St. Helens applauds 39 Northwest Oregon Conference fall sports talents
Lions girls' soccer stole the show at the fall sports ceremony and dessert Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Olmschied Auditorium at St. Helens High School.
The first-round-qualifier Lions (7-7-2 overall, 3-3-1 Northwest Oregon) celebrated their first Class 5A opening-round appearance since 2007 with nine of St. Helens' 39 all-Northwest Oregon Conference first- and second-teamers, honorable mentions and scholar athletes (players with grade-point averages 3.5 and higher).
Master of Ceremonies and athletic director Aaron Longo introduced the coaching staff and, after a media presentation from Lewis & Clark Elementary School teacher Michelle Nett, coaches announced their teams' awards.
"It's been a while since I've spoken in front of a room that big, so it took a bit to get back into that frame of mind," said Longo, who completed his first fall with the Lions. "I do, however, always enjoy being able to share some of the tidbits that I've picked up over the years: Talking about hard work, perseverance, and the accomplishments of the coaches and athletes that I get to serve is always a pleasure. I look forward to additional opportunities to share the lessons that I've learned and the good things that St. Helens students and coaches accomplish."
Mackenzie Carlson and Kelsey Elliott are sophomore second-team girls' soccer forwards, and seniors Emily Davis (a midfielder), Sidney Allen, Cora Beaudry, Sarah Bjork and Emelia Reardon (defenders), Morgan Bingaman (a goalkeeper) and junior Kennady Brown (a midfielder) are honorable mentions.
Allen, Bingaman, Carlson, Davis and sophomore forward Anessa Mandella are scholar athletes.
Cheyenne Trainer, a junior who qualified fourth for her third Class 5A state championships appearance and ran to 55th, and Waylon Nichols, taking seventh in the conference and running to 57th at state, are first-teamers.
Cooper Montgomery (a sophomore, 12th in the conference) and Dakotah Camberg (a senior, 14th) are second-teamers.
Montgomery, senior Taskca Benjamin and sophomores Evan Garrison and Jakob Nelson are scholar athletes.
Marissa Eib (a junior setter) and Savannah Moore (a freshman outside hitter) are second-teamers.
"[Eib's award was] well-deserved," Lions coach Tom Ray said. "She is a setter that was asked to be outside hitter this year -- she was incredible. [Savannah has] lots of potential: She was our best hitter on the team. When we needed a point, we set Savannah."
Kenna Reinholdt is an honorable mention senior setter.
"[Reinholdt] was our top setter: She did a great job setting the hitters."
Junior outside hitter Natalee Webster and sophomore defensive specialist/outside hitter Izy Wallace are scholar athletes.
St. Helens (7-13, 6-8), with junior outside hitter Lydia Rose the single returning player, reached at least the play-in round for the 10th season in a row.
Senior Caleb Carter is a second-team offensive lineman and an honorable mention defensive tackle, and Hayden Laughlin, a senior wide receiver and defensive back, is a second-team punter.
Isaiah Bettencourt (a junior running back) and and Daniel Suon (a junior lineman) are honorable mentions.
"[Carter, Bettencourt and Suon] had good seasons," Lions coach Cory Young said. "Caleb was one of our best athletes on the team, and you can see that in all the things he was able to do for us. Suon improved greatly on defense from last year. Bettencourt is one of our hardest workers in the weight room, so it was great to see his effort rewarded with all-league honors. [Laughlin] did a great job of changing field position throughout the season."
Bettencourt, Leif Nelson (a junior quarterback), Alex Cross (a junior running back and defensive back) and Kyle Parnell (a sophomore kicker) are scholar athletes.
St. Helens (1-8, 1-6) beat Parkrose for the third year in a row but played through their toughest season since coming up 1-8 in 2012.
Regan Tolman is a second-team junior midfielder and seniors Gabe Compton (a forward), Pacey Littleton (a midfielder) and freshman Ryan Maher (a goalkeeper) are honorable mentions.
Seniors Daniel Lujano (a midfielder) and Jared Bradford (a defender) are scholar athletes.
The Lions (0-13, 0-7) will chase their first win since they beat Sandy 2-0 in their 2015 regular-season finale, next fall.
"[I'm] very happy about [the recognition], being that we placed low in the conference," coach Bob Opperman said. "We had some talent, we just needed more players."
Seniors Jayden Alexander, Riley Gardner, Lochlainn Wood and Madison Mercier are scholar athletes.