Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, February 04, 2015, Image 13

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Section B
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
South Lane County Sports and Recreation
Contact Sports, 942-3325 or e-mail
Lion head football coach to speak at regional sports clinic
Despite success, recognition, Roberts says he’s
staying at Cottage Grove
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
ottage Grove Head Football
Coach Gary Roberts is among
a select group of coaches from around
the country who were asked to present
at the Northwest All Sports Clinic, Feb.
5-8 in Seattle.
Since 1972, the annual conference
has drawn top rated high school, col-
lege and professional coaches and now
features 10 different sports. Past speak-
ers have included Lou Holtz, Mike
Krzyzewski and Pat Summit.
“We go after the very best coaches
and more often than not they are suc-
cessful,” said All Sports director Jim
Harrymam. “The high-school coaches
have typically a few state champion-
ships, but we weren’t dissuaded that
Gary hasn’t won one yet; he’s still re-
garded by his peers as one of the top
football coaches in the state of Or-
From 1980 through 2007, the Lions
were 92-170. Cottage Grove is 40-33,
with a 23-14 record in the Sky-Em,
since Roberts was hired in 2008. In
2013, the Lions went 10-3 and played
in the 4A state championship game.
Roberts has never before spoken at a
sports conference and said that it’s nice
for the program to be recognized. He
plans to present on three topics: pro-
gram structure and practice planning
for success; installing a no-huddle,
spread offense; and the spread screen
Roberts is one of fi ve Oregon high
school football coaches who were asked
to speak at the four-day clinic. Those
others include: Bill Volk of Aloha; John
Mannion, who led Silverton to the 5A
state championship game last fall; Greg
Lawrence, whose Sherwood Bowmen
won 5A state titles in 2010 and 2012;
and Steve Pyne, who has won back-to-
back 6A championships at the helm of
Central Catholic.
Given this public recognition of
Roberts’ accomplishments while at
Cottage Grove, it's natural to wonder if
any other schools have inquired about
his services.
Please see Roberts, Page 2B
fi le photo
Lion football coach Gary Roberts
has compiled a 40-33 record since
Boys’ slide
continues at
Sweet Home
Huskies rout Lions 67-43
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
photo by Matt Hollander
Cottage Grove's Delia Nichols-Ferguson was one of four Lions to score six or more points in their 59-25 win over Sweet Home.
Lions bounce back against Huskies
Cottage Grove trounced Sweet
Home 59-25 in fi rst game post
Sutherlin blowout
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
WEET HOME — With the motto being, ‘Don’t
let Sutherlin beat us twice,’ Cottage Grove re-
bounded from a dispiriting loss to the No. 1 ranked
team in the state with a resounding 59-25 win over
Sweet Home last Tuesday (Jan. 27).
Senior Conner Borigo turned in a dominating per-
formance with 30 points, but Hannah Arnold, Delia
Nichols-Ferguson and Taylor Sayles chipped in with
six points each as the Lions showed a much more
balanced offensive strategy than in their loss to the
“We talked about getting our train back on Lion
track, and coming out to play a complete game and
do the things that we’ve practiced,” said Cottage
Grove Coach Kerry Clawson. “I hope the last game
served as motivation to play better defense and pass
the ball better. Obviously Sutherlin and Sweet Home
are two different teams, but I liked the way we played
Cottage Grove (10-8, 3-1 Sky-Em) jumped on top
of Sweet Home (1-13, 0-4 Sky-Em) from the open-
ing tip and never let up. A different Lion starter ac-
counted for Cottage Grove’s fi rst fi ve scores as they
built a 20-8 fi rst-quarter margin.
“We’ve defi nitely become more of a team-oriented
scoring system, which is nice because when we’re
working together things open up,” Borigo said.
In the second quarter, however, it was all Borigo and
defense. She scored all but one of Cottage Grove’s 13
second-quarter points, and Sweet Home scored just
three points and committed seven turnovers.
Cottage Grove implemented a new offensive strat-
egy against the Huskies: a two-man game to share
ball-handling duties. And while the Lions had limited
opportunities to test the new approach against Sweet
Home’s primarily zone defense, they committed just
11 turnovers compared to the 30 that Sutherlin forced
with its full-court trap.
“That’s what we want to have happen. We want to
distribute the ball and be patient. And when we were
impatient we saw a lot of the same results that we
don’t like,” Clawson said.
With the victory over Sweet Home, Cottage Grove
has a solid grasp on the no. 2 position in the league
standings. And while hosting a home play-in game
would be an accomplishment, the Lions won’t be
content to fl oat in no-man's land; they’d rather chase
the Bulldogs.
