Forced out as the head football coach at Eagle Point High in January, Jacob Schauffler wasn't sure what direction he would go in the early aftermath...
The boys and girls teams have been selected for the sixth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic, and if the credentials of the players are an indication, another exciting evening of high school hoops is in the offing.
No fewer than eight players who have committed to play in the contests were named most valuable players in their respective leagues.
The games are March 23 at Kids Unlimited, with the girls starting at 5:15 p.m. and the boys at 7.
They bring together the top players in the region, providing an opportunity for large- and small-school players — classes 6A to 1A — who have been in the news all winter to share the floor at the same time, joining forces with and competing against one another.
And it's all for a good cause. Proceeds go to Kids Unlimited, a Medford youth development agency located at 821 N. Riverside Ave.
Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and kids under 12 get in free.
The teams, the Rogues and Siskiyous, are made up of 41 boys and girls from 16 high schools.
The starters will be determined by an online voting process at www.mailtribune.com/allstars.
Among the participating players are Southern Oregon Hybrid MVPs Ashley Bolston on the girls side and Jesse Mondry for the boys. Both are from 6A South Medford.
Eagle Point MVPs Sydney May (girls) and Cesar Chavez (boys) are in, representing 5A.
Others to garner top league honors are boys JJ Chirnside of 4A North Valley and Alex Miller of 3A Cascade Christian, and 3A girls Emily Alvarez of St. Mary's and Alaina Thomson of Cascade Christian.
South Medford's girls, who finished second in the state, are represented by four players for the second year in a row, including the past three MVPs of the game.
Bolston and Kylie Towry, who was honored as the top player in the 2010 game as a freshman, are on the Rogue team. They were on opposite sides last year.
The Panthers' Yaremi Mejia, who scored an All-Star girls record 23 points last year in earning her second straight MVP award, and teammate Julissa Tago are on the Siskiyou team.
North Medford's McKensey Peters, who was a first-team all-SOH selection and has committed to play collegiately for Oregon Tech, is on the Rogue team.
Eagle Point, Phoenix and St. Mary's, which also finished second in the state, have two players each.
On the boys side North Medford has two players (Julian Gray, Rogues; Tristen Holmes, Siskiyous), as do South Medford (Mondry, Rogues; Adrian Garcia, Siskiyous), Crater (Cody Dismukes, Rogues; Connor Lane, Siskiyous), 4A state-champion North Valley (Kevin Brazille, Rogues; Chirnside, Siskiyous) and 3A fourth-place Cascade Christian (David Sellers, Rogues; Miller, Siskiyous).
Oregon Tech women's head coach Scott Meredith, Southern Oregon University men's assistant Chris Schmerbach and Oregon Tech men's assistant Jguwon Hogges.
In last year's games, the Siskiyou boys topped the century mark, beating the Rogues 102-82. It was the most lopsided game in the series. The other four had been decided by a total of 15 points, the largest previous margin being seven points.
Eagle Point's Jonathan Bolston was the MVP, accumulating 17 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals.
In the girls game, Mejia scored seven of her points in the fourth quarter, leading a 71-69 victory. Her 23 points surpassed the previous record of 20, set by South Medford's Brittany Newcomb in 2009 and matched by Crater's Jen Noon a year later.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email firstname.lastname@example.org