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SPORTS BRIEFS

SPORTS BRIEFS

Local football players earn Shrine honors

Phoenix’s Mase Masalosalo (offensive lineman/defensive end), Cascade Christian’s Brandon Winter (lineman) and St. Mary’s Nick VanValkenberg (defensive back/kicker)...

8 Super Picks: We asked local football coaches, 'Who ya got?'

8 Super Picks: We asked local football coaches, 'Who ya got?'

MIKE MITCHELL

North Medford

Newton simply too much to handle

Final stage of new turf begins at Spiegelberg

Final stage of new turf begins at Spiegelberg

Work began in earnest Thursday morning on the final stages of much-needed FieldTurf replacement at Spiegelberg Stadium.

As part of a project that began in December thanks to a generous donation by Medford High graduate Charley Cobb, workers...

Area athletes set college paths

Area athletes set college paths

The table and chairs were set up and ready to go Wednesday at Crater High School for a handful of hopefuls excited to take the next step in their athletic pursuits during the opening day for national letters of intent to be signed.

For Crater...

‘Big Craig’ left imprint on valley

‘Big Craig’ left imprint on valley

It would be really simple to say that South Medford lost an assistant football coach due to an unexpected passing last Tuesday morning.

Anyone who remotely came in contact with Craig Manuel Contreras knows that only touches the surface of what...

Ex-grid star, Challengers coach Maurer dies

Ex-grid star, Challengers coach Maurer dies

A former NFL offensive lineman who played in two Super Bowls, Andy Maurer enjoyed quite a run in the sport of football for more than 50 years, first as a player and later as a coach who founded the Cascade Christian High program.

Still, it was...

Coaching legend Walker put others first

Coaching legend Walker put others first

A Mail Tribune story once noted that some day, when they gather around the fire to exchange tales of Larry Walker’s accomplishments, he’d loom bigger than his 6-foot-4 frame.

The local coaching legend, age 76, passed away early...

Former football coach at St. Mary's, South Medford dies

Medford football coaching legend Larry Walker has died.

Walker, 74,  compiled a 249-74-1 in 30 seasons, including six state championships during his 18 years at St. Mary's, where he wore the principal, athletic director and chemistry...

Nine locals land on first team

Nine local football players landed spots on first-team all-state lists recently, including three from Crater and three from Cascade Christian.

Jesuit claims 6A title over West Linn, 21-14

PORTLAND — Jason Talley rushed for 145 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with 1:13 to go, and Jesuit defeated West Linn 21-14 on Saturday for the OSAA Class 6A state championship.

The top-ranked Crusaders, who did not drop a game...

December 2015

Pick-It Line title goes to Blenkush

Sports reporter Warren Blenkush rode an early hot streak to victory in the Mail Tribune's weekly Pick-It Line contest.

The feature in Friday's paper throughout the fall has Mail Tribune and Ashland Daily Tidings staffers and a guest picker...

November 2015

Storm damage
Storm damage

HILLSBORO — Summit led by three points early in the fourth quarter when its offense jogged out onto the field, the ball at the Storm 1-foot line.

Ordinarily, a team in that situation would take a conservative approach and run the ball to...

Ultimate rematch
Ultimate rematch

ASHLAND — From October 1 on, no team in 5A football has been more impressive than the Summit Storm.

The Intermountain Conference champions have won nine games in a row, the last eight by 30 points or more, are led by a quarterback with...

Title Shot
Title Shot

GRANTS PASS – Even down 14-0 to the highest-scoring, most explosive offense in the state, Ashland's Mason Dow said he wasn’t worried. Instead, he was anticipating the Grizzlies’ response.

“They punched us in the...

Summit storms past Crater in semis
Summit storms past Crater in semis

GRANTS PASS — A whirlwind season of historic achievements for Crater’s football team was brought to a close in a similar whirlwind fashion Saturday afternoon in a 41-7 loss to Summit in the Class 5A state semifinals at Mel Ingram...

A different path
A different path

ASHLAND — Long before Michael Pruitt’s breakout game two weeks ago against Bend, before his first-ever touchdown, and even before teammate and friend Kyle Weinberg convinced him to trade futbol for football, Ashland’s destructive...

Grants Pass braces for 5A semifinals

GRANTS PASS —Several thousand fans are expected to pack Mel Ingram Field today for the Class 5A football state semifinals.

The doubleheader will feature Crater against Summit at noon in the first semifinal, and Wilsonville will play...

Challenge awaits
Challenge awaits

Ticking off Wilsonville’s considerable offensive credentials before Tuesday’s practice at U.S. Cellular Community Park, Ashland High head football coach Charlie Hall didn’t even try to zero in on a specific area of...

Medford grad donates $425K for new turf

Charley Cobb relished growing up in Medford and those who helped form a foundation for his lifelong love of sports.

Although removed from the community since graduating from Medford High in 1969 and subsequently attending the University of...

South Medford wins ‘Battle of the Stands’
South Medford wins ‘Battle of the Stands’

SPORTS SHORTS

South Medford wins ‘Battle of the Stands’

South Medford High beat out seven other schools across the country to win U.S. Cellular’s “Battle of the Stands”...