Please see Girls Basketball, Page 2B
photo by Gary Ordway Sports Action Photography
Athlete of the Week:
Conner Borigo
WEET HOME — Both Cot-
tage Grove and Sweet Home
entered Tuesday (Jan. 23) night’s
Sky-Em League game in serious
need of a victory to get back into the
playoff hunt. It was the home Hus-
kies who played like the more des-
perate team in their 67-43 triumph
over the Lions.
“I kind of felt that it was a must-
win game because of where we were
in the standings,” said Sweet Home
coach Brandon Gaskey, whose team
entered the contest with a 5-8 record.
“We’re trying to make our climb
right now. We wanted to play well,
and it showed tonight.”
The Huskies moved to 2-2 in the
Sky-Em and are in prime position to
make a push for the postseason en-
tering the second half of league play.
Cottage Grove (4-12, 0-4 Sky-Em),
meanwhile, lost its seventh straight
game and appears to be losing
ground after coming up just short
against Sisters and Junction City
earlier in the month.
“I don’t profess to have a lot of an-
swers right now other than we’ve got
to hang in and keep our heads up,”
said Lion coach Donn Pollard. “We
do some good things in practice,
but we’re not seeing it on the game
fl oor. Maybe that’s just the mark of a
young team.”
Over the second and third quar-
ters, the Huskies only outscored
Cottage Grove 23-22. But it was the
bookends — where the Lions were
outscored 44-21 — that doomed
Cottage Grove.
Sweet Home took control of the
game early and never allowed the
Lions much of a chance to get back
in. It was, in fact, very similar to Cot-
tage Grove’s previous game against
Sutherlin. However, while Noah
Caillier penetrated the Lion defense
with quickness, Hunter Jutte led the
Husky offense with power.
The reigning Sky-Em co-MVP
scored nine of his game-high 20
points in the second quarter. Jutte
went coast-to-coast for his fi rst two
baskets. And just when it looked like
the Lions would close the half on a
10-0 run, he hit a step-back 3-pointer
at the buzzer to steal the momentum
back from Cottage Grove.
“All season long we’ve been run-
ning isolation plays for Hunter to
end a quarter or a half, and more
often than not he’s come through in
those situations,” Gaskey said.
Please see Boys Basketball, Page 2B
Aqua Lions compete hard against large schools Ashland, North Eugene
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
photo by Matt Hollander
Tori Raade leaps in for the anchor leg of the 400-yard free relay.
EUGENE — The boys’ and girls’
swimming teams both fi nished a distant
third in Friday’s triangular meet with
Ashland and North Eugene, but many
Lions set new personal records while
trying to keep up with the 5A athletes.
“North Eugene is our sister school
in swimming and water polo, so we’re
quite familiar with each other,” said
sophomore Clover Rudicel. “It's tricky
because we know they’re faster, but at
the same time it’s really fun because if
we’re keeping up with them we know
we’re swimming fast times.”
In the 100-yard breaststroke, Rudicel
set a new PR of 1:25.60 while fi nishing
second in the race — just behind North
Eugene senior Akari Seiner (1:25.22).
Rudicel would return to the pool for
the very next event: the 400-yard free-
style relay, in which she teamed with
Rose Witt, Sophie Edelbute and Tori
Raade to fi nish second in 4:30.95.
Raade also had a great meet for the
Lions — who fi nished with 65 team
points, behind Ashland (120) and North
Eugene (112). The sophomore won the
500-yard freestyle and placed third in
the 100-yard backstroke with new PRs
of 5:54.90 and 1:13.47, respectively.
A week after breaking the one-min-
ute barrier for the fi rst time ever, Josh
Ireland lowered his PR in the 100-yard
freestyle by two seconds (57.74).
Senior Jarett Raade topped the fi eld
by nearly seven seconds in the 500-
yard freestyle (5:41.40).
“I knew it would be an easy swim, so
I saved some energy for my next event,"
said Raade, who later teamed with Ire-
land, Ian Miller and Seth Chambers to
place fourth in the 400-yard freestyle
relay (4:03.70). "I wanted to focus on
the second half of the race, so I swam
smart for the fi rst 300 and then worked
on fi nishing the last 200."
Cottage Grove fi nished well behind
North Eugene (142) and Ashland (85)
with 52 points, but Raade said you
have to take the outcome with a grain
of salt.
"[Against these teams] victories sig-
nify good accomplishments, as do close
losses because they could easily go the
other way," he said.
Lion coach Tyson Pilling said that it
was a very good meet all around.
“It's nice to see everyone dropping
and holding about the same times of
where they need to be," he said.
Pilling also said that Friday's trian-
gular with Junction City and Spring-
fi eld will act as a dress rehearsal for the
district meet, in which the the team will
make fi nal decisions on individual en-
tries and relay orders.