Sports & Recreation
Football is here!
Local squads get set for season
Santiam High’s football team has advanced to the Class 2A football championship the past two years, and it looks like coach Carl Rupp has another good batch cooking up this year in Mill City. “I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen so far. Numbers are up from last season by a few, and everyone is getting after it in the weight room and on the field,” Rupp told Our Town. “We have a lot of position battles raging right now, so we’re seeing the best that players can give us across the board, knowing that there are positions open all over the place.” The Wolverines lost to Monroe in the 2017 title game and fell to Special District 2 foe Kennedy in last year’s championship matchup. Rupp was the defensive coordinator in 2017, with last year’s 10-2 season his first as the head coach. Three seniors will lead the way for Santiam, which returns four offensive starters and three on defense. Colin Thurston enters his third season as the starting quarterback, with Quinten Cook (offensive lineman and linebacker) and Brody Davidson (running back and linebacker) unlikely to leave the field very often. “The [district] is wide open this season,” Rupp said. “We’re fighting for one of the automatic bids for the playoffs, which is top two at the end of league play. There’s going to be a lot of competitive games this season across the board. If we continue to improve like we have this summer and fall camp, I feel like we have a legitimate chance at a playoff spot. Our league is an absolute meat grinder at the 2A level, so if we can come out of that pack, we feel good about our chances to make some noise.”
The Wolverines open Friday, Sept. 6 at Class 3A Willamina. Cascade, meanwhile, returns six starters apiece on offense and defense from a squad that came within a 3-point loss at Sweet Home from an undefeated league season. The Cougars were 4-5 overall, falling in the first round of the playoffs to eventual Class 4A runner-up Seaside. “We have been going at it all summer,” fourth-year head coach Brandon Bennett told Our Town. “Our summer workout numbers were through the roof this year and that has led to great team chemistry. This has been the most motivated group I have seen in the past three years. They are hungry.” Bennett has a strong senior class to depend on, including Ryan Diehl, Elijah Nolan, Caleb Sell, Brandon White, Westin Nelson, TJ Marquez and Ethan Coffey. Also expected to assist are junior David Kanoff and sophomores Jacob Hage, Blake Lewis and Will Ramos. “The last four seasons we have dropped a league game which stopped us all four years from undefeated league titles,” Bennett said. “So how do we stack up? We will be in the mix for sure.”
Participants in a Regis-Stayton fundraiser can compete for a $10,000 prize by hitting a hole-in-one Sept. 14 at this unique golf hole on the property of retired contractor Dennis Holm. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Eagles were 3-5 a year ago in their second year under coach Randy Nyquist, with all five of the losses coming by six points or less. Quarterback Ben Rash returns for his third season as the starting quarterback, with fellow seniors and fellow co-captains Jared Mitchell and Logan Classen also expected to fill key leadership roles. Stayton opens to season Friday, Sept. 6 at North Marion. Regis was 2-7 a year ago and will be playing under new management, with Keith Taylor taking over as the head coach. The Rams open at home Friday vs. Umatilla. Golf fundraiser: Regis and Stayton have teamed up on a unique fundraiser that aims to raise $6,000 for sports programs and scholarships at the two schools.
Cascade opens the season Friday, Sept. 6 at home vs. Cottage Grove.
On Sept. 14 golfers great and terrible will be able to try their luck at the island green golf hole of retired contractor Dennis Holm south of Stayton.
Stayton will be looking to improve its ability to nail down wins in close games.
The rules are simple: Make a hole-in-one on the 85-yard hole and you win $10,000,
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with separate 10K prizes available for male and female participants. In addition there will be $7,000 in closest-to-the-pin prize money available. The entry fee before Sept. 8 is $75, with the fee rising to $100 afterward. Participants get three tries at the hole plus one beer, wine or soda. Bring your own lucky golf ball. The event is a collaboration of the Regis St. Mary Athletic Association and the Stayton Booster Club. “This is a very unique event,” said Mike Bauer of Regis. Holm, Bauer said, wanted “to promote a unique cooperation between the two schools as both schools provided the bulk of the employees that made his bridge building company, Holm II, successful.” Register at www.ram-eagle-benefit@ rsvpify.com. For more information call Daren Dickey (503-949-8319), Randy Forrette (541-740-5819), Nikki Voltin (503-559-3044) or Sharon Goodman (503-507-2171). Follow me on Twitter.com @jameshday.
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