Simply the best.
Better than all the rest.
In 2018-19, that was Wilsonville High School.
And it's not just the Wildcats themselves who say so — Wilsonville was awarded the OSAA Cup for Class 5A high schools following the end of the 2018-19 school year. The OSAA Cup recognizes overall excellence by schools in academics, activities and athletics, honoring a school's students, teachers, coaches and its entire community.
Wilsonville won this year's cup with 3,662.5 points to easily outdistance second-place Crescent Valley's 3,096.75 and third-place Hood River Valley's 3,088.75.
Wilsonville Athletic Director Dennis Burke said that his school's success came as a result of a team effort that included important work by Wilsonville's administration, coaches, teachers, support staff, and of course, the athletes themselves.
"We had a tremendous class of senior athletes this year who took the underclassmen under their wings," he said. "It was fun to see their interactions with each other."
Burke also emphasized that the OSAA Cup is awarded not just for success in athletics, but also in activities and students' success in the classroom as well. Schools earn points based on their participation and finish in OSAA state championships and for top-10 finishes in the OnPoint Community Credit Union Academic All-State Program. A sportsmanship component, where schools are awarded points each season for having no ejections, is included as well.
"We view it as a compliment to the work we put in, but we don't rest on it — we're already working on what we can do better," he said.
For boys basketball coach Chris Roche, whose Wildcats won their fourth Class 5A state championship (and third in the past four seasons) in 2019, the key to Wilsonville's success is administrative support, continuity in its coaching staffs, strong participation and solid facilities.
"(Our) athletic department … values a team approach to athletics and invests in training and encouragement of coaches," Roche said. "Dennis (Burke) does a great job of supporting our teams. We also have strong continuity in terms of the coaching staffs in many of our programs and this is a tremendous advantage.
"While it's a big accomplishment to win the OSAA Cup this year, it would not be as meaningful if we did not value the right things … including encouraging our student/athletes to embrace the importance of academics and being good citizens."
"We want to help our kids become better students and better people," Burke said. "We owe that to the community."
For football coach Adam Guenther — his Wildcats advanced all the way to the state championship game in 2018 and finished second — it is the consistency of effort from all levels that helps make Wilsonville so successful.
"The culture at Wilsonville High School is unique," he said. "The unwavering support of the community, the administration, the staff and our student body allow us not only the ability to do what we do, but accomplish it with a high energy level that we expect out of our athletes.
"I believe that we have a holistic approach to athletics that enable us to be successful. Athletics is just one part of the school environment. Here at Wilsonville, we focus on the whole high school experience so that everyone can enjoy all the various aspects that the school has to offer."
A brief look back at Wilsonville High School's many accomplishments during the 2018-19 school year incudes the following:
• Fall: The Wildcats football team won the Northwest Oregon Conference and finished second at state; the volleyball team won the NWOC and reached the Class 5A state tournament; the boys soccer team finished second in league and reached the second round of the state playoffs; the girls soccer team won the NWOC and made the state playoffs; the boys and girls cross country teams both won NWOC district titles, with the girls taking second at state and the boys ninth.
• Winter: The boys basketball team won the NWOC, and later, its fourth Class 5A state championship; the girls basketball team won a share of the NWOC title and placed third at state; the wrestling team finished fifth at district and 18th at state; the girls swim team placed fourth at district and seventh at state; and the boys swim team took sixth at district.
• Spring: The baseball team won the NWOC and reached the state playoffs; the softball team finished seventh in league; the boys and girls track teams both won NWOC district titles, with the Wildcat girls later placing 14th at state; the boys golf team won the NWOC and later took eighth at state; the girls golf team placed second in league and fifth at state; the boys tennis team took seventh at the state tournament; and the girls tennis team finished 14th at state.
• Activities: The Wildcats' dance and drill team finished seventh at state; the Wilsonville choir won its league and finished fourth at state; the cheer team placed fourth at state; the Wildcats bandtook second in league and qualified for state; and in solo music, Hugo Romero finished third in flute.
The complete Class 5A scoring included: 1. Wilsonville 3,662.5; 2. Crescent Valley 3,096.75; 3. Hood River Valley 3,088.75; 4. Churchill 3,023.75; 5. Corvallis 2,967.5; 6. Pendleton 2,852.5; 7. La Salle Prep 2,709.5; 8. West Albany 2,702; 9. Ridgeview 2,575; 10. North Bend 2,486.25; 11. Silverton 2,470; 12. Crater 2,373.75; 13. Ashland 2,256.25; 14. Thurston 2,100.5; 15. Redmond 1,922; 16. Lebanon 1,907.5; 17. Putnam 1,882.5; 18. Central 1,871.25; 19. Hillsboro 1,853.75; 20. Springfield 1,815; 21. Crook County 1,685; 22. The Dalles 1,657.5; 23. North Salem 1,632.5; 24. Scappoose 1,546.75; 25. South Albany 1,357.5; 26. St Helens 1,310; 27. Dallas 1,285; 28. Willamette 1,285; 29. Parkrose 1,270; 30. Sandy 1,175; 31. Eagle Point 1,150.25; 32. North Eugene 1,070; 33. Milwaukie 947.5.
This year's other winners include Jesuit (Class 6A), Valley Catholic (Class 4A), Oregon Episcopal (Class 3A), Kennedy (Class 2A) and St. Paul (Class 1A). Final results for each classification can be found osaa.org/awards/osaa-cup.
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