Crook County High School has put a number of athletes into the collegiate ranks in recent years.
A number of them have had noteworthy accomplishments during the 2021-2022 school season.
Hogan Smith, who played quarterback and defensive back while at Crook County and was named the conference offensive player of the year his senior season, is now competing in both football and golf at Willamette University. Smith started his freshman year at Willamette as a special teams performer. However, as the season went on, he earned significant playing time as a defensive back. Smith played in nine games during the year, getting 14 tackles and 8 assists on the year as the Bearcats finished with a 1-9 record.
During the golf season, Smith played in two tournaments, shooting an 87 in his first tournament and a 90 in his second. As a team, the Bearcats won the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference Championships, qualifying for the national tournament where they finished in a tie for 19th place.
Three Cowboys competed in wrestling at Eastern Oregon University. Of the three, sophomore Kyle Knudtson had the most success. Knudtson won the conference championship at 184 pounds, then placed fourth at the NAIA National Tournament. Knudtson lost a tight 5-3 match in the tournament semifinals, and lost another close match 15-14 in the third and fourth place match, finishing the year with a 28-7 record. The fourth-place finish earned Knudtson All-American status.
Sophomore Zach Mauras also qualified for the national tournament, however did not win any matches at nationals. Wrestling at 125 pounds, Mauras finished in fifth place at the conference tournament and finished the season with an 8-7 record. The third former Cowboy to wrestle at Eastern Oregon was freshman Trevor Martin, who was on the roster at 133 pounds and redshirted on the year.
Cayden Lowenbach was part of the undefeated Crook County High School basketball team during the 2020-2021 season. Unfortunately, the team did not get to compete in a state tournament as the OSAA chose to not sponsor tournaments due to COVID-19 regulations. Now a freshman at Linfield University, the Wildcats finished the year with an 18-7 record and finished with a 13-3 league record. Lowenbach played in seven games, scoring 6 points and grabbing a pair of rebounds in limited playing action.
A number of other Crook County athletes also had successful collegiate seasons. Over the next couple weeks, we will continue to highlight former CCHS athletes.
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