It happened rather unceremoniously, but there was a changing of the guard last Monday and Tuesday for one of the state’s biggest high...
It didn't take long for the North Medford boys soccer team to put Wednesday's loss behind it.
Three days removed from its first league loss in nearly two years, the Black Tornado scored two goals in the first five minutes and was never threatened in a 5-0 Southern Oregon Hybrid victory over Roseburg on Saturday at Hoffbuhr Field.
Manuel Mejia scored two goals and Christian Siordia added a goal and two assists for North Medford, which has won four of its last five games.
"Going over the game film (from Wednesday's loss to Grants Pass), they played well and just didn't finish," said North Medford coach Michael Belzberg, whose team improved to 5-1-2 overall and 2-1 in the SOH. "If you take 10 shots and you only score one goal, it's tough to bounce back from that sometimes. But the last couple days of training, everybody's back and they're really fired up."
Roseburg felt the brunt of that fire early on. In the fourth minute, Benito Torres-Mata sent a cross in to Siordia, who then kicked the ball into the net from about 17 yards away to give North a quick 1-0 lead.
One minute later the Tornado was at it again. This time it was Mejia, who rebounded a deflected shot and punched it in to give North a two-goal lead.
Torres-Mata and Siordia hooked up again in the second half, this time with Siordia hitting Torres-Mata with a cross that led to North's fourth goal.
Siordia assisted Garrett Byrd to finish the scoring, allowing North a chance to look ahead to Tuesday's clash with crosstown rival South Medford.
ASHLAND 1, SOUTH MEDFORD 1 — At Ashland, Ashland senior Nick Chouard scored in the 33rd minute and South Medford's Logan Artner tallied an equalizer in the 70th minute but neither team budged after that despite two 10-minute overtime periods in the nonconference tie at Ashland Middle School.
Chouard took possession of the ball following a nice through ball from freshman Tim Dunlop and used a couple touches to set up a nice low shot past the keeper. Chouard later missed on another scoring attempt when his penalty kick, brought about when Graycen Kennedy was taken down in the box, sailed over the crossbar in the 66th minute.
Jeff Turner set up South Medford's goal in the 70th minute when he started from the left side and sent a nice ball across the box that was deflected by Ashland keeper Pejas Leier Heyden, but Artner swooped in for the rebound.
Ashland moved to 3-1-1 overall, while South is 4-1-2.
GRANTS PASS 9, CRATER 0 — At Central Point, Noah Heisser and Nathan Trujillo each scored twice to lead Grants Pass to the SOH road victory.
The Cavemen (3-2-3, 2-1 SOH), which led 7-0 at halftime, also got goals from Trenton Anderson, Nate Allemond, Nico Blanco, Zahid Azamar and Ethan D'Amato.
Crater (0-6, 0-4) was forced to play the whole game one player down due to injuries.
PHOENIX 5, HIDDEN VALLEY 2 — At Talent, senior midfielder Eli Espana notched two goals and an assist to help Phoenix to the Skyline victory over previously unbeaten Hidden Valley at Hagler-James Park.
The Pirates (2-2-1, 2-0 Sky) led 2-0 at halftime on a Jose Mendez goal off a corner kick by Alex Vela five minutes into the match and Espana's unassisted goal in the 35th minute.
Johnny Esqueda struck early in the second half on a sliding shot from 6 yards away off Espana's assist to give the Pirates a 3-0 margin.
Then Abraham Martinez, a junior midfielder, connected on back-to-back goals to pull Hidden Valley (4-1-1, 1-1 Sky) to within one goal at the 57th minute.
Espana answered off an Ezequiel Flores assist in the 65th minute, and Flores completed the scoring four minutes later. Samual Macias assisted on the final goal.
NORTH VALLEY 5, MAZAMA 2, OT — At Klamath Falls, Trinidad Flores scored twice in the first 10-minute overtime session, including a spectacular volley that gave North Valley the lead for good in the Skyline clash.
Flores chest-trapped a ball to himself and booted it out of the air from 15 yards away to give the Knights (3-1-1, 1-1 Sky) a 3-2 lead, then about one minute later scored again off an assist by Asa Kantola.
Flores also added an assist when his pass to Heitor Almeida led to a goal that tied the match 2-2 early in the second half. Almeida scored two goals and Brandon Rodgers added an assist for the Knights.
Mazama fell to 1-5, 0-2 in Skyline games.
ILLINOIS VALLEY 3, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 0 — At Cave Junction, Ethan Clark scored the first two goals to help Illinois Valley claim its second straight league win after losing six in a row to start the season.
Clark scored his first goal in the fifth minute, taking advantage of a through ball by Boaz Dillon, and added another score in the 55th. The Cougars (2-6, 2-1 Dist. 2) completed the scoring in the 68th when Gus Wicheloe punched home a one-touch rocket off a pass from Zach Welch.
Cascade Christian fell to 1-6, 1-2 in league play.