Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, March 18, 2015, Image 12

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Section B
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
South Lane County Sports and Recreation
Contact Sports, 942-3325 or e-mail
Lions on deck for Sky-Em three-peat
Girls will need a full-team effort to defend their title; boys
will have potential to climb up the podium
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
It would be a tall order for the 2015 Cot-
tage Grove girls’ track and fi eld team to top
last year’s seventh-place fi nish at the state
meet. Seniors Ahsha Mootz, Sylivia Dean
and Destiny Dawson accounted for 21 of
the Lions' 28 points, and it remains to be
seen if any big guns will emerge to replace
their fi repower.
However, a third consecutive Sky-Em
championship is not out of the question.
And that is what coach Ricky Knutson has
tried to sell his team during the opening
weeks of the season.
“The [2014] District Championship was
not won by an individual. Nineteen girls
scored to defeat Sisters, 157-145,” he post-
fi le photo
Cottage Grove sophomore Hudson
Weybright placed fourth at the state
meet in the 800 meters.
Girls golf
begins anew
with Temple
ed on the team’s social media page in early
Despite the team’s losses — especially
Mootz, who won both short dashes and was
a member on the fi rst and second-place re-
lay teams — Knutson expects the team to be
neck-and-neck with the Outlaws at the dis-
trict meet, which will be held May 14 and
16 at Junction City.
“I don’t want to ever minimize what
Ahsha meant to this program, both on and
off the track, but it’s not like she scored 40
points. Losing her was rough, but I wanted
the girls to realize that it wasn’t just her who
won the championship,” he said.
While last year’s squad was able to over-
come the loss of 2013 graduates Kristine
Dunn and Tricia Ingraham with comparable
star power, this year’s team will likely need
to fi nd contributions in unexpected places.
“We’re going to have to squeeze out
points wherever we can, and so we will
spend a good part of the season fi guring out
where to put people in extra events. It may
be a while before we know what we have,”
said Knutson.
Cottage Grove does, however, have sev-
eral known entities.
The Lions expect to have a formidable
middle-distance crew with returning state
qualifi ers Breanna Wright (1500, 3000,
4x400), Hudson Weybright (800) and
Chelsey Bottorff (4x400). Hannah Albrecht
placed fourth in the 100 and 200 at districts
and was a member of the fi fth-place state
4x100 relay team. Seniors Conner Borigo
and Courtney Hammell will anchor a small
but potent group of throwers. And sopho-
more Celeste Pelham returns after top-fi ve
fi nishes at districts in both hurdle events.
Freshman Chelsea Armstrong, Sydney
Boxberger and Halle Petersen could also be
key factors in the Lions' bid for a three-peat
at the conference meet.
Having fi nished third at last year’s district
meet, expectations for the boys aren’t quite
as high — especially since league champion
Elmira returns many key contributors.
Please see Track and field, Page 2B
Tomato, Tomahto: Cottage Grove takes same-
old approach into new conference alignment
Wrestling coach
answers the call
Lions return four
from last year's
championship team
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
yle Temple was in the
homestretch of the Li-
ons’ wrestling season when his
wife, Lesli, called him about the
recently posted position for the
girls’ golf coach.
She suggested that he look
into it.
Although Lesli was immi-
nently expecting their third child
— who arrived on the eve of
the state wrestling tournament
— Temple saw an opportunity
to reinvest in the community he
became a part of last summer.
“I feel that it’s important to
be involved in the community
where you live and work,” he
said. “And even though I’ve
been the wrestling coach here, I
welcomed the chance to coach
a group of young athletes I
wouldn’t normally get to work
As this team is short on both
experience and numbers, there
fi gure to be lots of opportunities
for coach and athletes to work
together. Sophomores Eliza-
beth Poe and Alexia Alonzo are
fi rst-year players; sophomores
Carly Sand and Kalea Borrelli
each have one season under
their belts, and senior MacK-
enzie Husko has played all four
Temple played golf in high
schoo, and continued to play as a
“less stressful” activity to wres-
tling, but he has never coached
the sport. The opportunity came
about when former coach Linda
Levings announced that she
would not be able to return to
the team due to heath issues.
