McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!

Sports Report - Oct. 21

 

October 21, 2021 | View PDF



McKenzie Sports Schedule This Week

The McKenzie Middle School Volleyball team travels to Mapleton on Wednesday, October 20. Match time is set for 4:30 pm. The Eagle team hosts Triangle Lake on Monday, October 25, and that match starts at 4:30 pm.

McKenzie Middle School Cross Country Results

The Eagle Middle School Cross Country teams traveled last Thursday, October 14, to sunny Corvallis to participate in the NW Middle School XC Showdown, held at Avery Park. Eagle sixth grade runner, Claire Weiss, finished 20th out of 157 runners in the Girls 3,000 meters Sweepstakes Race. Sixth-grade teammate Zyla Drake crossed the finish line in 82nd place. McKenzie eighth grade runner Myra Dion ran to a 76th place finish in the 3,000 meters Champions (Top 10) race. 100 runners competed in that race. Sixth grade Eagle Avry Thoms finished 164th in his 3,000 meters Sweepstakes Race which featured 183 athletes. Will Meister, eighth grade, ran to an 80th place finish in his 3,000 meters Champions (Top 10) race and 109 runners competed in that event.

Friday Night Special

The skies were clear and the 3/4 moon bright and waxing, last Friday night, at McKenzie’s Wade Thomas Football Field. The distant ridge tops with their burnt forest skeletons visibly standing as a stark reminder of the 500-year firestorm that scorched Normal right after a vicious virus first delivered a blindside hit a year ago. Both scourges deserve a penalty flag and an unsportsmanlike call. Varsity football on the campus of McKenzie High School was forced to the bench by their interference. As a consequence, it simply became unsafe to compete on the field last season due to all the fire damage.

This Fall, with not enough athletes required to fill a roster this season, forced the Fall Athletic season to again stand down. Any reasonable soul would conclude that there would be no Friday Night Lights, on Wade Thomas Field, nor in the Eagle gymnasiums in 2021. But remarkably, here we all were, defying those odds, drawn together on a clear Friday night, along the football sidelines, stadium lights blazing, and celebrating Eagle Homecoming 2021. Equally unpredictable, the opponent was the Mapleton Sailors, who, too, couldn’t field a complete six-man football team and had been forced to officially cancel their 2021 season.

How was this possible? Credit goes to the Athletic Directors of the two schools - the Eagle’s Fred Heins and the Sailor’s Carrie Dean, who devised a completely unorthodox opportunity for both their student bodies to celebrate a truly memory-making Homecoming. Complete with Homecoming Courts, Coronations, Flowers, Cars, Goofy weekly activities, photos for the Annuals, and of course a football game. But not like any normal Homecoming football game. Fittingly of an abnormal time, this hatched plot would be comprised of two flag football games, one played in Mapleton and the other at McKenzie. Back to back Fridays and by the way, make it co-ed. And oh, by the way, all students including middle school age were encouraged to participate. Brilliant!!

In the truest sense of purpose for participating in high school sports activities, these two schools loudly and proudly cheered on their athletes. One would have thought it was a District Championship with a whole lot at stake. Fans yelled positive support for their players and the players responded with all the athleticism they could muster. Indeed, there was a great deal on the line. All fans attending were relegated to one sideline, side-by-side and elbow-to-elbow, as the other sideline wasn’t safe due to the burned bleacher remnants.

Lawn chairs and blankets covered the green grass and the real games between the Eagles and Sailors took place behind the spectators as all the younger siblings played in their own Super Bowls. Most striking was the sportsmanship exhibited throughout the evening by all. No barbs thrown back and forth, no fights or ill-tempered tantrums. All fun and smiles. There weren’t even any gate fees or concessions. What a special night, started off very nicely by Eagle student Devin Lawson beautifully singing the Star-Spangled Banner. All roster players were introduced and game on.

McKenzie Vice Principal Neil Barrett and Learning Specialist Mike Abrams volunteered to officiate the contest, which evolved from six-person to five-person because, at the last minute, Mapleton could only field a five-person team. No big deal, the game proceeded. No boos or catcalls!

At halftime the Eagle Court was presented in style, driven to mid-field by their chosen chariots (cars and jeeps) and the Queen and her King crowned. In the end, touchdowns were scored and the Home team won, but to be true, the score of the game was secondary to what had been overcome and accomplished. Two communities came together and celebrated for all the right reasons.

Hats and helmets off once again, to both McKenzie and Mapleton schools. Take a well-deserved bow and Thanks once again.

 

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