Make the McKenzie Connection!

October 25, 2018

McKenzie Varsity Sports Schedule This Week

The McKenzie Cross Country runners travel to Rogue River on Thursday, October 25, to participate in the Special District 4 3A, 2A/1A Cross Country Championships. The meet will be held at the Valley of the Rogue State Park.

The McKenzie Varsity Football team travels to Madras on Saturday, October 27, to play Joseph in a East versus West six-man football Championship game. Kick off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

The McKenzie Varsity Volleyball team, barring unforeseen upsets, will host either Crosshill Christian or North Clackamas Christian in an OSAA Second Round playoff match. The match is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, at Finn Rock and the time has yet to be determined.

McKenzie Spikes Alsea, Wins MWL Tournament

Secures Top Seed To State

The Eagles of McKenzie had one question remaining to be answered following their second and consecutive perfect 16-0 run through the Mt. West League schedule. Having successfully defending their Mt. West League regular season Championship, McKenzie knew they once again qualified for the OSAA State 1A Volleyball playoffs. What remained to be answered was which seed to State, number one or two.

When the Eagles took their warm-ups on the court for the Championship Match held last Saturday, October 20, at Harrisburg High, McKenzie knew who their opponent was. No surprises, Alsea. The Wolverines, the second place team at the end of the regular schedule defeated Crow, the third place team in the MWL Tournament and as expected, just as they did last season, earned the right for an attempt to dethrone the Eagles. For the Wolverines, mission failed.

It not only didn't happen, in the end McKenzie proved the royal line would continue to rule. At least this season. McKenzie didn't take long to establish order in the room, easily winning the first set 25-16. The Eagles scored the first 4 points of the set before Alsea's Abbie Lowther spiked a point, making the score 4-1. The Wolverines would not get any closer. McKenzie played cool and calculated throughout, building a nine point lead at 12-3 and never ahead by less than 7 points the rest of the set. Alsea settled in a bit better the second set, successfully challenging the Champs throughout.

The score was tied ten times in the first half of the set, the latest being 15-15. And the Wolverines led on four other occasions. The Eagles regained the lead for good at 16-15, but Alsea wouldn't go away, staying within striking distance 3 or 4 points down.

McKenzie won the second set 25-21. The third set picked up where the previous set finished, with neither team clearly in charge. Up to the point where the two teams were tied at 6 all. That was the critical moment in what would work into a 25-15 Eagle win. McKenzie rolled out a 8-0 streak and although Alsea would reduce the deficit to 5 (16-11), it felt like the Eagles were in control of their own destiny and could not be denied. McKenzie won the set and more importantly, earned the Mt. West League's top seed to the OSAA State 1A Volleyball Championships. Alsea earned the second seed and Mohawk, 3-1 winners over Crow, earned a hard fought third seed.

McKenzie Ladies Earn Mt. West All League Honors

 McKenzie athletes were recently honored at the Mt. West League Tournament with MWL All League honors. Representing the Eagles on the MWL Honorable Mention All League Team was sophomore Sophia Brownlee. Junior Danielle Melcher was selected to the MWL Third Team All League.

The Eagles placed both seniors Chloe Erdahl and Kanyen Kamrath on the MWL Second Team All League and no surprise to any, senior Jade Hayes was voted by the League's Coaches to the MWL First Team All League. This season Hayes and Alsea senior Abbie Lowther shared the Co-Most Valuable Player Award. The Mt. West League Co-Coaches of the Year Awards went to Alsea Head Coach Katie Sapp and Mohawk Head Coach Heather Vanderploeg. Mohawk earned the Mt. West League Sportsmanship Trophy this season.

Eagles Split In K-Falls

McKenzie traveled to Klamath Falls last Tuesday to participate in a non-League three-way tournament with Hosanna Christian and Days Creek. The match featured three teams ranked in the current Class 1A Volleyball polls, Hosanna Christian 5th, Days Creek 6th and McKenzie 8th. All three teams had finished their regular season schedules and the tournament provided an opportunity to see where the teams stack up prior to post-season play.

Hosanna Christian won the Mt. Valley League with a perfect 13-0 record, McKenzie repeated as the Mt. West League Champion with their second consecutive 16-0 record and Days Creek finished second in the Skyline League with an 11-2 record. North Douglas won the Skyline at 13-0 and is currently ranked 3rd, although the Warriors rode the top of the rankings most of the season.

It was a long day for the Eagles, leaving Finn Rock early in the morning, and arriving back home early in the morning the following day. In between it was Welcome to the Lion's Den!

Hosanna Christian began the tournament having lost just one match all season long, courtesy of Perrydale, clear back on August 25 in a preview tournament. At the end of the evening, Hosanna Christian extended their third longest win streak in Class 1A play this season to 20 wins. Only top-ranked St. Paul, 25-0, and second ranked Powder Valley, 28-0, hold longer streaks currently.

Hosanna Christian opened play by defeating Days Creek 26-24, 25-18, and 25-19. With the Lions now licking their lips, the Eagles stepped into the Den and were promptly smacked down with a 11-25 defeat. That ruffled a few feathers on the visiting bench and McKenzie threw on their game faces and rallied in the second set. The Eagles lost the set but forced the host Lions to a 26-24 victory. Down two sets, McKenzie finished the match with a 16-25 loss.

Eagle senior Jade Hayes finished the match with 15 kills and 14 digs and senior Anna McNutt finished with 16 assists and 11 digs. Lion seniors Miriam Levesque had 10 kills, Kya Nelson added 8 kills, and Meredith Bush had 15 digs. Sophomore Hannah Ledgerwood setter finished with 29 digs. (Eagle staff provided no other Eagle stats).

The Days Creek Wolves, still licking their wounds from the loss to the Lions, were up next for McKenzie. The Eagles lost a tooth and nail, hard fought first set 26-28, but once again rallied in the second set, winning 25-23. McKenzie, now with some steam, kept the pressure up and forged a 25-17 third set victory. Days Creek never goes down easy and the Wolves refocused their attack, squaring the match at 2-all with a 25-20 win. That set up the fifth and deciding tangle.

The Eagles turned back the Pack, winning 15-9, and that was a good victory on the road, just prior to playoffs. Senior Hayes led McKenzie once again with 20 kills and 26 digs. Senior McNutt finished with 32 assists and Eagle senior Chloe Erdahl had 24 digs and 3 aces. (No other Eagle stats available).

Senior Joleen Crume, who attacked for 21 kills, led Days Creek. Long time Wolves Coach Ron Dunn opined following his team's showing in Klamath Falls saying, "We played our worst volleyball of the season. We had more hitting errors than we've had all season. I'm pretty disappointed." Well, a loss can be a learning moment and you can bet that Coach Dunn will have his team well prepared for their post-season opportunities. As for the Eagles, they too learned a lot on the road trip. Thank goodness the team had a few days to reflect and catch up on some needed shuteye.

Oregon Country Fair Cross Country Results

McKenzie juniors Alder Montes and Bodie Harbick recently competed in the Oregon Country Fair Cross Country meet held, this season, at Richardson Park near Elmira. Both Eagle runners ran in the Junior Varsity 3,000-meter race, which featured 136 athletes representing 20 teams. McKenzie junior Alder Montes finished his race with an 88th place finish time of 22:34.7 minutes and fellow Eagle junior Bodie Harbick finished in 23:56.6 min. and a 107th place finish. The South Eugene team won the Junior Varsity race with 23 points and Sheldon finished second with 57 points.

South Eugene also won the 5,000-meter Varsity race with 48 points and Sheldon was again second with 53 points. The Varsity race featured 197 runners and finishing first was Sheldon sophomore Vincent Mestler in a time of 15:42.2 min. East Linn Christian senior Jedaiah Wasson finished in a close second place time of 15:43.0 min.

Quirk Powers Eagles

McKenzie Clobbers Cruisers 65-28

The first meeting between McKenzie and Powers at Finn Rock on September 28 was a thrash-down affair, which ended in a McKenzie 46-35 Special District 4 six-man football victory. That game also, unfortunately, ended the season for Powers senior quarterback Clancy Standley, who sustained a concussion injury with less than two minutes left in the contest.

The second game last Friday, October 19, at Powers and on Cruiser Homecoming Night, no way resembled the earlier tussle. McKenzie started the Homecoming Spoiler early with Eagle junior River Bloomer intercepting a Cruiser pass attempt and returning for the game's first score. It was also Powers' first offensive play of the game. Not long after, another Eagle junior, Silas Kress, connected with, oh yeah, another McKenzie junior, Caleb Thompson, on a 3rd down, 28 yard TD pass. Quickly, the score-clock showed McKenzie 14, Powers 0.