Upon accepting the position
he spent some time reviewing,
Please see Girlss Golf, Page 2B
fi le photo
Cottage Grove senior Johnny Conrad shot a career-best 77 over the fi nal 18 holes of the 2014 Sky-Em district
championship to lead the Lions to a come-from-behind victory over Sweet Home.
Athletes of
the Week
Cottage Grove's sev-
enth grade girls' bas-
ketball team won four
games en route to the
championship of this
past weekend's Or-
egon Amateur Basket-
ball tournament. They
defeated teams from
Sheldon and Amity
on Saturday, and they
beat West Salem and
Thurston in Sunday's
semifi nal and champi-
onship games, respec-
"The girls showed a
lot of heart and hustle
limiting Thurston’s of-
fense and getting some
easy baskets in transi-
tion," said team par-
ent Tracy Ollivant of
the title game, which
Cottage Grove won
fter back-to-back Sky-
Em League champion-
ship seasons, it’s fair to say that
the Lions are well equipped to
handle the occasional blind ap-
proach — at least on the golf
This year, Cottage Grove will
be tested with a different type
of unknown. The OSAA has
blended the traditional leagues
into four special districts, and in
addition to the district champi-
onship tournament, which will
be held May 11 and 12 at Toka-
tee Golf Club, fi ve regular-sea-
son meets will determine which
teams qualify for the state tour-
Coach Kent Russo said that
he doesn’t know much about
the new competition, which in-
cludes North Marion, Cascade,
Newport, Stayton and Sutherlin
— which joined the Sky-Em for
all sports prior to the 2014-15
school year. Instead, he said, the
team chooses to focus on things
within its control.
“We really think about enjoy-
ing ourselves,” said the ninth-
year head coach. “We don’t get
caught up in the competition
part. Sure we want to win, but
we really focus on having fun.
Golf is a good game, and it’s a
hard game. But even when it’s
frustrating, it’s still really enjoy-
It’s hard to question that ap-
proach given recent results.
The Lions experienced a
breakthrough two years ago in
defeating perennial Sky-Em
power Sisters and came from
Please see Boys Golf, Page 2B
Equestrian team rides to top-fi ve fi nshes
courtesy photo
Back row (from left): Megan Schatz,
Ema Gardner, Kaila Ollivant, Reilly Kelty,
Madison Giffen. Front row (from left): Tori
Weston, Nicki Derrick, Kate Bachelder. Not
pictured: Chloe Malmstedt; coaches Greg
Ollivant and Jeff Derrick.
he Cottage Grove equestrian team performed
well in its second South Valley District meet of
the season, held March 6-8 at the Oregon Horse Cen-
ter. Several athletes turned in top-fi ve fi nishes in their
respective events and remained in contention for berths
to the state meet — which are determined based on cu-
mulative point totals from three district meets.
The bi-rangle teams of Ashley Goertzen and Shania
Schueller, and Justin Hill and Ty Schueller moved up in
the league standings to third and fourth, respectively.
Goertzen also took fourth (out of 68 riders) in the
barrels, third in pole pending and fourth in fi gure eight,
out of 65 riders.
In her individual competitions, Shania Schueller
took second in both barrels and steer daubing. Other
Lions who placed in steer daubing included Ty Schuel-
ler (second) and Ellie Harold (fi fth).
Hill fi nished fourth in both pole bending and indi-
vidual fl ags. Sara Witty placed third in the latter event.
Despite an injury to senior Tia Barkley, the drill team
moved up from fourth to third in the league standings.
Harold, the team’s alternate, had just one week to learn
the six-minute routine.
Team advisor Shannon Simons also commended the
efforts of new riders Shaelynn Huffman and Breanna
The fi nal South Valley district meet will be held at the
Oregon Horse Center over the fi rst weekend of April.
courtesy photo
Cottage Grove's Ty Schueller competed in the barrels at
the South Valley district meet, which was held over the
fi rst weekend of March at the Oregon Horse Center.