There was no shortage of high points for prep athletes in the Gazette-Times coverage area in the fall of 2017.
Many local athletes put up their best efforts against the best competition in the state and held their own. Each sport had its standout teams and individuals, some more than others.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from the fall.
A prolific ground attack carried Monroe to the 2A state championship.
The Dragons ran the table in Mountain Valley Conference play and picked up close victories over Kennedy (41-35) and Knappa (47-42) to reach the finals. Monroe piled up 251 rushing yards — 133 coming from Zach Young — in a 36-22 victory over Santiam.
It was the first outright title for the Dragons, who were Class B state co-champions in 1954 and 1956. Monroe finished 11-1 overall.
Senior Keith Saito was named MVC lineman of the year while Young, a sophomore, was the league’s offensive player of the year. Bill Crowson won coach of the year.
Crescent Valley shared the Mid-Willamette Conference title with South Albany, its first league championship since 2010. The Raiders made it to the 5A state quarterfinals before falling in a 24-22 heartbreaker at Churchill in Eugene.
CV senior Talanoa Hufanga won MWC defensive player of the year honors while Corvallis senior running back Roy Williams was the offense player of the year. Both were voted first-team all-state.
Santiam Christian was the West Valley League co-champion and picked up three comfortable postseason victories to reach the 3A state title game. The Eagles suffered a 28-21 loss to Cascade Christian, finishing the season 10-3 overall.
Corvallis made a statement late in MWC play, routing Woodburn 5-1 en route to a share of the conference title. It was the Bulldogs’ second loss in the 12-year history of the MWC.
Woodburn would get the last laugh when the teams met again in the 5A state title match. The defending champions overcame a late 1-0 deficit to stun CHS 2-1 in overtime.
The Spartans, who were searching for their first state title since 2009, finished 15-2-1 overall.
Sophomore forward Edgar Monroy was the MWC player of the year.
Crescent Valley was knocked out of the state round of 16 by Bend. The Raiders had defeated the Lava Bears earlier in the season.
Philomath (4A) and Santiam Christian (3A/2A/1A) also qualified for the state round of 16.
Crescent Valley finished with a perfect record in MWC play and won 14 of its first 15 matches. The Raiders suffered their only defeat of the year in the 5A state semifinals, a 2-0 loss at Summit in Bend.
CV senior Emma Smith was named MWC player of the year and Blake Leamy coach of the year.
Corvallis’ lone blemish in league play came against its cross-town rival. The Spartans made it to the quarterfinals before losing to Summit, which went on to win the state title.
Philomath made a surprising run to the 4A state semifinals by upsetting Gladstone (2-1) and Scappoose (1-0). The 11th-seeded Warriors were ousted by eventual champion Valley Catholic.
Senior Carrie Lillis was the Oregon West Conference co-player of the year. The Warriors placed second in the OWC but were just 7-5-2 overall entering the postseason.
Santiam Christian was the Special District 4 runner-up. The Eagles fell in the first-round of the 3A/2A/1A playoffs, finishing 9-4-2 overall.
Corvallis captured the outright MWC title and defeated league rival Lebanon in the third-place match at the 5A state tournament.
Sophomore Ryann Gregg repeated as MWC player of the year and was voted first-team all-state. Steve Hyre was the conference’s coach of the year.
The Spartans finished 20-5 overall.
Philomath went unbeaten in OWC play but was upset in the 4A state round of 16 by Scappoose. The Warriors ended the season with a 19-4 overall record.
Senior Kaela Lindsey was the OWC co-player of the year and Denee Newton coach of the year.
Santiam Christian held a 2-0 lead in the 3A state title match before Cascade Christian stormed back to win in five sets. The Challengers were the defending champions.
SC, which finished atop the WVL, was searching for its eighth state title.
Monroe won the MVC title and placed sixth at the 2A state tournament.
Alsea took second in the Mountain West League and advanced to the 1A state round of 16.
The Crescent Valley girls placed fourth at the 5A state championships with a team score of 105. Summit (15), Hood River Valley (84) and Crater (93) collected the top three trophies.
Raiders senior Kela Leamy finished seventh with a time of 19 minutes, 16 seconds. Freshman teammate Sunitha Black, the MWC district champion, was 13th in 19:28.
In the boys race, CV freshman Drew Roberts placed sixth (15:52) and senior AJ Sandvig eighth (15:54). Roberts won the district meet at Willamette Mission State Park near Brooks.
Sophomore Hannah Hernandez finished 28th (20:44) as the Philomath girls took seventh at the 4A meet.
Competing as an individual, Philomath senior Jensen Davis placed 20th with a time of 17:22. The boys failed to qualify for state for the first time since 1983.