Colton Corner: Colton hosts 1998 state champs Saturday
In 1998, the Colton High School women's basketball team defeated rival school, Regis, to earn the title of Oregon 2A state champions. The roster of Nicole Birch (G), Cynthia Bjarnson (G), Brandi Brown (G/P), Teresa Collins (G), Kara McGee (G), Jamie Neal (P), Kristy Riggs (P), Becky Thompson (G), Janai Thronson (P), Lisa Turner (G), Sarah Young (G) coached by Vic Thompson, with assistant coaches, Teresa Adams, Greg Adams and Kim Linder had gone undefeated in league play losing to Regis in district play but advanced to the regional games where they beat teams from Crow and Monroe to make the trip to the state championship tournament in Pendleton.
In Pendelton, the CHS girls faced and beat teams from Amity and Weston-McEwen to once again face Regis in the state championship game. The end score was Regis 44 and Colton 58 for the sweet win.
This past Saturday, seven players and four coaches from the 1998 State Championship Viking women's basketball team came together for a reunion and reception. They were honored with a presentation during the CHS versus Chemawa home varsity game.
The 1998 team players and coaches in attendance, Nichole Birch, Brandi (Brown) Schoneberger, Jamie (Nail) Smith, Kristy (Riggs) Monte, Becky (Thompson) Schlegel, Vic Tompson, head coach, Chuck Wilcken, scorekeeper, Lisa (Turner) Hordichok, Sarah (Young) Coyne, and assistant coaches Greg Adams and Teresa Adams (assistant coach, Kim Linder, attended the reception but had to leave early) were introduced and gathered center court for the presentation of certificates.
Head coach Vic Thompson, who coached 24 years in Colton, said the state championship was the icing on the cake of his career.
"There are so many memories," Sarah (Young) Coyne said. "But besting Regis at states and earning the state championship title will always be a top memory."
Nicole Birch said looking up into the stands and seeing so many people from the school and community who came to the game will always be a top Colton memory.
And for one of those community members, Jeanette Norton, who drove to Pendelton with husband Jerry to cheer on the team, it is remembered as an exciting day made really special with a win over longtime rival team, Regis.
"I played with teammates I love and played for coaches I love and we won a state title," Becky (Thompson) Schlegel said. "Getting to experience it all with my dad (Vic Thompson) was the greatest memory."