Track and Field- The track team has had two meets since our last report–the Banks Invitational on Saturday April 20 and the Southwest Christian Invitational at Sherwood HS on April 25.
At Banks a good portion of the team was missing because of the senior trip to Disneyland. The Loggers still recorded several good performances including Meghan Sullivan, who won 2 medals in the 100 and 200 meters.
The Sherwood meet was a good chance for the team to experiment and have some athletes try some different events. The big news from that meet (16 teams attended) was Dezi Roberts setting a new school record in the triple jump- breaking the record held by Jennifer Young set in 1993. Roberts also set a personal record in the high jump. Just as big– Sullivan won the 100 meters against some of the best competition in the state. Her brother Lane seems to be recovering from his snowboarding accident last winter and also did very well at the meet. “Many athletes set PR’s at the Invitational and I was pleased with the progress of our team,” said head coach Byron Brown. Devon Shay, Maina Martin, Daniel Rice and others continue to improve and impress. The team continues to work towards the district meet at Portland Christian on May 17 and 18 and qualifying for the State meet the following week at Hayward Field in Eugene. “We have to ask ourselves ‘How do we get faster, throw and jump further?’” says Brown. “There are three aspects–getting stronger physically–(weight training), improving technique and the psychology of competition–developing a positive and winning attitude. The next three weeks will determine the season for us.”
Softball- The Lady Loggers are in third place in Special District 1 with a 5-5 league record and a 11-8 record overall after defeating Neah-Kah-Nie 13-3 on April 30.
In league play earlier in the month, VHS took two of three games against Knappa, losing the first game 4-3, but coming back on April 24 to sweep a double header 4-3 and 16-1. Head coach Randy Shockey said the key to the series victory was that his team played much better defense, especially the play of middle infielders Stephanie Castro at shortstop and Samantha Wallace at second base. In the 4-3 win, the Lady Loggers scored the winning run when Brooke Johnson drove in two runs with a hit to right field in the bottom of the 6th inning. The play featured Riplee Burch sliding and beating the throw to the plate, the ball getting away from the catcher and then a spectacular slide by Wallace who avoided the tag from the pitcher to score the winning run.
In non-league match-ups the Lady Loggers defeated Portland Adventist 24-2 on April 23 and also swept a double header from Sheridan, 19-2 and 13-12 on April 26.
Shockey remains pleased with the solid play of his pitcher-catcher freshman pairing of Kassidy Fetch and Sara Smith. Smith continues to hit the ball hard and had another home run, this one over the fence against Knappa. Shockey says that, although the team has scored a lot of runs, overall the team has not hit as consistently as he would like.
The Lady Loggers have five more league games left in the season and could move up into second place if they win all five. Second place would secure the Lady Loggers an automatic trip to the State playoffs; a third or fourth place finish means a playoff for a trip to State.
The final home game of the season is on May 7th against Portland Christian.
Baseball- The Vernonia Loggers look like they are out of the playoff picture after being swept by first place and undefeated Knappa 10-0, 19-1, and 17-2. Head coach Aaron Miller was very impressed with the Knappa Loggers and says they are probably one of the top teams in the state. “They have solid pitching all the way through to their fourth or fifth kid, every single one of their nine batters hits the ball well, and they field pretty well,” said Miller. Miller says his Loggers didn’t play particularly bad games against Knappa, they just plain got beat by a very good team.
The Loggers bounced back with a 10-2 league win over Neah-Kah-Nie on April 30. The Loggers are 4-9 in league play this season and 5-10 overall.
The Loggers also played a couple of non-league, JV match ups. Miller used these games as an opportunity to get some game time for some of his players who don’t get to play very often. In an 18-8 loss to Sheridan Jake Titus and Ron Maldonado pitched well for the Loggers and the defense also played well. Bridger Steward and Brandon Clapshaw both had a couple of hits. We competed well,” said Miller. The Loggers also split a pair of games against Portland Lutheran. Ethan Johnson pitched for the Loggers and earned the win in the first game with a solid performance.
Miller says he has been impressed with his team’s willingness to not give up this season. “No matter how far behind we’ve been, they’ve done a good job of not getting too down. They just keep playing baseball and plugging away. They are playing hard the whole way through and giving it their best.”
After a final doubleheader against Neah-Kah-Nie, the Loggers have a tough match up with Portland Christian to finish out their season. Their final home game will be May 7th.