Kirchhofer becomes a mainstay in Estacada sports
THREE-SPORT ATHLETE AWARD
|Football, basketball and track|
Anyone who has been to an Estacada sporting event in the last four years has more than likely gotten the chance to see Doug Kirchhofer compete.
The three-sport star has received 14 varsity varsity letters in his time with the Rangers in football, basketball and track. But the truth is, there is much more to Kirchhofer than what we see on the on the field or on the court.
Over his time at Estacada, Kirchhofer has been a fixture in the choir and musical theatre programs. He was in productions such as "The Music Man" and "Beauty and the Beast," and his choir team ended up taking seventh at state in 2017.
Needless to say, Kirchhofer keeps himself busy.
"You have to be very committed. I have a crazy busy schedule throughout every year. It's important to stay focused and stay on top of things in order to keep up," Kirchhofer said. "It's honestly really fun being up on stage...I have become friends with a lot of different groups of people."
Kirchhofer's extracurricular activities don't stop there. He was involved with student council as a class officer and was apart of national honor society as well. He was also a the president of the Estacada chapter of Club USA. To top it all off, Kirchhofer maintained a 3.81 GPA throughout high school— the sixth highest in his class.
"I have just tried to be as involved as I possibly could...High school is a time to try different things and find yourself and I think I did that in my time at Estacada," Kirchhofer said.
While Kirchhofer excelled in doing many different things, his passion was on the gridiron.
"Basketball will always have a special place in my heart, but I just love being on the football field," Kirchhofer said. "Putting that helmet on and rocking people is the greatest feeling."
While the Rangers football program had fallen on hard times for years, Kirchhofer was an instrumental piece it them returning them prominence in 2016.
The senior running back rushed for 1,368 yards and 21 touchdowns on 210 carries, leading Estacada to a 9-2 record and a Tri-Valley Conference title. Estacada would go onto advance to the 4A semifinals before falling to North Bend 49-26.
"(Kirchhofer) helped turn a struggling program into on of the state's best with his play and leadership on and off the field over the course of four years. He always put the team first and did anything necessary to make himself and his teammates better," Estacada football coach Andrew Mott said. "He is a great example of what Ranger football should be, showing that hard work, dedication and a drive to be successful can really pay off."
Kirchhofer was named a first-team all-conference running back and was selected as a second-team linebacker. He was also named as a second-team, all-state running back.
"This football season was very special. It was always the dream to win the league and go far at state. It was a huge accomplishment for the program and the community," Kirchhofer said. "We had a ton of supporters that were thrilled to see us go far."
While Kirchhofer stood out on both sides of the ball, he especially excelled in the backfield. With a powerful running style between the tackles and good speed in the open field, Kirchhofer was a nightmare for opposing defenses.
"Doug has an incredible motor and always gave everything he had on each and every down. Doug was a powerful runner that was almost impossible to tackle solo," Mott said. "When Doug had the ball you knew he was going to do something special."
Kirchhofer obviously had an outstanding season, but it was a particular play in Estacada's quarterfinal game at Ontario where Kirchhofer's will and ability really stood out to his coach.
Ontario had just scored to cut the Rangers lead to seven. But on the ensuing kickoff, Kirchhofer caught the ball, broke multiple tackles and scampered 90 yards for the touchdown, putting the Rangers up by two scores.
"You could feel the momentum in the stadium starting to swing in their favor until they kicked off to us...It was the difference in the game and the momentum swung back our way," Mott said.
Many of the qualities that Kirchhofer brings to the football field are also the ones he brings to the hardwood.
"Doug is all about the team. He has a really high motor and plays as hard as anyone I have ever coached," Estacada basketball coach Kelly Norman said. "He is asked to do a lot for us and his willingness to play whatever role we need him in is huge."
At a young age, Kirchhofer's father, Kevin, taught him to play every position on the court so that when he got to high school, his versatility would be one of his greatest assets. Kirchhofer is only listed at 6-foot tall, but his ability to defend every position and score in the post earned him second-team all-conference honors.
"I feel like having my dad coach me was one of the main reasons that I was versatile. I was never the tallest guy, but I was very physical and I would put extra work in," Kirchhofer said.
Kirchhofer was the team's best defender and second leading scorer, but his impact on the program goes beyond his skill set.
"(Kirchhofer) brings the same intensity every day at practice. His work ethic makes not only our team more competitive, but the lower levels more competitive as well," Norman said. "Doug has always helped with the youth camps that we hold and he is just a great type of guy to have in your program."
While was very successful in football and basketball, it wasn't the greatest year on the track for Kirchhofer. His best event before his senior year was the pole vault, but he had gained too much weight over the summer in preparation for football season to compete in the event this spring. However, he was still able to qualify for districts in the javelin, high jump, shot put and 4-x-400-meter relay.
"It's a sport that helps me stay in shape. I love the friendly competition and the people that are on my team are great," Kirchhofer said.
As it was with all of his sports, leadership was a big thing Kirchhofer brought to the table. He was named team captain for the football, basketball and track squads
"Doug had a very significant impact on our team. One of the things that he exemplified is patience and making the best of change. When it became apparent that the Pole Vault was not going to be a main focus of his, he changed his focus with no outward let down to the shot, javelin and high jump," Estacada head track & field coach Jon Erickson said.
"When things were not going well for him in an event, his attitude allowed him to get back on track or if not, he was able to separate it from the other things he had to do at meets. That is what captains are made of...The ability to cope and adapt to unwanted situations positively. Doug has done such a great job of this this year."
Kirchhofer plans to attend Chemeketa Community College in Salem in the fall where he will enroll in the fire program for two years before transferring to a four-year university. However, his high school athletic career isn't over just yet.
Kirchhofer will participate in the 4A/3A/2A Oregon Boys Basketball All-Star Series, which will be played at Northwest Christian University on Friday, June 16 and Wilsonville High School on June 17. He will also represent Estacada at the East/West All-Star football game in Baker City on Saturday, August 5.
Even though he will never put on the Ranger uniform again, Kirchhofer is incredibly thankful for the time he spent at Estacada.
"I love this school. I have been around the high school environment a lot and I am lucky that I was able to be so involved," Kirchhofer said. "(Estacada) is a great place. I know everyone at this school and I am really going to miss it."