Uncharted territory
Uncharted territory

CENTRAL POINT — It’s all uncharted territory from this point on for the Crater and Summit football teams, and there’s no place either would rather be.

The second-seeded Comets and sixth-seeded Storm will each be making their...

Challengers, Crusaders dominate honors

The Cascade Christian football team made a clean sweep of the top Southern Cascade League awards recently, taking home offensive player, defensive player, lineman and coach of the year honors.

Sophomore quarterback Haiden Schaan was named the...

Cascade Christian falls in 3A quarterfinals

VALE — The Vale football team took another step toward defending its Class 3A state championship with a 48-38 victory over Cascade Christian in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The fourth-seeded Vikings will next face No. 1 Scio in the...

Comets shine
Comets shine

CENTRAL POINT — Crater football player Austin Kramer needed but one word to sum up the final minutes of his team’s game on Friday night.

“Crazy,” the smiling junior receiver said. “Just crazy.”

The...

PREP FOOTBALL SUMMARIES

LINCOLN 42, GRANTS PASS 14

At Lincoln High

Grants Pass;0;0;7;7;—;14

Lincoln;7;7;7;21;—;42

L — Rodriguez 6 run (Meyenger kick)

L...

Lincoln grinds out victory over Grants Pass

PORTLAND — Lincoln used a powerful running game and rolled over visiting Grants Pass, 42-14, in the second round of the Class 6A football playoffs Friday.

The Cardinals (11-0), champions of the Portland Interscholastic League, racked up...

Ashland pulls off quarterfinal upset
Ashland pulls off quarterfinal upset

SPRINGFIELD — This wasn’t how Trever Watson imagined his career ending.

Everything pointed to Watson, the four-year starting quarterback for Springfield and three-time Midwestern League offensive player of the year, leading his...

Small Wonder
Small Wonder

When he steps on the football field, Cascade Christian junior Zack Fralich sticks out … be it for all he is or for all he is not.

Either way, Fralich is comfortable with however he is perceived.

Being a generous 5-foot-6 and 145...

Crater faces stiff test in Central
Crater faces stiff test in Central

CENTRAL POINT — Coming off a first-round throttling of Silverton in a smashing return to the state playoffs, one might think second-seeded Crater would be riding a little too high heading into Friday’s Class 5A football state...

Ashland gets second chance
Ashland gets second chance

ASHLAND — Facing a conference rival isn’t necessarily an ideal situation when it comes to the Class 5A football state quarterfinals, but Ashland head coach Charlie Hall is ever the optimist when it comes to his...

South, North players receive SWC awards
South, North players receive SWC awards

South Medford sophomore Chase Cota was recognized as a first-team Southwest Conference selection on offense and defense after recent voting by SWC coaches.

The receiver/defensive end shared first-team recognition with teammates Kaleb Franklin...

Ultimate honor
Ultimate honor

The Midwestern League tipped its collective hat to Crater senior football player Cavin Gillispie, recognizing the running back and linebacker as the conference’s most valuable player in voting by coaches.

Eleven Comets landed first-team...

Crater crushes Silverton with first-quarter barrage in playoff opener
Crater crushes Silverton with first-quarter barrage in playoff opener

CENTRAL POINT — No state playoff experience on the Crater football sidelines? No problem.

PREP SUMMARIES

Grants Pass 63, Forest Grove 7

At Mel Ingram Stadium

Forest Grove;7;0;0;0;—;7

Grants Pass;14;21;21;7;—;63

GP — Musser 20 pass from Hanley (Clark kick)

FG — Heikes 10 pass from Jensen (Mannen...

North Medford falls short

SALEM — North Medford had an opportunity to pull a Class 6A football opening-round state playoff upset against undefeated South Salem Friday.

But a potential game-winning 22-yard field goal was blocked with four seconds remaining as the...

Thunder Struck
Thunder Struck

CENTRAL POINT — Winning is fun, there’s no denying that.

Everyone loves a winner, and players tend to have a little more bounce in their step when they’re on a winning streak.

There’s just nothing more glamorous...

South, North face road obstacles
South, North face road obstacles

It certainly isn’t a new experience for the South Medford football team to find itself on the low end when it comes to age and varsity experience heading into a Friday night matchup.

One week ago in the regular season finale against...

Prep Football Statistics

Southwest Conference

Week 9

TEAM STATISTICS

October 2015

MWL champion Crater secures first undefeated regular season
MWL champion Crater secures first undefeated regular season

CENTRAL POINT — Churchill fought like a team desperate to get into the Class 5A state playoffs, but that didn’t stop second-ranked Crater from making a little history Friday night with a 30-15 triumph at Dutch Meyer Stadium.

The...

Parnell shines as South tops Thurston
Parnell shines as South tops Thurston

South Medford might have found its back-of-the-future — sophomore Jaylin Parnell — during a 48-22 Southwest Conference football victory over Thurston of Springfield at Spiegelberg Stadium Friday.

The victory gives the Panthers...

Ashland romps past Eagle Point

EAGLE POINT — Kyle Weinberg threw three touchdown passes and ran for another in the first half as Ashland thumped Eagle Point, 55-16, to clinch third place in the Midwestern League and an automatic berth to the 16-team Class 5A state playoffs...

Phoenix falls in Class 4A play-in

PHOENIX — Throughout the regular season, the Phoenix football team’s offense had imposed its will by relying on Justin Knight to lead its ground attack.

Nothing changed there for the Pirates in their Class 4A play-in round game...

PREP FOOTBALL SUMMARIES

SOUTH MEDFORD 48, THURSTON 22

At Spiegelberg Stadium

Thurston;7;0;0;15;—;22

South Medford;14;14;7;13;—;48

SM — Patterson 1 run (Carrillo kick)

SM — Cota 19 pass from Patterson...

PREP STANDINGS

SWC FOOTBALL

;W;L;Pct.;GB

Sheldon;6;0;1.000;—

Grants Pass;6;1;.857;½

South Medford;4;3;.571;2½

Willamette;4;3;.571;2½

North...

Crater looks to cap perfect campaign
Crater looks to cap perfect campaign

John Beck knows how difficult it is to complete a regular season with a perfect record.

The last time the Crater football head coach was part of such an experience was 15 years ago, when he was an assistant coach on the 2000 North Medford team...

Prep Football Statistics

Southwest Conference

Week 8

TEAM STATISTICS

TOTAL OFFENSE

; Rush; Pass; Tot; Avg

Sheldon ; 1467 ; 1907 ; 3374 ; 482.0

Grants Pass...

Challengers rule
Challengers rule

The Cascade Christian football team used several big plays to shut out St. Mary’s, 51-0, during Southern Cascade League action at Spiegelberg Stadium on Saturday night.

Sophomore quarterback Haiden Schaan was 7 of 15 passing for 257 yards...

Prep Standings

SCL FOOTBALL

;W;L;Pct.;GB

Cascade Christian;2;0;1.000;—

St. Mary’s;1;1;.500;1

Lakeview1;1;.500;1

Illinois Valley;0;2;.000;2

Saturday’s...

Crater takes down No. 1 Springfield
Crater takes down No. 1 Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — The table was set for a Springfield party Friday on senior night.

A bus full of Comets put a crater in the middle of Silke Field and spoiled everything.

Crater made the 161-mile trip to Springfield and upended No.

Mazama dominates Phoenix, takes crown
Mazama dominates Phoenix, takes crown

PHOENIX — The Phoenix football team’s impressive Skyline Conference campaign came to a screeching halt on Friday.

To make matters worse, the setback came against the squad that has haunted the Pirates recently:...

Streak continues
Streak continues

South Medford couldn’t have asked for a better start Friday night from its sophomore-led crew in the 30th annual Black and Blue Game at Spiegelberg Stadium.

But starting is one thing, finishing is another.

North Medford shook off an...

Barry Good
Barry Good

Each football game carries a special meaning for North Medford senior Tucker Barry, but tonight’s Black and Blue Game against South Medford is in a place of its own.

Back in 1986, it was his father, Jeff Barry, leading South Medford to a...

Showdown looms for North, South
Showdown looms for North, South

Two straight years of wins has made North Medford confident heading into the 30th edition of the Black and Blue Game at Spiegelberg Stadium.

Having very few holdovers from either of those games has South Medford resolute in the notion that...

Prep Football Statistics

Southwest Conference

Week 7

TEAM STATISTICS

TOTAL OFFENSE

; Rush; Pass; Tot; Avg

Sheldon ; 1203 ; 1640 ; 2843 ; 473.8

South...

Skyline title on line Friday in Phoenix
Skyline title on line Friday in Phoenix

PHOENIX — A Skyline Conference championship is on the line and there is no mystery as to how each team hopes to claim it, making Friday’s battle between seventh-ranked Phoenix and No. 8 Mazama a marquee matchup at Jack Woodward...

Knight powers No. 7 Phoenix past KU

KLAMATH FALLS — Running back Justin Knight was a wrecking ball for the Phoenix football team on night when the Pirates’ offense took a one-dimensional approach.

Knight gashed Klamath Union for 249 yards and four touchdowns on 26...

Prep Football Summaries

WILLAMETTE 36, NORTH MEDFORD 29

At Spiegelberg Stadium

Willamette;14;7;8;7;—;36

North Medford;0;15;0;14;—;29

W — Jackson 1 run (bad...

Tornado denied
Tornado denied

North Medford head coach Mike Mitchell was confident in his football team at midweek heading into Friday’s matchup with Willamette, although the caveat was, his team could not be outshined in the effort category.

Little did he know then...

Panthers pull away for road triumph

EUGENE — Sophomore quarterback Robbie Patterson finished with four touchdowns — two passing and two rushing — as the South Medford football team downed South Eugene, 38-14, during Southwest Conference action on...

Prep Standings

SWC FOOTBALL

;W;L;Pct.;GB

Sheldon;4;0;1.000;—

Grants Pass;4;1;.800;½

Willamette;4;1;.800;½

South Medford;3;2;.600;1½

North...

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Kris Henry

Challengers make it back on top in softball

Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...