Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
Kailey Bostwick affectionately described it as "How to lose a guy in 10 days by totally blowing things out of proportion," but the truth of the matter is she's simply focused on turning toward a new chapter in her life.
Bostwick, who two years ago assumed control of the girls basketball program she once starred in, stepped down as the North Medford High head coach last week during the team's annual season-ending banquet.
After living through a long-distance relationship for the past few years, Bostwick said she is planning to get married in November to her boyfriend of three years, Nash Keene, although the question hasn't been popped just yet.
She met her "should-be fiance" while both were at Corban College and his schooling toward work as a physician's assistant has kept them apart. Keene recently got a job at Rogue Valley Medical Center to continue his pursuits and will be moving from Salem next month to help bring things full circle. Due to his work situation, Bostwick said many things have had to be planned out in advance, thus the opening in November for a wedding — with a "surprise" proposal hopefully shortcoming (hint, hint Nash).
"It's happening and it's exciting and it's just something I've got to put all my focus in," said the 24-year-old Bostwick, who graduated from North in 2005. "As much as I've loved coaching, I'm just not really going to have time to focus all my time on coaching, which is a huge effort, and also plan a wedding. It's kinda weird to have things planned before you're engaged but it kinda has to happen with all his PA stuff."
"As tough as it was to make that decision," she added, "I definitely think it's the right decision. The girls are definitely bummed but they're excited for me as well."
In her first-ever coaching job, Bostwick compiled a 24-25 overall record the past two seasons. Her teams went 10-14 in Class 6A Southern Oregon Hybrid play — finishing as high as second in 2010-11 — and lost in the first round of the state playoffs in both seasons.
"She had talked to me after the end of the season and felt like she was in a crossroads in her personal life," North Medford Athletic Director Tim Sam said of Bostwick's decision. "She kinda healed the program in many ways, the girls had a great experience the last couple years."
Bostwick said her desire was to change the attitude toward Black Tornado girls basketball and help the players become better women beyond the court, and she felt like she was successful in both areas during her short time.
"It was an amazing experience," she said. "Not a lot of 22-year-olds can say they were a 6A coach at this age. My goal stepping into the program was to get the girls to love basketball again. I know the attitudes were down when I stepped into the program, more about having to go to practice and having to play and I think I did bring that attitude back up and the spirit of Black Tornado basketball back up and that's a great feeling to have."
North Medford also won the state's Dairy Farmer's Award for academic excellence the past two seasons, sporting a 3.69 grade-point average this past winter.
Sam said the girls basketball coaching position would be posted as soon as possible and his hope would be to fill that position within the next month so offseason preparations can be made.
The program hope seems to be that former head coach Tim Karrick will be interested in throwing his hat back into the ring. Karrick posted a 117-42 record and made it to the postseason five times in his six seasons before stepping down after the 2007-08 season to spend more time with his family.
Karrick most recently has been coaching within North Medford's AAU program at the sixth-grade level, where his daughter Rylee is a team member, and word is he's mulling over the possibility with his family. It's believed he was hoping to hold out in his return to high school coaching until his daughter reached that level but Bostwick's decision may alter that plan.
"That would be the most ideal thing, for him to take the program back over," said Bostwick, who played for Karrick when she attended North Medford.
Sam said he has discussed the possibility with Karrick, who is a teacher at the high school, and there is considerable interest in bringing back such an experienced and proven coach but everything also has to line up for all involved.
Sam also said he is comfortable with looking at other potential coaches, inside and outside the Medford community. The goal, as always, is to find the best possible fit for the program, according to Sam.
REID SHIPLEY WILL TEST his wrestling abilities on an international scale once again this summer after earning a spot on an Oregon wrestling team that will compete as part of a Cultural Exchange program.
Shipley, a North Medford High junior, recently went undefeated in four freestyle matches at 170 pounds to earn his spot on the team that will compete in South Africa. Last year, Shipley won a spot on the team and enjoyed a unique experience competing in Russia.
Competing again at Thurston High for his spot on the Cultural Exchange team, Shipley was dominant in winning his weight class, according to North Medford wrestling coach Nolan Harris.
"He went 4-0 and I know he didn't lose a round," said Harris.
Shipley beat McMinnville's Tiger Paasch in the finals to earn his spot on the squad.
SAYING GOODBYE TO STAR athletes is always tough for a head coach, but Phoenix boys basketball coach Glenn Johannes can be excused for shedding an extra tear or two these days after seeing the careers end for a pair of Pirate record-holders.
Seniors Alex Young and Tyler Dungannon not only helped Phoenix advance to two Class 4A state championship games — winning it all in 2011 — they also put their stamp on school history.
Young, a point guard destined for the University of California-Irvine, capped his run at Phoenix as the school's career leader in scoring (1,914 points), rebounds (752), assists (464), steals (229) and free throws (365). He also owns the single-season records in scoring (686 in 2011-12), assists (190 in 2011-12) and steals (80 in 2011-12).
Young finished his career averaging 17.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals in his 109 games played. He shot 50.8 percent from the field (650-for-1,279).
Dungannon, who has yet to finalize his college plans, dominates the school's record book when it comes to 3-pointers, owning career record (180), single-season record (86 in 2011-12) and single-game record (9 vs. Sisters in the 4A state semifinals in 2011-12). Dungannon's 43 points overall in the state semifinals stands as the school's single-game scoring record.
Dungannon finished his career as a 37.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc (180-for-480) and 48.1 percent shooter overall (553-for-1,149), averaging 16.4 points per game in his 89 games played.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry