Sports Zone

SSZ Briefs: Week of July 13 compiles “best of” teams

ScorebookLive Oregon, one of the state’s premier high school sports coverage outlets, put together a list of the best performing athletes in each team sport this season. Multiple area athletes made the lists, with all but one of those athletes coming from Thurston High School.

Thurston baseball won the Class 5A title this year, and had multiple members of the team make the SBL list. Senior Maddox Molony took home Player of the Year and made the 1st team. Here’s what SBL wrote on Molony:

“The 5A player of the year led the Colts to their first state championship in the past 14 years, hitting .497 (.559 on-base percentage, 1.533 OPS) with eight home runs, 11 doubles, 25 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. Molony will stay close to home when he plays at the University of Oregon.”

Head coach Dennis Minium also earned coach of the year after leading the team to a 28-3 record.

“The Colts had been knocking on the door the past several years under their eighth-year coach, and after he guided them to a fifth consecutive Midwestern League title, they finally broke through with their first 5A state championship since 2009,” SBL’s writers said. “His team finished 28-3 and led the classification in runs scored (250) and fewest runs allowed (66).”

Connor Molony also made 1st team, with Eli Crist making the second team and Adam Elliott securing a spot on the third team.

The sole athlete in our area not from Thurston was Springfield’s Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam, who was the only non-Class 6A athlete on the girls basketball 1st team.

“Romero-Ah Sam is a two-time 5A player of the year who led the Millers to their first state championship in the past 11 years,” SBL stated. “She went over 1,000 points for her career in Springfield’s 44-29 victory over Crescent Valley that avenged a loss to the Raiders in last year’s final. For the season, she averaged 16 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.1 steals.”

Thurston’s football program, which lost in the state semifinals, also had multiple athletes make the list. Vaun Halstead and Darien Witham both made 1st team on defense, and tight end Luke Newell made the 3rd team.

Finally, Thurston’s girls soccer team had two members on the second team. Goalkeeper Gabi Gilbert and defender Abby Fitzpatrick were both important members of the team, which finished 13-3 and made the state quarterfinals as the 2-seed.

Creslane Elementary throws out first pitch

The Creslane Mustangs were special guests at the Eugene Emeralds baseball game on July 5, with the Mustang mascot throwing out the first pitch. Mighty the Mustang and the Emeralds’ Sluggo had a mascot bonding moment as well. To see all the photos and videos from the special night: CreslaneElementarySchool.

Creslane principal Amy Halley and mascot Mighty.

Challengers earn 2nd at California tournament

The Emerald Challengers went 4-1 last weekend at the Humboldt Tournament in Eureka, California, taking second at the event. Thurston athlete Eli Crist drove in three runs in a 19-0 Game One win. In Game Two the Challengers beat the WBS Black team from Australia 6-1 behind Marist’s Kaden Starr, striking out 7.

In Game Three of the tournament, the Challengers beat the NorCal Nationals from Redding 4-2 thanks to two local pitchers. Pleasant Hill’s Caden Richardson got the start and win with 5 IP, 4 hits allowed and 7 K’s. Crist pitched the final two innings, striking out 2.

On Saturday the Challengers took down the Eureka Dukes 14-8 to stay undefeated at the tournament before losing their final game 5-2 to the Australia Red team. Richardson had a run and RBI in the loss for the Challengers, who are 37-4 on the season.

Babe Ruth baseball teams compete across the area

Area youth are competing in Babe Ruth baseball, an international youth baseball program. The Willamette Valley Babe Ruth summer “major” league contains eight teams, including Creswell and Cottage Grove. The teams compete over a six-week period from June 26-Aug. 3.

Willamette Valley Babe Ruth also puts together an all-star team each summer. Last year’s 13-under team, which contained Tanner Frieze and Kayden Roberts of Creswell, made it all the way to the 13-under World Series in Virginia last August.



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos