior leader on the team.
Though the team did not find the success in the win column it had hoped for, they continued to fight and show perseverance all season thanks, in big part, to the relentless defense Lacouture played.
He was named to the Sky-Em League All-Defensive team.
In the spring, Lacouture took his talents to the track.
He also showed some talents for construction when he, along with teammate Kyle Hughes, built a wooden pole vault runway for the “First Annual Florence Street Vault.” With guidance and assistance from Coach Chris Johnson and the Siuslaw track team, they staged the extremely successful pole vault competition right in the heart of historic old town.
That event helped kick-off a stellar pole vaulting season for Lacouture.
On April 5, at the home Siuslaw Invitational, he vaulted a remarkable 14’3, tied for the fourth-best vault in Siuslaw history.
Lacouture would go on to finish third at district in the pole vault. Then, his sixth-place finish at state helped Siuslaw bring home third place in the boys team standings.
After graduation, Lacouture will attend Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He hopes to vault for the track team there. After his freshman year, Lacouture will go on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before he completes his degree.
At the ceremony, Henry presented both Colton and Lacouture with a plaque to commemorate their award.