McKenzie Eagles Sports Report - Dec. 30
December 30, 2021 | View PDF
McKenzie Sports Schedule This Week
No McKenzie sports contests scheduled this week. Have a Happy and Safe New Year.
McKenzie Drops Hoops Openers At Siletz Eagle Athletes Earn Honor
McKenzie has enough athletes to field both a Girls and Boys Varsity team. That’s a big deal! Thanks to the disastrous Holiday Farm Fire and Covid double whammy, Eagle Hoops was not a foregone conclusion this Winter Season.
It doesn’t take long to look down the rosters, eight girls and seven boys on their respective teams thus far. Jack Devereaux is coaching the McKenzie Girls team and Joshua Henley is the Eagle Boys Head Coach. Both are working hard with their teams on the basics, and that means, the Basics! Neither team is projected, at this juncture as a threat to win the Mt. West League 2021-22 season nor advance to post-season as Eagle fans used to expect with regularity. For now, that’s just the way it is and that’s ok. A journey begins with a goal, direction, and first step and McKenzie Hoops has checked all three.
The first stop for the teams Mt. West League play was over on the Coast, in the Siletz Valley, where they tangled with the Warriors of the Siletz Valley Early College Academy. The Warriors’ Girls team defeated the Eagles 43-37, in a contest that McKenzie was in, with a chance to win, right up to the final horn.
Junior Haley Prater led her Eagle team with 21 points scored. Freshman Adrian Caulley stepped up to the challenge in her first Varsity uniform, adding 8 points. Junior Spencer Hayes scored a couple of buckets for 4 points, Senior Captain Hannah Prater added 3 points and freshman Kieran Burwell-Steller made a free-throw for a point while hauling in 10 rebounds. Fellow freshman Rebekah Short upset the Siletz offense with 5 steals and junior Taylor Wickizer finished with 6 rebounds.
All in all a good first outing for the Eagle Girls, and their Head Coach, Jack Devereaux, was complimentary. “No give up, competed all the way through the game,” the Eagle Coach shared. “They did a good job not settling for being close,” Coach Devereaux observed when attributing the team’s positive attitude. Lastly, Devereaux highlighted his lone senior, the Eagle Captain, Hannah Prater. “Hannah has stepped up by really competing.”
The McKenzie Boys faced a Siletz Warrior team that is currently ranked fifth in the Oregon Class 1A basketball polls. It’s early in the season and while it remains to be seen if that ranking will be retained throughout the balance of the season, nonetheless the Warriors post-up a 6’9” player and a teammate also stepping on the court at 6’6”. The Eagles gave it a fair go, but Siletz Valley’s experience and height led to a 65-18 opening season defeat.
Sophomore Griffen Withalm topped the Eagle scoring with 6 points, followed by sophomore Thomas Hayes with 5 points, sophomore post player Levi Lockard with 4 points, and freshman Jamie LeClaire, who scored 3 points.
McKenzie Head Coach Joshua Henley complimented his team by acknowledging their positive attitude, sharing that the boys understand where they stand with Varsity level skills and experience. Henley shared that his team is working hard on the practice court with a vision toward the future and elevating their game.
We could stop this sports report right here for this week, but to quote those who remember the iconic Paul Harvey, it’s “Time For The Rest Of The Story.” Following the game over on the coast, McKenzie Athletic Director Fred Heins and Eagle Superintendent Lane Tompkins received an email from Siletz Valley Administrative Assistant/Principal Joanna Napoleon, concerning the behavior of the McKenzie Athletes during the game. Principal Napoleon expressed her amazement of the level of sportsmanship and respect the Eagle teams exhibited during both games, particularly the girls team. “They were getting pretty beat up by our team on fouls,” the Siletz mentor shared. “Not once did I see a McKenzie girl get chippy or an attitude, when it would have been easy to do so.”
The Principal went on to add that the Eagle girls even acknowledged an injured Warrior player at her bench, making sure she was okay. “Your school was very well represented last night and I just wanted to let you know that,” she added.
McKenzie parents, school staff, and community, you have a lot to be proud of with this group of athletes and their coaches. McKenzie athletes have always been some of our River Valley’s best ambassadors and it appears that we are still in good hands. Our high school athletics should always be about how to, as UCLA Coach John Wooden used to share, “be the best that you can be.” That sage advice applied to both skills and character.
Coach Wooden won ten National Championships at UCLA, brilliantly coaching and mentoring his athletes the skills and teamwork necessary to win consistently. The object of the game was never up for debate; it was to win, not just compete for a participation ribbon. That would be accomplished with a 100% by-in effort. Anything less was not to be expected. And yet, Coach Wooden was always the first to share the fundamental importance of building positive character and integrity in his players, one of the first building blocks to success in one’s life. Preparation through hard work and sacrifice, positive character building and the total personal output to be the “best that each player could be” would define the success of each individual and the team, on the court and off. Great life goals and steps to success.
Good to see our Eagle athletes on that road and receiving the honors earned for their efforts. Might be time to once again fill our gymnasiums and support our athletic ambassadors! And now you know, “The Rest of The Story.”