PREPS: Notes from around Portland's high schools
Portland Interscholastic League
Tech sprinter Micah Williams is aiming to compete in the 51st USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships July 24-30 in Lawrence, Kansas.
First comes the state meet June 22-25 at Jesuit, followed by the July 6-9 regionals in Spokane, Washington.
Williams, a 4.0 student who says his dream is to run for the Oregon Ducks, has started a gofundme.com page and hopes to raise $4,575 for travel costs this summer.
Last month, Williams placed third in the Class 6A 100-meter dash, despite a sore hamstring that forced him to withdraw from the 200.
The injury was just a sprain, not a tear, and after a week off Williams has been working out, and doing more stretching at night and planning to add to his warmup routine before meets.
• In football, Benson will play an independent schedule for the second year in a row.
Returning coach Devarieous Sly-Clay hopes to have about 33 returning players in August "and a bunch of other guys who said they want to come out, so that's exciting."
A fundraising luau is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Benson and hosted by Noho's Hawaiian Cafe. Tickets are $20, $15 for students.
Four Warriors who are headed to college next school year with athletic hopes gathered last week to talk about their plans.
The event also recognized the high school accomplishments of softball players Marci Roberti and Franchesca Venneri, baseball's Eli Morse, and girls basketball standout Tynesha Parnell.
Morse reflected on helping the Warriors reach the Class 6A playoffs as a senior. He is "really excited about next year and being with the Pilots."
Parnell said one of her favorite moments playing for Cleveland was hitting a buzzer-beater from nearly half-court against Aloha. A knee injury cut short her senior season. "Now I'm excited to get back and play at a higher level," she said.
Venneri said she will especially remember the softball team's trip to California and the camaraderie, and now is looking forward to "living on campus and being with new people and a new team."
Roberti, a pitcher/shortstop who was voted PIL player of the year, wants to try out for the Oregon State Beavers while attending the Honors College. She laughed about hitting her first home run for Cleveland, as a freshman. "I had no idea I'd hit it out, and so as I was rounding bases I asked the (opposing) shortstop if it went over (the fence)."
The Quakers' Nate Fields is one of 37 graduating seniors chosen for the North all-star team, which will meet the South in the annual Les Schwab Tires Bowl.
The game is 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Hillsboro Stadium.
Fields is a 6-2, 190-pound wide receiver. He set the Franklin career receptions record with 120 grabs for 1,439 yards.
The Generals football team is looking to bounce back from a couple of what were, for them, down years.
Skill position players? No problem.
Offensive linemen? That's one concern as the team looks ahead to the 2017 season.
"We're going to be young up front," coach Randy Heath says. "But we're going to be pretty solid in returning perimeter kids, and with some good experience at those positions."
Grant returns an all-PIL running back in senior-to-be Grant Ewell Jr., and a third-year starter at quarterback in Demarques Singleton, who also will be a senior. Among those at wide receiver: 2017 seniors Damon Hickok, an all-league at defensive back in 2016, and Saivon Brown, a state finalist in the 400-meter dash this spring. Junior wideouts this fall will include Marcus Harris and Ja'Mareon Marcell, "who had some highlight plays for us last season," Heath says.
Ewell potentially gets the ball 25 times or so a game, either via handoffs or screen passes.
"He's tough to tackle. He squirms and slides, and people have a tough time getting a real shot at him," Heath says.
But the coaches hope to spread the ball around even more next season, using an offense that would like to dictate pace and spread the defense, as well.
Other key returning Generals are led by offensive lineman Tre'Shawn Green, who made the all-PIL first team a year ago on defense; inside linebacker Gabe Hambrick; and defensive end Teagan Pendleton. Hambrick will be a junior; Green and Pendleton will be seniors.
A 6-6 senior receiver/safety, Darius Guinn, is expected to be in uniform as well, as a transfer from Lakeridge. He previously was at Franklin.
The Grant season will start with a visit to Tualatin. Then comes the first of five straight home games, versus Century, on a new home field — at the Marshall campus, where Grant students will be for two years as their school is renovated. The tentative PIL schedule has Grant then finishing the regular season on the road three weeks in a row, facing Wilson, Lincoln and Madison.
The senior star of the Democrats' 2016-17 Class 6A championship team, Geno West, is getting ready for his next step in basketball — as a member of the Idaho Vandals.
Other members of the state champion Democrats and their college plans include: Amari Stafford, who is headed to Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona; Davontay Banks, who will play football for College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. Thomas Miles and Zyshawn Strickland are undecided but intend to attend junior college.
