The spring athletic season is over for Central Oregon high schools and the trophy haul is again considerable.
Area teams won state titles in golf and track, posted top-four finishes in tennis and baseball, and made historic postseason appearances in softball and lacrosse.
It was a good spring.
Here are a few of my personal favorite moments from the season:
Storm runner shows class
Summit senior Michael Wilson won his second 300-meter hurdles state title two weekends ago, finishing first after Madison junior Schuller Rettig, who was leading the race and almost certain to win, tripped on the final hurdle. After the medals presentation, Wilson, who has committed to run at Duke University in North Carolina next year, pulled Rettig atop the podium and gave the disappointed Madison runner the bullet shell from the starter’s gun, a coveted prize awarded to each track event winner at the state meet. It was a classy move by a classy kid from a classy program.
Bend pitcher’s playoff run
Duke DeGaetano did not have the state championship game he wanted, but he was one of the main reasons why the Lava Bears were playing in just their third state baseball final in school history. The Bend senior emerged as his team’s pitching ace this spring and was completely dominant in his two state playoff starts, both of which were complete-game victories. (He scattered six hits in the Bears’ 7-3 first-round win over Pendleton and tossed a three-hitter to lead Bend past Wilsonville 9-2 in the state semifinals.) While DeGaetano’s numbers were impressive, they do not convey the intensity he brought to the mound every time he pitched. I’ll be honest, I enjoyed watching him pitch as much as any kid I have covered in the past several years.
Lava Bear softball improvement
When I first moved to Central Oregon six years ago, Bend High’s softball program was struggling. Between 2006 and 2010, the Lava Bears won just 16 games. Bend has righted the ship, though, going 14-12 last year before this season’s squad went 17-10 and advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in school history. Bravo to head coach Wade Kinkade and his staff.
Roshak caps career with state title
Mountain View’s Anna Roshak lost the Class 5A state shot put title on a tiebreaker last year. She and Sandy’s McKenzie Warren tied with a toss of 41 feet, 3 ¼ inches, but Warren’s second-farthest throw was better than Roshak’s. The Cougar senior was not to be denied this year, though, as she won all 12 shot put competitions she entered, including state.
There were, of course, many, many other moments worth remembering: Redmond High’s run to the baseball semifinals; the emergence of three potential collegiate decathletes in Mountain View’s Mitch Modin, Redmond’s Cody Simpson and La Pine’s Jeremy Desrosiers; Summit’s continued dominance in 5A track; Summit girls golf (five consecutive state titles) and Storm sophomore Madison Odiorne’s 40-foot putt on the 18th green to win her second individual state championship.
The list could go on and on. Like I said, it’s been a good spring.