Creswell, Sports Zone

CHS: WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW

Gini Davis/The Chronicle

GIRLS BASKETBALL
LAST SEASON: 7-16 overall, 1-11 league
NEW FACES: This year the Lady Dawgs added four freshmen to their roster (Caroline Spriggs, Samairah Quinones, Claire Vaughn and Kendyl Whitson) to help with the loss of the seven seniors that graduated last year. Creswell also adds six sophomores, making them one of the youngest teams in the league.
KEY DEPARTURES: Bailey Howell was first-team all-league for the Mountain Valley Conference last year, paired with Aubrie Hatch, second-team all league, will be two key players Creswell will have to work to replace. ”We’re still looking for that player that will break out of their shell and have an all-star season,” said assistant coach Chandler Gabrio. ”It’s definitely going to be a rebuilding year and the girls will have to work even harder this season if we’re going to do well.”
STRENGTHS: Creswell’s greatest strength is also the biggest obstacle for the season: youth. When a team’s roster is stacked with young players, it may mean hard times for the present but long term, it can translate into experience and championships. Offense gets stronger, defense gets better, and teammates meld together. When you start at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up and Creswell is aiming for the top.
BIGGEST RIVAL: Over the last decade, Santiam Christian has become the ”new age” rival for Creswell, taking a larger and more dominant role when it comes to important opponents. Last year Creswell’s only league victory came over the eagles, when the Bulldogs won 36-29 on their home court. Only 9 days later, Santiam Christian gave Creswell a taste of their own medicine when they went on the road, losing 53-31 at Santiam in the last game of the season for the Bulldogs.
SEASON OBSTACLES: Graduating seven seniors last year and listing ten players as underclassmen, Creswell will be looking for leadership as they head into key rebuilding times. Without really having an all-star standout player, it’s up in the air as far as who could rise and lead the team back to the top of the league standings. In a pep talk during practice, coach Tyler Hollingsworth spoke of the season opener and said, ”Our first game is going to be a tough one. We’re going to have to keep our heads up and work hard but I believe that we can do it.”
DID YOU KNOW?: Hollingsworth was an assistant coach for the LCC men’s basketball team. When asked about Hollingsworth, Gabrio said, ”He’s such a good coach, one of the best I’ve seen. If anyone can get the program back in winning order, he can.”

CHEER
LAST YEAR: Qualified for State, placed 13th
NEW FACES: This winter, four of the seven players on the squad are new to the group. Adding two freshman, Akasha Lawson and Sierra Walter, join junior Haylee Garrison and the squad’s only senior Joseph Keller as they begin the transition into competition season.
BIGGEST RIVAL: Cascade Christian, which had the highest raw score at state last year.
KEY RETURNERS: Creswell has three juniors returning this year to add some experience and leadership to the team with Arian Lawson, Dianna Leveque and Jessalynn Aiken. Lawson is in her third varsity year with the Bulldogs.
KEY DEPARTURES: Last year the Bulldogs had 12 athletes on their roster but this year that number has decreased to seven.
STRENGTHS: The team’s Facebook page is active with the students and community. The squad has supported local fundraisers, donated their time at the Big Dawg Golf Tournament and for the first football game it rewarded the loudest fan in the student section with a spirit basket. Head coach Christine Bandey and assistant coach Chelsea Jones are in their fifth season at Creswell.
SEASON OBSTACLES: Staying healthy is always a major key to success. Beyond athlete’s bodies, Injuries lead to reworking routines.

BOYS BASKETBALL
LAST SEASON: 12-12 overall, 5-7 in league
3rd place in Mountain Valley Conference
NEW FACES: Seniors Dawson Sharkey and Payden Criddle moved up to varsity from JV, and Ruben Moreno joined the team. The Bulldogs also added freshman Connor Hanson, the only underclassman on the team.
KEY RETURNERS: After receiving first-team all-league honors last year, Tyler Frieze returns for his senior season along with Kai Apo, Austin Gabriel, Gauge Smith and Dallton Dewey. Dewey earned all-league honorable mention last season.
KEY DEPARTURES: Tayler Forsman gathered all-state honorable mention and first-team all-league awards last season for the Bulldogs. Non-returners also include Marquin Robinson, Andrew Spence and Avery Wells.
STRENGTHS: With only one underclassman on the roster, the Bulldogs will rely on senior leadership. Apo and Frieze have three varsity seasons under their belts, while Dewey, Gabriel and Smith all have two prior years of varsity experience. As far as the Bulldogs are concerned, hopefully with age really does come wisdom. Size is another thing that Creswell has going for it. CHS and Santiam Christian are the only two schools in the league that have three different players listed at minimum of 6’4”. Senior post Austin Gabriel, made crucial defensive stops under the basket and was key for post defense last season.
BIGGEST RIVAL: Even before the days that previous coach Ron Lampe wrote ”Beat P-Hill” in Christmas lights on the fence around his house, Pleasant Hill has been a huge rival for the Bulldogs. Losing only a single league game and ending fifth overall last season, the Billies are formidable. Max Smith, all-state honorable mention last season, will return as a junior, hoping to make up for the loss of Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year, Stephen Parmenter. Last year, lost at home to the Billies 55-35.
SEASON OBSTACLES: Creswell will have to step up its game if it wants to compete with the Portland-based schools in the postseason. It has been since 2004 when Creswell won that a non-portland-based school has won the 3A boys basketball championship. Add on top that the Bulldogs lost 75-48 to Dayton in the first round of the playoffs last year and it seems that Creswell will have to work hard if they want to have an extended stay in the state tournament this year.
DID YOU KNOW?: Three of the boys from the 2018-2019 team (Dewey, Forsman and Carter Cunningham) competed in the Future Business Leaders of America State.

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