Cardinals cornerback Nolan Ostmo and linebacker Sam Paris have been picked to play in the Les Schwab Tires Bowl all-star football game June 24 at Hillsboro Stadium. Kickoff is 12:30 p.m.
Top high school seniors have been competing in this game since 1948.
Ostmo will attend Tufts University and continue in football. The 6-3, 215-pound Paris will play football at Linfield College.
Lincoln coach Wes Warren will be among the assistants to North head coach Chris Miller of West Linn.
Football coach Don Johnson has no problem with the idea that the Senators should be favored to win the Portland Interscholastiic League championship in 2017.
As the season of 7-on-7 tournaments and team camps begins, Madison has a solid foundation, having reached the second round of the state playoffs and finished 8-3 in 2016.
Front and center is an offensive line with five players — Rory Sullivan, T'Qwan Jackson, Chaz Chiles, Keshawn Mason and Troy Kiole — who have played for two seasons.
According to Johnson, more than 50 students are regularly attending early morning weight-room sessions, and he projects that as many as 100 players might turn out for football come August. This in a program that did not have enough players to finish the 2014 season.
Watching 12 of last season's seniors get the chance to play college football — three at Football Bowl Subdivision schools — has boosted interest in the program, with Madison students who ignored football in the past now participating.
And several students who attended middle schools that feed Madison are returning. Among them, Johnson says, are quarterback/safety Marcus Cunningham and lineman CJ Davis from Franklin.
• Madison's Wyryor Noil, Daniel Green and Isaia Mullen have been selected to play in the Les Schwab Tires Bowl all-star football game. Kickoff is 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at Hillsboro Stadium.
Noil, a 6-0, 180-pounder bound for cornerback duties at Idaho, will be on the North team as it meets the South in a benefit game that has been played since 1948.
Green is a 6-3, 230-pound linebacker who signed with Kansas State.
Mullen, 6-4, 190, will play wide receiver for Hawaii.
• Madison will be part of four summer baseball teams.
The travel team's first game is Wednesday at Scappoose. Its first games at Madison will be in a noon Sunday doubleheader versus Yakima. A home game with Santiam Christian is on the slate for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 13. Tournament trips are planned to Crescent Valley, Boise, Idaho, and Seaside.
The Legion A team opens June 10 at West Linn and plays its first home game at 5 p.m. Monday, June 14, against Aloha.
Summer baseball is underway, with Wilson fielding teams at the AAA Legion, OIBA and Futures levels.
The Trojans, coming off a third-place PIL finish, must replace senior starters Garrett Leeper (cleanup hitter) at first base, Noah Keough and Cade Conklin in the infield and on the mound, and center fielder Alex Sabo (leadoff hitter).
"Keough and Conklin will be toughest to replace," coach Jeremy Shetler says, because of their dual roles the past two seasons.
Key returners will be all-league pitcher Ben Haxby (also honorable mention in the infield), all-PIL third baseman Sammy DeVol and all-league catcher Carson Krake.
Returning letterman expected to battle for starting positions in the outfield are Dezi Olivares, Petie Wogan and Alex Taff. All three also could see time on the mound. Henry Hansen at first and Clay Hunter behind the plate have both improved and could have been starters this year, if not for Leeper and Krake. Matthew Jacobsen saw time as a DH and will look to earn a spot on the field after his arm is back to full strength.
Underclassmen to watch battle for a spot in the lineup or the starting rotation: class of 2019 Tavares Tims, Tyson Davidson, Raffaele Carbone, Luc Bessette, Gabe Wentland and Thomas Reynolds, and class of 2020 Devan Knight, Kaden Leeper and Zach Nagy.
OTHER CLASS 6A
Three Rams have been chosen to play in the Les Schwab Bowl, the annual high school football all-star game for top graduating seniors: Michael Abraham, a 6-2, 230-pound running back/defensive end; Malik Thirdgill, a 6-4, 240 tight end who has signed with Portland State; and Jared Reed, a 6-0, 175 defensive back who also will be a PSU Viking.
Central Catholic coach Steve Pyne will be one of five assistant coaches to Chris Miller of West Linn for the North squad.
The Crusaders, coming off an 11-1 football season, have been projected as the No. 1 team in Oregon for 2017 by MaxPreps.com.
Jesuit won the Class 6A championship in 2016, but lost 21-9 to Central Catholic in last year's quarterfinals.
The MaxPreps reasoning for its pick: "The offense is loaded with all-state running back Trey Lowe (5-9, 178) and offensive lineman Travis Spreen (6-4, 280) returning."
