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Buffalos will host district track championships; final home game for softball squad highlight week that also signals start of, yep, winter sports

LON AUSTIN  - Hope King takes a cut for the Buffalos earlier this season. The team missed four games due to a COVID quarantine. Their last home game is Wednesday, May 12.  It's one of the busiest times of the year for Jefferson County high school athletics.

Not only are spring sports still going, but next week winter sports will begin as well.

Depending on what happens this week, spring sports teams may have playoffs next week, while winter sports will also be starting next week.

On Wednesday, May 12, the Madras softball team will play their final home game of the year. The White Buffalos were in the league playoff race until they were forced to cancel the last four league games because of a COVID quarantine. The White Buffalos will host Molalla in a 4:30 p.m. contest, then go on the road on Thurday to take on Estacada in a 3:30 p.m. game. With two games remaining in the season, the White Buffalos are 5-3 in league play. Gladstone leads the Tri-Valley Conference with an 8-3 record, while Corbett is currently second, 7-2, and Estacada third with a 6-3 record. That means that the White Buffalos still have plenty to play for as they can move up in the league standings.

The Madras baseball team is on the road today at Molalla, then close out the regular season at home on Thursday against the Estacada Rangers. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Madras is currently in fourth place in the Tri-Valley Conference with a 4-8 record. North Marion, which currently has a 10-0 record, has wrapped up the league championship, while Gladstone, 9-2, is in second place, and Estacada, 4-5, is in third.

This Thursday, Culver baseball takes on Western Christian in a critical ball game. After missing games with Salem Academy, Sheridan and Kennedy due to COVID protocols, the Bulldogs are still in the playoff hunt with a 5-0 overall record and a 3-0 league record. Kennedy has already locked up the league championship with a 9-0 league mark, while Western Christian has a 5-2 league record and Salem Academy is in third place with a 4-5 league mark. A win would put Culver in the top three in league play despite not playing half of the league season. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

The Bulldog softball team also plays on Thursday with a doubleheader against the La Pine JV squad. Games are scheduled for 2 and 4 p.m.

Thursday is also the final day for both the Madras boys and girls tennis teams. Madras hosted the first round of the girls tournament on Monday, with Thursday matches scheduled for Black Butte Ranch.

On Friday and Saturday, Madras is set to host the Tri-Valley Conference track and field championships. Field events are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, with running events scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Qualifying athletes will then be eligible to compete at a non-sanctioned state championship, which will be held at Siuslaw High School on Friday and Saturday, May 25-26.

The Culver track and field squad will also compete this weekend in the Wapiti League Championships, which will be held Friday, May 14 at Union High School. Field events are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with running events to follow beginning at 2 p.m. Then, on Saturday, May 25, any Bulldogs who qualify will return to Union for the unofficial 2A state championships with field events set to begin at 10 a.m. and running events to follow at noon.

While spring sports are still running, winter sports have begun practice and will begin competition next week as well.

Madras basketball kicks off on Tuesday with the boys hosting Molalla in a 6 p.m. matchup, while the White Buffalo girls squad will travel to Molalla to take on the Indians, also at 6 p.m. Thursday, the two teams play again, this time with the White Buffalo girls hosting the Indians, while the boys teams play at Molalla.

Madras wrestling gets under way on Wednesday, May 19 as the White Buffalos travel to Molalla for a league dual meet. Then, Saturday, May 22, the White Buffalos are in Sisters for the Central Oregon Officials Tournament.

Culver winter sports schedules are not yet finalized. The Bulldogs are tentatively scheduled to open the basketball season on Tuesday, May 18, at Trinity Lutheran with girls action set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and the boys game to follow at approximately 6 p.m.

Then, on Thursday, May 20, Culver will take on La Pine, with girls teams playing in La Pine, while the boys game will be at Culver. Both games are tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m.

No schedule is yet available for the Culver wrestling team, although the Bulldogs are expected to compete in the Central Oregon Officials Tournament on Saturday, May 22. Madras is also expected to compete. Other teams expected at that tournament include Bend, Crook County, Dallas, Eagle Point, La Pine, Mountain View, Newport, North Marion, North Medford, Philomath/Alsea, Redmond, Ridgeview, Sisters, and Summit.

With schedules in a constant state of flux, this may not be a complete list of competitions scheduled for the week ahead, and some games or tournaments, that are currently on the scheduled could still be either moved or canceled.

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