Last month the News-Times used its Year In Review pages to honor some of the teams and stories that made an impact on local sports communities over the past high school season.
From the fall, through the unusually harsh winter and into the spring, Forest Grove, Banks and Gaston student-athletes entertained and inspired onlookers on the football field, basketball court, wrestling mat, baseball and softball diamonds — and beyond.
So while in a couple months a new crop of inspiring athletes will take the field, we're highlighting a handful of outgoing seniors who made their mark for the Vikings, Braves and Greyhounds during their final campaigns at their now-alma maters.
Bailey Evers — The Viking hooper led a Forest Grove team that finished fourth in the formidable Greater Valley Conference and qualified for the state playoffs before losing to Southridge of the Metro League. The wing — who's headed to Linn Benton Community College to play basketball in the fall — was selected to the All-GVC first-team, as well as all-state honorable mention.
Mary Schorn — An incredibly decorated three-sport athlete at Banks, Schorn was a three-time all-state honoree on the softball diamond, the co-Cowapa League Player of the Year on the volleyball court and a contributor to multiple state championship teams during her four-year Braves career. Originally slated to play softball at Yavapai College in Arizona, Schorn will now be attending Mt. Hood Community College, where she hopes to play both volleyball and softball.
Luke Anderson — The Gaston senior was, as his baseball and basketball coach Jake McGraw put it, "a go-to athlete at Gaston High." Anderson was a first-team all-Northwest League receiver for the football team, second-team catcher on the diamond and honorable mention selection for the Greyhounds on the hardwood.
Abby Boozer — An outside hitter, Boozer was selected to the Greater Valley Conference second-team all-league team in volleyball and was an honorable mention selection on the diamond for the Forest Grove softball team. In addition, Abby was selected as the Frye's Scholar Athlete award winner and Mitch Thomas Trophy winner.
Jake Evans — The three-sport athlete was an honorable mention all-Cowapa League quarterback for a Banks team that lost in the quarterfinals , honorable mention forward for the basketball team that finished fourth in the state tournament and all-league and third team all-state baseball player for a Braves team that celebrated a league championship.
Abbey Zawadney — The first baseman was a first-team all-Northwest League selection for the Gaston Greyhound softball team that finished second to Vernonia in the final league standings and advanced to the state playoffs before losing to Kennedy. Zawadney was selected as the News-Times Gaston Athlete of the Week this past April.
Lucas Higginbotham — The Viking grappler won the district championship at 132 pounds and finished third at the OSAA 6A State Wrestling Championships at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland. In addition, Lucas was awarded the Gary Cammann Trophy for outstanding wrestler and the Viking Achievement award at the Forest Grove's senior awards assembly in June.
Anna Klein — A basketball and track and cross country athlete, Klein was an all-league and second-team all-state selection in basketball and a standout cross country and track athlete in the fall and spring for the Braves. Klein was a key contributor for a Banks squad that lost a heartbreaking state final to Sutherlin, but will be remembered for her mark on the program she's leaving behind.
"Anna and the rest of our seniors impacted this whole program," said head basketball coach Brandon Begley. "And her and their accomplishments will continue to impact it going forward."
McKenzie Long — The Greater Valley Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-league selection led the Viking basketball team to a third place finish in the Greater Valley Conference and playoff appearance before losing to Westview of the Metro League. Long is headed to Mt. Hood Community College to play basketball and will be teaming up with Viking teammate Ashlie Collins, along with Banks' standout post Anna Klein.
Milo Applebee — The running back and linebacker headlined the Braves' football honorees, being selected first team on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball en route to being voted the Co-Cowapa League Defensive Player of the Year along with Astoria's Samboy Tuimato and Valley Catholic's Daniel Hardy. Applebee was also a second-team all-state defense selection.
Brandon Olvera — The senior midfielder was an all-Greater Valley Conference honorable mention selection for a Vikings team that finished fourth with a 4-1-3 conference record and beat Franklin in the opening round of the OSAA state playoffs before falling in the second round to eventual state champion Lakeridge of the Three Rivers League.
Karlie Gerlinger and Katie Ragsdale — Both state and league decorated softball and basketball players were part of a core group of senior girls that had an exceptional run of success at Banks. Softball coach James Wise said this following the Braves' quarterfinal loss to Gladstone.
"I made the girls turn around and look at our accomplishments on the sign out there," said Wise. "I told them not to walk off of this field thinking this one game defines your career at Banks. A lot of wins, a lot of awards, they should be proud of their accomplishments here."
Natalia Blanco — The midfielder was Forest Grove's only representative on the Greater Valley Conference all-league team, being selected to the first-team despite a sixth place finish and 3-10-1 overall record.
Trevor Thiessen — A three-sport Banks athlete, Thiessen was a first-team all-Cowapa League linebacker, honorable mention first baseman, and won a state wrestling championship at the 160-pound weight class. Thiessen will be attending George Fox University in the fall and will be playing football for the Bruins.
Mitch Faris — Faris became the first Viking to win a match at the OSAA state tennis championships when he defeated Gresham senior Florin Miron 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 in the first round of singles play at the 6A boys state tennis tournament in May before dropping a second round match to West Linn's Matt Perkins. Faris qualified for state by winning three matches on his way to a semi-final loss at the Greater Valley Conference district championships.
Maddie Standley — The three-year volleyball letterman was a two-time all-Cowapa League selection, a second-team all-state tournament team selection and all-state honorable mention selection. Standley also won a state championship at Banks in 2015 and was part of a 2016 squad that lost in the state quarterfinals.
Ilean Franco — The three-sport athlete competed in soccer, wrestling and track at Forest Grove and will be running track at Northwest Christian University in Eugene in the fall.
Chase Massey — The first-team all-league defensive lineman for the Banks football team finished tenth in the javelin and was part of a 4x100 relay team that qualified for and competed at the OSAA 4A State Track and Field Championships at Eugene's historic Heyward Field.
Zach Ennis — Ennis was honored as one of a handful of three-sport athletes while also being awarded the U.S. Marines Distinguished Athlete Award. Ennis was a Greater Valley Conference honorable mention selection both as a running back and linebacker for the Viking football team, and also participated in both wrestling and track at Forest Grove.
Clay Pena — Pena was a first-team all-league defensive lineman for Banks and won a district wrestling title.
Ashlie Collins — Collins was a Greater Valley Conference basketball honorable mention selection and Viking Achievement Trophy winner. The outgoing senior will play basketball at Mt. Hood Community College next season.