• Jesuit has had three players chosen for the North all-star team to play the South in the Les Schwab Tires Bowl football game.
Representing the Crusaders are Jarred Daul, Joel Daul and Trevor Pixley. Jarred Daul, a 6-4, 245-pound two-way lineman, has committed to play for Brown University. Joel Daul, also 6-4, 245, will play for the University of San Diego; he also has been on the line both ways. Pixley is a 6-1, 265 two-way lineman, as well, who plans to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and play football.
Jesuit's Ken Potter will be on the six-man coaching staff.
St. Mary's Academy
The Blues received some significant recognition after the Three Rivers League girls lacrosse season.
Senior defender Mattie Ziegler and junior midfielder Zoe Ziegler was voted first-team all-league, and their mother, Holly Ziegler, was chosen as the TRL Coach of the Year.
Mattie also was first-team all-state, and Zoe made the second team, as picked by the Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association. The OGLA named Holly Ziegler its Coach of the Year, as well.
The Blues finished with the No. 9 ranking in state. They lost in the quarterfinals of the gold bracket postseason tournament to Lake Oswego, which went on to successfully defend its title.
La Salle Prep
It was decision time for the Falcons: Be Class 5A or 4A?
La Salle has chosen to continue playing "up" in 5A rather than drop to 4A.
The Oregon School Activities Association is setting up new leagues and revisiting classification issues. Later this year, the OSAA will approve new set-ups for each participating school for the four-year time block that begins in 2018-19.
LSP has a listed enrollment of 679, and the OSAA classification committee tentatively has marked 5A for schools from 691-1,194, with 4As to be from 366-690.
An early proposal had La Salle in the 4A Cowapa League with Corbett, Gladstone and Valley Catholic, plus Astoria, Seaside and Tillamook.
The Falcons decided they would rather remain in the 5A Northwest Oregon Conference, though, and the two revised proposals from the OSAA have them there, along with fellow returnees Milwaukie, Parkrose, Putnam, Scappoose, St. Helens and Wilsonville.
"We really like where we've been," La Salle athletic director Glenn Elliott says. "The Northwest Oregon Conference has been great.
And, with the OSAA planning to drop the minimum 6A adjusted enrollment figure from 1,268 to 1,195, the Falcons could be better off in one key sport, football.
Hillsboro (1,195) and Sandy (1,215) tentatively look headed to 6A.
"In football, the big three — Wilsonville (1,077), Sandy and Hillsboro have been a little tough for us to go up against at three levels," Elliott says, "but we can compete well against all the other schools (in the NWOC)."
The prospect of frequent trips to Astoria, Seaside and Tillamook in all sports, though, wasn't popular at LSP.
"Being in a league with three coastal teams is something we're probably not really excited about, and that doesn't make much sense to us," Elliott says.
La Salle Prep's enrollment is not expected to change much, either, so the Falcons perhaps will remain one of the smallest of the 5A schools.
"We've always wanted to keep it around 700. That fits for us," Elliott says.
First games for some Broncos varsity teams in 2017-18:
Football kicks off at home at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, versus Dallas.
Boys soccer opens Tuesday, Aug. 29 at home against McKay, 4:30 p.m. kickoff. Girls soccer meets McKay, as well, in Game 1 at 4:30 p.m. Aug, 31 at Parkrose.
Volleyball has an opening match at Wilsonville on Aug. 31, after a jamboree at Sandy on Aug. 24.
Alex Slusher had four goals and one assist, and Nick Lund scored three goals as Oregon Episcopal School won the Oregon High School Lacrosse Association championship on Saturday, 9-6 over Sunset.
The Aardvarks led 4-3 at halftime, scored the first two goals of the second half and maintained a multiple-goal lead the rest of the way at West Linn High.
Junior goalkeeper Jack Schlendorf made 13 saves, several on point-blank opportunities, as OES held Sunset five goals below its average.
Slusher and Schlendorf are high school All-Americans. Slusher is a sophomore committed to Princeton for lacrosse. He finished the season with 69 goals and 15 assists.
It's the third state title for OES, which also won in 2004 and in 2009.
The Aardvarks reached the final with an upset of top-seed West Linn. OES, the No. 4 seed, scored in sudden-victory overtime to beat the Lions 11-10 in the semifinals.
n In girls lacrosse, OES lost the state finals game 13-3 to Lake Oswego on May 25 at Wilsonville. OES was the No. 2 seed; the Lakers were seeded No. 1.
OES defeated Jesuit 14-13 in semis at Wilsonville, after beating Lincoln 20-13 on May 17.