The McKenzie Eagles 8-man Football Team traveled to Days Creek in Douglas County last Friday to tackle the Wolves in a non-league season opener for both teams. Days Creek is a 2A school in the Mt. View League, but plays an independent 8-man football schedule. McKenzie is returning to the gridiron following a 2011 season of 8 wins and 2 losses overall, an undefeated (5-0) Mt. West League Championship, and a berth in the OSAA State 1A Football Championships. Last season McKenzie defeated Days Creek at home 60-6, but the Eagles graduated an outstanding senior class that left several big shoes to fill, most notably at quarterback and wide receiver on offense and at linebacker, defensive back, and safety on defense. With only 12 of his 19 players eligible for the first 2012 game of the season, second year Head Coach Neil Barrett, was nonetheless still eager to see his new lineup perform and the Eagles earned some confidence as they rolled to a 50-22 victory. McKenzie senior running back Blake Anderson scampered for 4 touchdowns, three running and one passing as he carried the ball for 194 yards and caught the ball 5 times for another 144 yards. Fellow senior running back Josh Ness added a pair of touchdowns on another 104 yards on the ground. Senior quarterback Victor Vidal, stepping in for graduated Will Totten, who set several National 8-man passing records last season, ably directed his offense by passing for 205 yards on 10-21 pass attempts, two touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Newcomer Caleb Scrivner hauled in a pair of passes for 46 yards, one a 38 yard reception. On the defensive side Josh Ness, playing Linebacker, led his team with 12 unassisted tackles and 7 assists while Eagle Defensive End Dorian Dilley recorded 2 sacks of the Wolves quarterback.
McKenzie traveled to Harney County on Friday, Sept. 7, to wrangle the perennial strong Crane Mustangs from the High Desert League. The Mustangs lost their 2012 season opener, 48-8, to the Eagles Mt. West League rival Lowell Red Devils in the annual Dufur Classic. Kickoff time is set for 2:00 pm.
The defending 2011 Mt. West League Volleyball Champion McKenzie Eagles opened their 2012 season in Douglas County in a three way match that featured the 2011 OSAA 2A State Champion Days Creek Wolves from the Mt. View League and the 4A Sutherlin Bulldogs from the Far West League. Sutherlin was 7-3 in League play last year and participated in the OSAA State Volleyball Championships at the 1st Round level. With a still incomplete roster due to some as yet ineligible players, McKenzie Head Coach Dan Brenner had the opportunity to play with his lineup and see how his team would respond against good competition. Missing due to graduation were the Harbick girls, Taya and Karissa, senior leaders from last year’s Eagle team that participated in the OSAA State Championships last year. In the first match against Sutherlin, the Eagles lost 25-18, 25-18, and 25-15. McKenzie sophomore Buggy Hiddleston, playing the Middle Blocker position, tallied 7 kills while senior Samantha Winningham, a Right side Hitter and Setter, garnered 6 kills and 7 digs. Sophomore Setter and Middle Blocker Katie Totten added 15 assists.
In the second match, the Eagles lost in three again to the defending State 2A Champs, 25-15, 25-15, and 26-24. Senior Middle Blocker Peace Shepherd and Junior Makaila Hiddleston, playing Outside Hitter and Middle Blocker, each recorded 5 kills.
The Eagles next travel with the Eagle Football Team to the Klamath Marsh country in a non-conference match with the Crane Mustangs on Friday, Sept. 7. Match time is set for 12:30 pm. McKenzie will return home and travel the next day to Oakridge to participate in the annual Oakridge Volleyball Tournament.