The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) voted unanimously on Monday to adopt girls wrestling as an officially sanctioned sport. Girls wrestling becomes the first sport to be added since softball in 1979, and the addition will be official for the 2023-24 season.
Previously girls wrestling was added as a division to boys wrestling in 2018-19, and the girls division was split in two this last season after a record number of athletes. Going forward girls wrestling will be its own entity, although the championships will likely still be run in unison with the boys, similar to many OSAA sports.
Billies, Bulldogs make Class 3A All-State teams
The Class 3A All-State basketball teams have been released, with six local athletes making a first, second, third or honorable mention appearance. The 1st-team All-State athletes are sophomore’s Gavin Inglish and Claire Crawford of Pleasant Hill. Both Inglish and Crawford won Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year. Senior Kiley Campos also made an appearance for the Billies on the girls honorable mention team.
For Creswell, seniors Max Velarde and Connor Hanson were both voted second-team all-state. Velarde and Hanson were first-team all-conference and helped lead Creswell to a fourth-place finish at state last month. On the girls side, junior Lauren Bailey made third-team all-state after leading Creswell to the postseason and an 18-7 record.
Also on the winter awards train is Academic All-State. Teams can make the list if their athletes have a combined cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Area teams to make the winter sports list are: Cottage Grove boys basketball (3.32), Creswell boys basketball (3.40), Pleasant Hill boys basketball (3.47), Thurston boys basketball (3.53), Pleasant Hill girls basketball (3.63), Thurston girls basketball (3.49), Cottage Grove boys swimming (3.07), Cottage Grove girls swimming (3.57), Cottage Grove cheer (3.04), and Creswell cheer (3.43).
Teams inside the top-10 receive extra recognition. Top-10 in their respective sports and classes in the area are: Cottage Grove girls basketball (8th in Class 4A, 3.72), Creswell girls basketball (10th in Class 3A, 3.83), Cottage Grove wrestling (3rd in Class 4A, 3.36), Creswell wrestling (3rd in Class 3A, 3.46), and Pleasant Hill wrestling (7th in Class 3A, 3.29).
Turner takes over CG football
Steve Turner was announced as the new Cottage Grove High School football coach in late March. Turner has a 121-89 record in 21 seasons as a head coach at Rainier (1985-87), Crook County (1998-2004), Mountain View (2008-11), Cascade (2012-15) and North Medford (2018-20). He also led Mountain View to a 5A title in 2011 and Cascade to a 4A championship in ’15. Turner takes over the reins at Cottage Grove, which is 1-26 in its past 27 games. The Lions will hope Turner can return them to their previous glory of winning the state title in 2017.
Many former high school athletes from the area are competing at the collegiate level. This spring Cade Crist, formerly of Thurston HS, is a sophomore on the Bushnell baseball team. Crist is hitting .326 on the season, with six home runs and 17 RBIs. Also from Thurston baseball is Decker Stedman, a junior pitcher at Lewis-Clark State College. Stedman is 2-0 with 12 Ks on the year.
There are also multiple area athletes competing for Bushnell track and field. On the girls side Madison Bender from Springfield ran a 2:44.05 in the 800m this season. Freshman Harmony Goodman from Creswell ran a 5:24.54 1500m. Leah Schiewe of Cottage Grove has Bushnell’s best discus throw of the year with 32.08m.
For the Bushnell boys, Nathan Griffiths of Thurston has run 12.05 in the 100m and 25.33 in the 200m. Seth Handman, a sophomore formerly of Creswell, has run 4:48.00 in the 1500m. Ty Kishen of CGHS is Bushnell’s second-best triple jumper with a mark of 12.73m. Hunter Reininger from Springfield is Bushnell’s second-best long jumper (6.22m), fourth-fastest 200m runner (23.96), and also anchored the team’s fastest 4x400m time of the season (3:31.07).