Glencoe football squad churns out 390 rushing yards in playoff victory

In a first round state playoff game at No. 11 West Salem, the Glencoe football team seemed to relish the role of underdog, as the Crimson Tide piled on 390 rushing touchdowns and six touchdowns en route to a 49-34 victory against the Central Valley runner-up Titans (8-2).

Glencoe (6-5) put itself in the driver’s seat with an early lead and had an answer every time the Titans tried to build some momentum.

Star running back Kainoa Hanchett led the way with 33 carries for 196 yards and three touchdowns, and running mate Anthony Lambert added 155 yards and a few scores of his own to help launch the No. 22 Tide into the second round.

Those two accounted for most of the offense, as the Tide threw the ball sparingly. In fact, quarterback Avery Elrod threw only four times, connecting twice for 46 yards.

Glencoe did the rest with its legs, including on Matt Fields’ score-opening 90-yard kickoff return for his team’s first touchdown.

That victory was the program’s first in the state playoffs since the 2009 season, when Glencoe still competed at the Class 5A level, and was one of just two significant upsets in the first round.

Individual standouts Courtney Vacek, Jared Duvall and Nate Johnson

Glencoe had its share of superlative individuals who made an impact at the conference and state levels this past school year.

Perhaps foremost among them was Courtney Vacek, a junior who had never before competed in track and field but went on to win the Class 6A girls triple jump state title a few weeks ago.

Vacek, who brought an extensive gymnastics background with her into her new sport, certainly enjoyed a meteoric rise in the event. She broke Glencoe’s school record in her first meet, never finished worse than third in 10 outings this season, and bombed out to a meet record of 38 feet, 7 inches on her last attempt at the Pacific Conference district meet.

That jump was the longest in the state this spring, and Vacek backed it up at the Class 6A state meet in Eugene, hitting 38-6 on her second try to win the title, becoming the Crimson Tide’s first champion at the Class 6A level.

Duvall also completed a story arc by becoming the Pacific Conference medalist in boys golf. He finished second in the individual standings in 2013 to teammate Connor Tripp and moved up to the top spot this spring.

The senior won his title in thrilling fashion. Playing at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, Duvall shot a 74 on the first day to take a one-shot lead against Tualatin senior J.J. Paulson.

But Paulson answered back early on the second day, shooting 2-under through the first five holes while Duvall managed a 3-over.

Suddenly, the roles were reversed, and Duvall had to chase. Playing in the same group, he reeled Paulson in, and the two players were tied entering the final hole. There, on a par-4 18th, Duvall tapped in for par, then Paulson missed a short putt for par, meaning that Duvall won the title by a single stroke with a 2-over 150.

As for Johnson, he shined in his first wrestling state tournament appearance, earning a runner-up result at 113 pounds. The year before, as a freshman, he did not get his shot at state after missing the weight cut at the district tournament by a measly three ounces.

He made up for it this winter, taking the District 1 title and then living up to his No. 2 seed at state. In the final, he pushed top seed Casey Coulter of Grants Pass, a 2012 state champion, in a match that remained scoreless for some time before Coulter pulled out a 4-0 win.

Boys cross-country qualifies for state meet for first time in school history

Oct. 24 was a great day for the Glencoe cross-country program. The Crimson Tide boys entered it, the day of the Pacific Conference district meet at Clackamas Community College, knowing that they had a shot at qualifying for the Class 6A state meet.

Then they went out and made it happen – for the first time ever.

Carried by the strength of the speedy triumvirate of Mason Rouches, Abe Teklu and Miles Rouches, Glencoe recorded just 60 points, a score bettered only by reigning league champ Forest Grove (51). The Tide emerged as the clear second-best team out of a pack that included McMinnville (81) and Tualatin (84).

Instead of the Grizzles and Timberwolves, it was the Tide who snatched up the conference’s second and final berth to the state meet – a first in the history of the boys’ program.

Mason Rouches led the charge with a fourth-place effort, and Teklu (fifth) and twin brother Miles (seventh) were not far behind. Landon Apeland (19th) and Brian Gerig (25th) also did important work, running personal-best times as the team’s final two scorers to seal the placement.

Glencoe ran well again the following week in Eugene, taking ninth place. Mason Rouches ran in the top spot once again, finishing 18th overall to earn a coveted spot in the BorderClash meet at Nike world headquarters. Teklu (25th), Miles Rouches (33), Apeland (81st) and Gerig (89th) once again completed the scoring, putting the boys team on the books at state for the first time in Glencoe’s 30-plus-years of history.

Softball team makes another deep run in the Class 6A state playoffs

So close and yet so far.

The Crimson Tide softball team found itself in that position more than once this season.

Glencoe put itself in the mix for a fourth consecutive Pacific Conference championship in a battle that went down to the final week of the regular season but ultimately finished second to Tualatin.

Then the No. 6 Tide picked up two wins in the Class 6A state playoffs in late May and seemed to be on the brink of a third when they took a 6-1 lead at home against No. 30 South Medford.

But softball is a funny game, and the Panthers had other plans, coming all the way back for a 7-6 victory and a berth in the state quarterfinals.

That comeback denied Glencoe (22-8) its second semifinals berth in a row. And while the end was no doubt a difficult one for the Tide, the season was still an outstanding one for a program with incredibly high standards.

Despite having to develop a young and inexperienced pitching staff this spring, Glencoe made an incredible eighth consecutive state quarterfinals appearance and contended for yet another league title. The Tide put nine players on the Pacific Conference all-star team, and two on the all-state squad.

Replicating her outstanding 2013 stats almost to the number, UTEP-bound shortstop Courtney Clayton repeated as both the league and state player of the year. Senior first baseman Maria Dendinger joined Clayton on the Pacific first team and was named second team all-state.

Three other seniors, Hannah Rossman, Kylie Surratt and Emilee Eastman also lended considerable poise, leadership and experience for a team that faced a not inconsiderable amount of retooling after making the Class 6A state final in 2013.

With those five leading the way, the rest of the Tide fell in line and adding another sterling season to the program’s ever-growing list.

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