Summer does not officially end until Sept. 22, but fall sports are in full swing in Central Oregon.
Hopefully, with the changing of the seasons, the third week of the high school sports season will not be affected by smoke from wildfires like the previous week.
Here are a few highlights from over the weekend and several key matchups in Central Oregon high school sports entering the third full week of fall preps.
Friday night will be the first intra-Bend matchup on the gridiron when Bend High (2-0) hosts Summit (1-1) at 7 p.m. in the Mountain Valley Conference opener for both teams.
The Lava Bears and the Storm split the two-game series last spring with Summit winning the first game 17-0 then Bend taking the second 15-5.
Both teams are coming off nonleague home victories on Saturday evening in which each team’s offense put up 40-plus points. The Storm won 47-7 against McKay, while the Lava Bears remain unbeaten after a 41-27 win over South Medford.
Malakai Nutter has been the bell cow for the Lava Bears. The junior running back has rushed for 414 yards and six touchdowns in the first two games of the season. He had 231 yards rushing and four touchdowns Saturday as Bend overcame an early 14-0 deficit to win going away. The Bears finished with 358 total rushing yards in their double-wing rushing attack.
The Storm scored 24 unanswered points in the first quarter to take a 31-7 lead by halftime, then hang on for the easy victory over McKay.
There will be a rematch of the Class 4A showcase championship (unofficial state title) from last spring at Sisters High Tuesday evening when the Outlaws seek revenge against Sweet Home.
The Huskies beat the Outlaws in four sets in the championship match last spring.
Once again the two Oregon West Conference powerhouses will be in the hunt for a state title in 2021. Through three regular-season and two tournament matches, the Outlaws have picked up wins over Crook County, Ridgeview and Mountain View, all teams from higher classifications. Both the Huskies’ and Outlaws’ only loss has come during tournament play.
There will also be two important Mountain Valley Conference volleyball matches, with Summit hosting South Salem Tuesday evening and Bend High hosting McNary Thursday. All four teams have started the fall campaign on a good note and could all be in the running for the conference crown.
The cross-country state championships are not until the first weekend of November, but Saturday saw a glimpse of what looks like will be a tight two-team race for a girl’s state title between Summit and Jesuit.
At the Ash Creek XC Festival at Western Oregon University, the Storm edged the Crusaders by four points, 43-47 (low score wins). Jesuit finished 52 points ahead of the third-place team.
Senior Teaghan Knox was Summit’s highest finisher, coming in third (17:57.00), while Maggie Williams (sixth, 18:17.20) and Barrett Justema (ninth, 18:37.10) had top-10 finishes.
The Bend High girls soccer team is riding a three-game winning streak since dropping its first game of the season. Its most recent win was a 7-0 rout of South Medford on Saturday. Senior Sydney Sventek scored three goals, giving her five on the season, while Jordan Welsh added two more goals for the Lava Bears.