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Indians boys kick off for Cowapa League repeat, girls to improve on second place

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Indians coach David Richmond, top, confers with Emma Styles, in a blue swim cap against the wall, Lauren Herscovitz, in a black cap, Rylan Warner and Nicky Gill, in a green cap, in practice Tuesday, Nov. 21, at Eisenschmidt Pool in St. Helens.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Hadley Enos looks ahead in the breaststroke.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Nicky Gill swims the freestyle.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Lyla Dubois swims the breaststroke.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Gustavo Villalvazo practices the breaststroke.

The Cowapa League champion Indians boys and runner-up girls feel better than ever this time around.

Brannigan Vogt, Will Harley and Bryant Sharp are respective seniors and a sophomore back from winning the league 400-yard freestyle relay championship and setting a 3-minute, 43.68-second school record in Scappoose's first such Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state qualification Feb. 21 at the Mt. Hood Aquatics Center in Gresham, have more work to do.

"This year in swimming we've got a new freshman [Will Blair] from Prescott [just south of Rainier] who is undoubtedly the fastest in every event, which is really exciting for me, especially having him on relays with me," said Vogt, a captain with senior Will Harley. "Also, we have one of the biggest teams in the history of SHS swimming, and I'm expecting back-to-back league champion awards for the boys this year, as well as one for the girls."

Valley Catholic's boys, a perennial team to beat, return from eighth at state.

Scappoose's girls, second in the league to eventual state sixth-place Tillamook, are back in style.

"Our team this year is such a perfect mix of upper- and underclassmen, which is really unique," said Ciara Dreeszen, a senior captain. "We have so many amazing returners, and I know that as seniors we are hoping to dominate in our league as well as our district. I'm looking forward to spending my last season with some of my best friends and the best coach I could ask for, and I'm looking forward to seeing the new kids grow and improve. With about 15 seniors leaving [in spring], I'm hoping to help the underclassmen build a good foundation for the team to enter into 5A next year."

The Tribe has extra wisdom on their side.

"Casey Balza is our new assistant coach," Indians coach David Richmond said. "Casey swam for me at Scappoose for one season in 2005-06, [and] was the team's fastest sprinter his senior year. He anchored the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay and was a district finalist, and was also a district finalist in the 50 freestyle. We're excited to have him: He brings a passion for swimming and enthusiasm to the pool each day with the athletes. They enjoy him, and I appreciate his perspective and energy. We're looking forward to an a big year for both the boys' and girls' teams."

Scappoose is scheduled to open with the Tillamook Invitational, featuring District 1 champion Newport's boys back from third in the state, at 10:15 a.m. Saturday at the Tillamook County Family YMCA.

"There is a lot to look forward to this season," Richmond said. "We have 50 kids this year, so we have a very large team: 27 girls and 23 boys [as of Monday, Nov. 13]. ... Just looking at returners for each team, I expect Astoria's boys to have a very strong team this year as well. I expect a stronger [girls'] team this year and ... I am hopeful we can try to close the gap a little more on [Tillamook] this year. ... It's always too early to tell in November, but one of my favorite things about swimming is seeing the transformation the athletes experience over the course of the season."

SEASON OUTLOOK: The veteran Indians will find themselves in competition for District 1 crowns after Newport, Valley Catholic and Tillamook's boys came up third, eighth and 10th in the state and Tillamook and Newport's girls raced to sixth and seventh.

SCAPPOOSE INDIANS

COACH: David Richmond (14th year)

CLASSIFICATION: Class 4A/3A/2A/1A District 1, Cowapa League

2016-17 FINISH: Boys first in league, fifth in district; Girls second in league, sixth in district

ROSTER

Boys: Brannigan Vogt; William Harley; Nash Wilson; Bryant Sharp; Cole Bakkensen; Gustavo Villalvazo; Josiah Oliver; Cadmen Posvar; Brisyn Maller; Quincy Reynolds; Dimitri Vanderhoef; Nicky Gill; Isaiah Ebert; Isaac Reed; Matthew Reed; Rylan Warner; Will Blair; Owen Reynolds; Jesse Oliver; Jaden Wardwell.

Girls: Gabie Krueger; Ciara Dreezsen; Mackenzie Ela; Montana Poppenhagen; Hannah Bowman; Hadley Enos; Shasta Howe; Cascade Howe; Wendy Sanchez; Maddy Thorne; Kamryn Einerson; Kelsey Ela; Rachel Lauridsen; Lyla Dubois; Lauren Whisenhunt; Amanda Walsh; Sara Mills; Emma Styles; Emma Hinsvark; Jordan Brixey; Breanna Warnock.

SCHEDULE

Dec. 2 Scappoose at Tillamook Invitational, 10:15 a.m. Tillamook County Family YMCA

Dec. 8 Scappoose at River City Invitational, 4 p.m., Eisenschmidt Pool, in St. Helens

Dec. 15 Scappoose at Newport Invitational, 2 p.m., Newport Aquatic Center

Dec. 19 Scappoose at Valley Catholic, 4 p.m., at Beaverton High School

Jan. 2 Tillamook, Blanchet Catholic at Scappoose, 4 p.m., Eisenschmidt Pool, in St. Helens

Jan. 5 Scappoose at Molalla, 4 p.m., Molalla Aquatic Center

Jan. 13 Scappoose at Molalla Invitational, 4 p.m., Molalla Aquatic Center

Jan. 18 Scappoose at Seaside, 4 p.m., Seaside Aquatic Center

Jan. 23 Scappoose at Astoria, 4 p.m., Astoria Aquatic Center

Jan. 27 Scappoose at Blanchet Catholic Invitational, 2 p.m., at Salem Salvation Army Kroc Aquatic Center

Feb. 2 Scappoose at Cowapa League Championships, 4:15 p.m., Eisenschmidt Pool, in St. Helens

Feb. 9 Scappoose at Class 4A/3A/2A/1A District 1 Championships, 1 p.m., Astoria Aquatic Center

Feb. 10 Scappoose at Class 4A/3A/2A/1A District 1 Championships, 11:30 a.m., Astoria Aquatic Center

Feb. 16-17 Class 4A/3A/2A/1A State Championships, at Mt. Hood Community College Aquatics Center, in Gresham

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