The Mid-Willamette Conference appears to be as strong as ever on the football field.
Crescent Valley, Lebanon, Silverton and Dallas high schools are all 2-0 as conference play is set to begin Friday night. Corvallis and Central sit at 1-1 while South Albany is the league’s lone team without a victory.
Lebanon, the defending MWC and 5A state champion, hosts the Raiders this week. Both teams possess victories over Springfield and Marist.
In another Friday showdown of unbeatens, Dallas will travel to perennial power Silverton. The Dragons fell to Lebanon in the state semifinals last season.
Central, which was also a semifinalist in 2016, has a nonleague matchup with Glencoe while the Rebels play at Corvallis.
No team has repeated as MWC champion since West Albany won four consecutive titles from 2006-09. The Bulldogs left the conference prior to the 2014 season.
Through two weeks of play, the six-team West Valley League has flexed its muscles.
Santiam Christian, Amity, Dayton, Sheridan and Willamina are all 2-0 while Taft is 1-1 with a loss to Salem Academy, last year’s 3A state runner-up.
The dominance is reflected in the OSAA 3A power rankings as SC, Amity, Sheridan and Dayton sit atop the list. The Eagles open conference play Friday night at Sheridan.
Huskies to host Stayton, Nyquist
Randy Nyquist is coming back to Linn County.
Nyquist, a former coach and player for West Albany, is in his first season as head coach at Stayton. The Eagles (1-1) play at Sweet Home (2-0) Friday night.
A 1980 graduate of West Albany, Nyquist led the Bulldogs to a 119-46 record in 15 seasons at the helm before accepting an offer to coach and teach at Oregon City in 2014. Nyquist won three state titles (2007-08, 2013) during his time with the Bulldogs.
Following its matchup with Sweet Home, Stayton will head to Philomath (1-1) for its Oregon West Conference opener.
Sweet Home has been impressive early in the season, collecting victories over Hidden Valley (35-6) and Crook County (21-0).
Philomath looking to regroup
The Rod Shader era began with a 19-12 Week 1 victory at Junction City. Philomath’s first-year coach took his first loss last week, a 54-7 defeat at defending 4A state champion North Bend.
Shader and the Warriors will look to get back on track in Friday night’s nonleague finale at Astoria (1-1).
The Fighting Fisherman opened the season with a 21-20 loss at North Bend.