Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, December 30, 2015, Page 2B, Image 14

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    2B COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL December 30, 2015
Stories of the Year
CONTINUED FROM PG 1B
at the buzzer. The Tigers best-
ed the Lions in overtime, win-
ning 41-39.
The Lions went 14-11, and
what made the loss more painful
is that they swept Junction City
in both games during the regular
season; both wins were by over
10 points each.
TCU and in a sport like horse-
back riding is no easy task.
Mootz had to create her own
video reels and send them out
to schools and hope she got rec-
ognized. She received one other
offer from Delaware but jumped
at the opportunity to play for
TCU, as there are only 18 divi-
sion one equestrian teams in the
country.
8. Mootz signs 9. Golf takes
league title
to TCU
In November, senior Josie
Mootz signed her letter of intent
to attend Texas Christian Uni-
versity on a scholarship for the
equestrian team. Although she
is known for her skills on the
soccer fi eld, Mootz wows audi-
ences and judges alike with her
skills on a horse.
Mootz said she has been
riding horses all her life. Her
mother described her starting
out as a “champion stick-horse
rider in our living room.” At the
age of eight, she won the title
of regional walk trot champion
in Nampa, Idaho on her quar-
ter horse named Amber. Mootz
eventually ended her quarter
horse career with “numerous
buckles, all around awards and
two saddles.”
After quarter horses, Mootz
began showing paint horses, for
which she also has received nu-
merous accolades.
Since winning the walk trot
regional in Idaho, Mootz was
taken under the wing of Tammy
Mills, an equestrian trainer who,
along with her husband, Rob
Mills, was considered like “sec-
ond family” to Mootz.
“They have spent long hours
together on the road, waiting
for classes to start when it's
freezing out, and even getting
up before light to feed and get
horses ready,” Mootz’s mother
explained in a speech.
Mootz has since been around
the country to places like Ohio
and even competed in competi-
tions at Texas A&M University.
However, obtaining a student-
athlete offer from a school like
The Lions’ golf team won its
third-straight league title this
year. Cottage Grove shot 717
over the two-day 4A Special
District Tournament 2 against
Junction City and Stayton.
The Tigers held a brief lead
over Cottage Grove on day two.
But as they have done many
times before, the Lions played
their best when it mattered most.
Cottage Grove shot 352 on the
second day of the tournament
to pull away from all challeng-
ers. Senior Johnny Conrad shot
78 and 79 to win the individual
title, and Cameron Sandoval
shot 87 and 84 to fi nish tied for
second place.
Cottage Grove then took sixth
place at the Class 4A boys’ golf
state championships held May
18 and 19 at Quail Valley Golf
Course in Banks.
The Lions were in seventh
place after a 375 opening round,
but they shot 356 on the second
day to move past district foe
Stayton for sixth place. Seaside
won the tournament with a score
of 623. Valley Catholic was sec-
ond with 643.
10. Track and
Field does well
Conner Borigo was already
assured of taking home a medal
from the state track and fi eld
championships. But there was
still one competitor she wanted
to surpass: herself.
The Cottage Grove senior fi n-
ished with her best throw of the
day — 36-6.25 — but came up
eight inches short of a new life
time best.
Sophomore Hudson Wey-
bright made her second straight
800-meter fi nal for the Lions,
where she fi nished seventh in
2:25.51. Five of the six runners
who fi nished ahead of Wey-
bright are seniors.
In the team race, Astoria held
off Newport 76 to 69 despite a
heroic effort by Rachel Vinjam-
uri, who won the 100 (12.02),
200 (24.57) and 400 (56.88) for
the Cubs.
The Lions scored seven points
to fi nish tied for 25th.
Connor Howard made it to the
fi nals in the 200 and 400-meter
races, but a recurring hip prob-
lem got in the way. He fi nished
in fi fth place in the 400-meter
race. Michael Tharpe also made
it to the fi nals for the 110-meter
hurdles and even had a personal
best of 15.22 seconds.
In the team race, Henley
scored 75.5 points to outpace
North Bend (64.5), Philomath
(52) and Elmira (41.83). Zach
Beltz, who was named athlete
of the meet, won the 100, placed
second in the long jump and
took fourth in the 200 for the
Falcons.
The Lions scored 11 points to
fi nish in a tie for 20th.
While Cottage Grove has pre-
viously sent more athletes to the
state meet and brought home
more medals, coach Ricky
Knutson said that this year’s
group was high in quality.
“It will be very hard to re-
place Conner and Courtney,” he
said. “I thought it was valuable
for the guys just to get here, and
hopefully they’ll get to come
back next year and take another
step forward.”
Josie Mootz had a memorable day when she signed her letter of intent to TCU on Nov.
16.
tion found its way to yours truly. ever lived before. That small being shoved out into the real
It’s a long story how I wound up city-state island of a country be- world. It took me until late July
working in the small Oregon came my home for the next 11 to fi nd the opening at the Senti-
town, and it’s treated me well or so years, where I grew up on nel, and Jon gave me the oppor-
a Southeast Asian diet and was tunity to work as a sports editor
since I’ve started.
I was born in Washington forced to learn Mandarin. After and learn how a real newspaper
D.C., where I lived for two years high school, my father brought is run. Though I consider my-
before being shipped off to Aus- me to visit the University of self less experienced than Matt
tralia with my family. I lived in Oregon, where I immediately or Jerry Thompson and realized
Perth for about four and a half fell in love with the beauty of I’m a slow learner, I’m begin-
years before I moved to Danville this state (although the winter ning to get a hang of the media
just east of San Francisco. Two weather came to be a bit of a industry and appreciate the sup-
months after my eighth birthday, shock). I fi nished school with a port and constructive criticism
my family was moved yet again, bachelor’s degree in journalism from the community. Here’s to
only this time to Singapore, a this past June and found myself making improvements in 2016.
far more exotic place than I’ve in the post-grad shock of now
Bonus: New
Sports Editor
After reviewing the work my
predecessor did for the 2014 sto-
ries of the year, I found it inter-
esting that the Sentinel had yet
again found a new sports editor.
Matt Hollander stepped down
after being unable to keep up
with a second job and the posi-
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1807 E. Main Street, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
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