Wrapping up Bulldog athletics for the 2019-2020 school year is much more complicated this year than in the past. While we have a lot to celebrate from our fall and winter seasons, spring was unfortunately cut short. This was disappointing news for all our spring athletes, coaches and families who had worked so hard to get ready for the season. For our seniors, it was supposed to be their culminating season with dreams of league and state championships. For the underclassmen, it was supposed to be an opportunity to gain valuable experience and grow as players and teammates.
In looking back at the year, each of our teams had accomplishments to be proud of. Several of them competed in state competitions; specifically, our volleyball and boys basketball team that finished second and third in state, respectively. The boys cross-country team finished second in districts and competed in state for the first time since 2016. Also, our cheer program held its own, competing in one of the toughest divisions at state.
Just missing out on state, our boys soccer team lost a heartbreaker in the league playoff game but was as hot as any team in the state toward the end of the season. Another team that finished one spot out from the state playoffs was football, which had its most successful season since before 2013. With a small senior class graduating, football will return most of its players.
Individually, we had Brielle Brick finish fourth in state in girls wrestling for all classifications. Also, track and field had a great chance to have individual qualifiers for state, including senior Gauge Smith, who finished in the top 10 in four different events as a junior last season.
We had four new varsity head coaches this year taking over various programs at Creswell High School. Dan Smathers took over girls soccer; Mario Perez, wrestling; Scott Worsham, softball; and CJ Johnson joined us to lead the baseball program. With Dan and Mario building strong foundations in their programs this year, we look forward to seeing CJ’s and Scott’s leadership as they build their programs in 2021. Also looking ahead to next spring, golf and tennis, while not new programs to CHS, have established themselves and are continuing to grow their numbers each season.
In addition to the spring sports season being canceled, spring is also the busy season of competition for our bands and choir. This includes district competitions, state competitions and their big trip to the Reno Jazz Festival. Similarly, our senior musicians missed the capstone events of their craft this spring, as well as their spring concert and Spring Jam, which is always a lot of fun.
Finally, an overlooked part of the changes from COVID-19 was the adjustment to the summer schedule that coaches rely on to not only help their team improve, but really spur growth individually. Girls basketball comes to mind as the team in the athletic department that would have seen the most growth this summer, as they had an extremely hardworking but young team that needed the focused experience that summer basketball provides.
In completing two of the three seasons that we normally would, Creswell High School had a lot to cheer for this past year. Creswell finished 19th in the OSAA Cup, which measures overall school success in OSAA-sanctioned activities. This is our highest finish since 2015-2016. We would like to take this time to thank the seniors for their work these past four years and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. We would also like to thank everyone who supported the Bulldogs this year and we are excited to see what successes next year will bring for CHS athletics!
Brandon Standridge is vice principal and athletic director of Creswell High School. He wrote this for The Chronicle.