Buffs put together strong spring


Baseball, softball teams make postseason

by: PIONEER FILE PHOTO - The Madras High School softball team, seen here tackling Sarah Brown following her walk-off three-run home run against North Marion in the last regular season game of the spring, made it to the Class 4A play-in round. They lost to North Marion, 13-1, to end their season.With summer vacation now upon schools in the state, the final season of the school year in prep sports came to a close for area high school teams.

Both Madras and Culver high schools fielded teams in baseball, softball and track and field. The two schools combined to make an equestrian team, and there were also students on the Tri-County high school rodeo team.

While it was the only season a team from Jefferson County didn’t bring home a high school state championship — Culver won the 2A volleyball title in the fall and Madras brought home the 4A-1A boys swimming title in the winter — there were still noteworthy performances in the spring.

Madras High School, baseball

On the big diamond, the White Buffalos finished third in the Tri-Valley Conference, to qualify for the postseason, and appeared in the Class 4A play-in round. They lost to semifinalist Klamath Union 2-1 in Klamath Falls, which ended the Buffs’ season. The Buffs were 13-12 overall, 7-8 in the TVC, under first-year head coach Joe Dominiak.

In the early part of the season, the Buffs tallied six straight wins after a season-opening loss to Sisters, including a thrilling nine-inning 6-5 win against Class 5A runner-up Bend on March 20 at home.

During the streak — and including the win against the Lava Bears — the Buffs beat La Pine twice, Crook County twice and McLoughlin.

The Buffs also swept a TVC season series with Molalla.

Six Buffs were honored with postseason awards, which were led by senior outfielder Devin Ceciliani.

Ceciliani roamed center field for the Buffs, and hit .410 with a pair of home runs to lead an offense that plated 125 runs this season. Ceciliani was named a second-team all-state outfielder, first-team all-conference outfielder and was a 34th-round selection of the Tampa Bay Rays in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He was one of two Oregon high school players picked in the MLB draft.

Robert and Andrew Fine, seniors, were both named to the all-conference second team. Robert Fine was named to the team as a pitcher, while Andrew Fine was tabbed as a utility player.

Rounding out the second-team selections for the Buffs was sophomore Cody Shepherd. He was elected to the team as an infielder, playing the hot corner for the Buffs this year.

Seniors Bear Spino and Jack Fine were named to the honorable mention all-conference team, Spino as a catcher and Fine as a utility player.

Madras finished the season rated No. 21 in the Class 4A power ratings.

North Marion won the TVC championship behind player of the year Kyle Williamson, pitcher of the year Brock Breshears and coach of the year Randy Brack.


A dramatic finish in the team’s final league contest boosted the Buff softball team into the postseason, but only to lose to the same team they beat the week before.

Senior Sarah Brown’s walk-off three-run home run capped an incredible rally for Madras, leading the team to a 9-8 victory against North Marion and third-place finish in the TVC.

As the postseason draw shook out, the Huskies earned a rematch with the Buffs in the play-in round May 18 in Madras. The result, however, wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the previous game.

North Marion first baseman Kylie Gonzales blasted a three-run home run to spark the North Marion offense in a 13-1 win, eliminating the Buffs from further postseason play.

To start the season, Madras won eight of its 11 nonconference games, including three of four at the Central Oregon Spring Break Classic in Bend on March 25-26. In one of the wins, a 7-1 victory against Philomath, freshman pitcher Jasmyn Reese threw the first no-hitter of her career.

The Buffs kept its mojo going to start the TVC schedule, winning their first three games, but things went south after that. The Buffs went 4-10 for the rest of the season, including the season-ending loss to North Marion in the play-in round. In the four games Madras and North Marion played, Madras won once.

Brown was named the league’s player of the year and first-team all-league infielder. She was also named to the Class 4A all-state second team as an infielder. She was the only Madras player to be honored with an all-state selection.

Seniors Jamie Moe and Caitlyn Hulsey, along with sophomores Elysia Moran and Keely Brown, were named to the all-conference second team. Moe was named as a pitcher, Hulsey as a catcher, Moran as a utility player and Brown as an outfielder.

Senior infielder Inez Jones rounded out the Madras selections with an honorable mention pick.

The Buffs finished 15-12 overall, and held the top spot in the Class 4A power ratings into the conference schedule, and finished 7-8 in the TVC.

The team ended the season No. 8 in the power ratings.

Molalla finished 13-2 and won the league championship behind pitcher of the year Sierra Benson. Molalla coach Bob Russell was named coach of the year.

Track and field

With the Madras High School track in need of massive repairs — which will come in the form of replacement to start the 2014 school year — and the program welcoming a pair of new coaches, the Buff tracksters still performed well.

Jon and Melissa Bowerman, formerly coaches for Class 1A Condon/Wheeler Knights, a co-op team from Condon and Wheeler (Fossil) high schools, joined the staff this season with Donnie Alire and head coach Paul Brown.

The Bowermans led the Knights’ girls team to a state championship in 2011. Jon is the son of Nike co-founder, and legendary University of Oregon track coach, Bill Bowerman.

Sophomore Brent Sullivan was able to shake off a dismal performance his freshman year to place sixth in the high jump at this year’s state championships, held at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Sullivan cleared 6 feet, 2 inches at state, improving on his no height he received after fouling three times on opening height his freshman year.

Sullivan set a season best of 6-3 on April 27 at the Sterling Invitational in Klamath Falls, and won the event in eight meets, including the Tri-Valley Conference championships.

He narrowly missed qualifying for state in the triple jump, as well. His best leap of 37-10 1/2 was third at the conference meet.

The Madras boys 4x100-meter relay team qualified for the state meet, and ran to a 13th-place finish. With a time of 45.47 seconds, seniors Joe Histake and Rodney Mitchell, along with freshmen Miklo Hernandez and Victor Bonilla, was the only other boys entry from Madras in the state meet. The team finished second in the Tri-Valley Conference championships with a time of 45.61 seconds to qualify for state

On the girls side, sophomore Elle Renault was the lone qualifier for Madras. She finished 14th in the javelin with a mark of 106-6, an improvement over her mark of 106-1 that earned her a second-place finish at the conference championships.

Senior Nick Picard finished third in the shot put at the conference meet, just missing state meet qualification. He heaved the put 44-8, and he finished fifth in the discus, with a toss of 125-1.

Junior Isaac Fisher missed out on a state trip in the pole vault by virtue of too many misses at districts. His final height of 12 feet was tied for second with La Salle junior Cam Mitchell, but Mitchell had fewer misses on his ledger than did Fisher, which elevated Mitchell to second place and state qualification.


Riding as a medium-sized team of seven riders during the regular season, the Madras/Culver combined equestrian team qualified three for the state championships, held May 16-19 in Redmond.

Jake Palin placed 12th in the working rancher event, and 14th in steer daubing at state.

Lakota Jensen placed 40th in barrel racing, and then teamed up with Alyssa Booren to place 33rd in bi-rangle.