The Cruisers were able to close the gap briefly on a 11-yard scoring strike from their own junior David Pedrick to senior Jamason Kellogg.

Back to quickly, that is when Eagle senior Daniel Quirk, quickly took over. The McKenzie quarterback, arguably, the quickest athlete on the field, proceeded to outrun, out-catch, and out pass the Powers defense. Quirk scored three touchdowns in the first half of play and would go on to score three additional scores in the second half.

Powers answered with Kellogg scoring three touchdowns of his own, but the short handed Cruisers could not match the Eagle firepower. Tip your hat to the Cruisers, who started the game with just eight players in uniform and finished with seven bodies standing. Powers began the season with nine players, lost their outstanding quarterback Standley at McKenzie and additionally lost senior offensive lineman Steven Lodger in this game due to a Eagle block in the back.

Powers lost two games this season, both to McKenzie, and the Cruisers, by finishing second in the SD-4 Six-man League, have earned one more game, a cross-over game with Harper Charter, from the Eastern SD-5 League. As for McKenzie, the SD-4 Champion Eagles are headed to Madras High School for a game versus the SD-5 Champion Joseph Eagles. The game will be played on Saturday, October 27, and kickoff is currently scheduled for 7:00 pm.


Officially, Eagles Earn Unofficial State Championship Berth

McKenzie, the unofficial SD-4 six-man football Champion will meet its SD-5 unofficial counterpart Joseph in Madras, next Saturday, October 27, for an Official, Unofficial State Championship game. The reason for the 'unofficialality' tag, is Oregon State Activities Association has dubbed this season and next year as part of a two-year six-man football pilot program. During that two-year interim, OSAA will not offer a State Championship playoff format. Thus, the crossover game between the two unofficial League Champions will go down as, well, unofficial. Doesn't matter and a piece of advice. Don't mention unofficial to the two teams or their fans arriving in Madras next Saturday. You can bet East wants to beat West and vice versa and at the final horn, someone will claim an Unofficial State Championship. And good on it.

These athletes and their communities have successfully resurrected a once thought dormant game and it looks like it should be here to stay. Fifteen teams, proudly representing their schools and communities, scattered all over the State of Oregon, kept the Friday Night lights lit, (for those that had lights). More importantly, student/athletes at those small schools were provided with an opportunity to compete and their rural communities showed their support and pride. That's a positive. Thanks to OSAA for the pilot program and thanks to all those who have contributed to this success. And that's official.


Mt. West League Post Season


McKenzie, the 2018 Mt. West League Champion, has earned the League's First Seed to the 2018 OSAA State Class 1A Volleyball playoffs. With that distinction, the Eagles have also earned a bye in the First Round of the playoffs and will host a Second Round match on Saturday, October 27. McKenzie's opponent will be the victor between Crosshill Christian and North Clackamas Christian, unless other First Round bracket upsets reset the RPI generated pairings. Clackamas Christian earned the Casco Leagues Third Seed and is 9th ranked in the final OSAA State rankings. North Clackamas Christian is ranked 23rd and is the Valley 10 League Second Seed.

McKenzie's final ranking is 8th. Alsea, 12th ranked, and the Mt. West League Second Seed hosts 11th ranked Umpqua Valley Christian/Melrose representing the Skyline League as a Third Seed. That match is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24, and will start at 6:00 pm. Mohawk, ranked 26th, represents the Mt. West League as a Third Seed. The Mustangs travel to Casco League Second Seed Perrydale, ranked 5th, for a First Round match scheduled for Wednesday, October 24, and a 6:00 pm start. Winners of the First Round matches advance to the Second Round of play, on October 27, and will be bracketed according to their Final RPI rankings.

McKenzie won the inaugural Special District 4 six-man football Championship and will meet Joseph, the Special District 5 Champion. The game is billed as the East/West Championship and will be played on the neutral field at Madras High School on Saturday, October 27. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 pm. Three other crossover games will precede the Championship game. Powers finished second in SD-4 and will play Harper Charter, second place finisher from the SD-5. Gilchrist, the third place finisher from SD-4 will meet counterpart Echo from SD-5 at 1:00 pm. The fourth place teams, Eddyville Charter, SD-4, will meet South Wasco County, SD-5, and that game will kickoff at 10:00 am.


McKenzie River Reflections


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