Sports Zone

Sports Notebook: Volleyball jamboree taking shape; flag football, boys volleyball starts

The Chronicle has partnered with our five area high schools: Cottage Grove, Creswell, Pleasant Hill, Springfield, and Thurston, to create the first hyper-local volleyball jamboree. While details are still being worked out, the jamboree is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 29 at Springfield High School. The Chronicle is the only media outlet that covers every boys and girls sport at all five high schools. 

The idea for the jamboree is to “celebrate the players, fans, and schools covered by our paper’s hyper-local mission – its North Star,” publisher Noel Nash said. “We look forward to working with the schools to produce an event that is fun and exciting to watch and also provides a development and exposure opportunity for the players.” 

One unique aspect of the event is that the host would rotate among the five schools, giving them each a chance to bring in the other schools, including those in different classifications.

This past season, both the Pleasant Hill Billies and Thurston Colts volleyball teams made the state semifinals. In Class 3A, the Billies made it all the way to the state title game before falling to No. 1 Sisters. In Class 5A, the Colts lost to No. 1 Crescent Valley in the semifinals, but beat No. 3 Crater to grab 3rd place. Many more specifics to come as we move into summer.

Club Sports starting this week

Multiple spring club sports begin their seasons this week. While boys lacrosse is underway – and the Thurston Colts already are 4-0 – boys volleyball and girls flag football both begin play in the next week. Creswell and Thurston are the only two of our five schools with flag football teams, and both will play – along with Sheldon – at Creswell High School this Wednesday, April 3, at 7 p.m.

Girls flag football seems well on its way to becoming the second-ever “emerging sport” for the Oregon School Activities Association. The first emerging sport is boys volleyball, which gets its season underway April 9. Creswell, Pleasant Hill, and Thurston will all be competing, with Pleasant Hill traveling to Thurston at 7 p.m. on April 9 to open the season. More boys volleyball info can be found at

Romero-Ah Sam to commit April 14

Two Springfield Millers athletes announced college commitments, and one set an announcement date. Springfield star running back Connor Dye, who rushed for 1,782 yards and 25 touchdowns en route to 1st-team all-state honors, committed to Butte College – a community college in Oroville, Calif. Dye’s teammate, tight end/linebacker Caeleb Kasperek, also committed to continuing playing football. Kasperek announced in late January that he would be attending  Western Oregon University to play tight end.

On the girls basketball side, two-time state player of the year Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam set her college commitment date for April 14 after the Northwest Shootout Oregon vs. Washington (WAVOR). WAVOR is an all-star game that pits the best Oregon and Washington senior boys and girls high school basketball players against each other. The games will be played at Portland Community College.

Alumni Corner 

Marshall Cho, a Springfield High School alum, was named the World Select head coach for the 2024 Nike Hoop Summit last month. The Nike Hoop Summit is an annual high school all-star basketball game held in Portland, and features the best up-and-coming prospects from around the world. Cho moved to Springfield from Seoul, South Korea, when he was 10 years old, and attended the University of Oregon after graduating from Springfield. Cho spent several years coaching abroad, and was at the helm of the Lake Oswego boys basketball program for eight seasons. He will lead a group of foreign players against the United States’ best at the Hoop Summit on April 13. For more info, and to purchase tickets, visit

Maddox Molony, a Thurston alum, hit his first college home run last Friday for the University of Oregon baseball team. Molony was the back-to-back state player of the year for the Colts, and helped lead them to the state title last year. Molony went 3-for-3 with a home run last Friday to help lead Oregon to a 9-2 win over Seattle University. The Ducks are ranked No. 20 in the Baseball America poll.

Kai Apo, formerly a Creswell Bulldog, averaged 9.4 minutes and 3.0 points per game as a sophomore for Portland Community College this season. PCC went 25-5 and made the final four at the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship Tournament.

Drifters sign six

The Springfield Drifters, a wood-bat collegiate baseball team that plays in the West Coast League during the summer months, announced six signings: Tyler Peterson (Seattle University), Tyler Manyo (Lubbock Christian University), Smith Chandler (California State University, Northridge), Sebastian Castro (Chaminade University), Nolan Miller (University of Portland), and Mike Tsoukalas (Seattle University).

The Drifters went 22-32 in their second season last year, and open this season at the Yakima Valley Pippins on May 31. The Drifters’ home opener is June 4. More info and tickets can be found at

Olympic Trial tickets

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field are returning to UO’s Hayward field from June 21-30. Single-day tickets went on sale last Thursday at

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