Oregon City freshmen go undefeated for the fourth year in a row

by: SUBMITTED - Look for Oregon City to make some noise in high school football over the next several years. This years freshmen (pictured above) went 9-0 on the 2012 season, after also going undefeated as sixth, seventh and eighth graders. The talk is that they are the best class that Oregon City High School has seen since 1996, when the Pioneers advanced all the way to the state final.The future looks very bright for Oregon City High School football.

Oregon City freshmen football teams have gone undefeated the past two seasons, and an Oregon City eighth grade team won its division championship this fall.

Freshman coach Kenrik Lynch says this year’s freshmen team is possibly the best freshman class since 1993. That class went on to play for the state championship as seniors.

“We had a very good run of athletes [this year],” Lynch said. “I got here eight years ago and its the best freshmen class since I’ve been here by far. There’s talk that they are the best class since the class of 1996 that played in the state final....

“Last year we threw the ball a ton and we had a real efficient quarterback. This year we were a lot more balanced. We put up a lot of points through the run as well as passing, and we played a lot better defense. We could score and we could stop people.”

“They’re a special group,” said Bryan Mitchell, who coached this year’s freshmen as sixth, seventh and eighth graders. “Over the last four years, they haven’t lost a game.”

Lynch said this year’s freshmen went 9-0 despite missing their two best athletes, 5-9, 160-pound wide receiver/cornerback Trevon Bradford and 5-7, 165-pound running back/linebacker Conner Mitchell. Both were called up to varsity early in the year. Although only a freshman, Bradford made Three Rivers League second-team all-league this fall on defense.

Sophomore Austin Whitton, who quarterbacked last year’s undefeated freshmen team, started for Oregon City at quarterback in this year’s varsity playoff game with Thurston, a narrow 30-28 loss.

This year’s freshmen outscored their nine opponents by an average margin of 43-20 en route to their 9-0 record.

The young Pioneers defeated Lake Oswego (36-33), West Linn (22-14), Clackamas (55-25), Canby (53-12) and Lakeridge (41-22) in Three Rivers League play. In nonleague games, they handled Camas (42-18), McKay (63-0), David Douglas (24-14) and Grant (54-39).

In the final game of the year, Oregon City 5-11, 140-pound quarterback Riley Rexine ran 20 yards to the end zone and then passed for the two-point conversion with just under two minutes to play to gain the Pioneers the 36-33 win over Lake Oswego.

“Riley’s a good athletic quarterback,” Lynch said. “He’s a dual threat. He runs well and he passes well, and he’s a good leader.”

Richie Mock, a 5-11, 165-pound running back, headed this year’s freshmen ground attack.

“He’s a big, strong athlete, and he’s fast,” Lynch said.

The Pioneer coach said that 5-6, 180-pound freshman Marcus Schwab was also tough in the backfield.

Lynch said that Sam Maughan, a 6-3, 160-pound freshman, excelled at wide receiver.

“Sam is very smart and very physical,” Lynch said. “He’s a good blocker and he caught some key passes. He’s a playmaker.”

Lynch said that 6-1, 160-pound linebacker Kiahve Dennis-Lee, 5-9, 200-pound lineman Trevor Vandervort and 5-8, 135-pound free safety Jordon Phillips were the team’s defensive leaders.

Dennis-Lee was the team’s leading tackler, Vandervort was the second-leading tackler, and Phillips led the defensive secondary, with seven interceptions.

Phillips was also pretty efficient as the Pioneers’ PAT kicker, Lynch said.

Players on this year’s standout freshmen team included: Cruz Davis, Nathan Pietrok, David Benintendi, Trevon Bradford, Tyler Dye, Jordon Phillips, Broderick Page, Hayden Wilson, Brad Morris, Riley Rexine, Taylor Schwindt, Gerardo Lopez, Angel Villarreal-Islas, Shawn Shultz, Andy Hernandez, Logan Davis, Hunter Dillman, Kiahve Dennis-Lee, Richie Mock, Brockton McSperitt, Nathan Polanco, Derick Elmore, Jacob Postles, Marcus Schwab, Sam Maughan, Brandon Dillon, Saul Lopez-Damian, Trenton Brown, Nicholas Dye, Dakota Spencer, Patrick Stafford, Ethan Durr, Kyle Hammons, Trevor Vandervort, Nicholas Gower, Jackson Kniebuehler, Aaron Parker, Joseph Pietila, William Jones, Hunter Stroh, Brett Kloepper, Mackenzie Civil, Logan Loosmore, Duncan Cranston, Nicolis Illa, Benjamin Vesa, Ian Dunbar, Stephen McCutcheon, Austin Sillett, Miguel Montenegno, Breaymen Oster and Taylor Cloyd.

Trevor Vollintine, Gene Olson, Joe Wolf and Adam Thygeson assisted Lynch in coaching the team.

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