The Mustangs of Crane corralled the Eagles of McKenzie in the shadow of the Steens Mountain last Friday in a non-conference game. Both teams now post a 1-1 overall record on the early 2012 8-man football season. The hosts, representing the High Desert League, tied up the McKenzie running game by holding the visitors from the Mt. West League to a minus 24 yards gained on the ground. The Eagles in fact ran just 19 offensive running plays in the game. McKenzie Quarterback Victor Vidal connected with his receivers 15 times out of 39 attempts for a total of 268 yards in the hot desert air (95 degrees at game time), scoring 3 times, once to Jon Mahody and twice to Blake Anderson. Anderson collected 6 passes for 182 yards, including one pass for 76 yds. Mahody, also caught 6 passes for 54 yds. Quarterback Vidal, however, was also hobbled on 4 occasions by the Mustang defense resulting in 3 pass interceptions and 1 fumble lost. Defensively, McKenzie was also led by Vidal as he was credited for 16 total tackles, 9 unassisted. Teammates, linebacker Josh Ness added 11 tackles (7 unassisted) and Alex Nastasiuk had 11 tackles (5 unassisted). The Eagles will host the North Lake Cowboys (from Silver Lake in Central Oregon) in an OSAA endowment game next Friday, Sept. 14, with kickoff set at 7:00 pm. OSAA endowment games allow a school to participate in an extra contest during a season with 50% of the game gross proceeds going to the OSAA Foundation to support OSAA activities such as scholarships, championship events, etc. The host school receives the other 50%. Ticket prices are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for students with no school district nor league passes accepted.
The Eagle Varsity Volleyball Team hit the trail early on Friday, Sept. 7, with the Varsity Football Team, for a non-conference match set East of Klamath Marsh with the Crane Mustangs. The bus pulled out of Finn Rock at 5 a.m. sharp with the rising sun not yet in their eyes. The 12:30 match time was the first of a double header with the Football Team kicking off at 2:00 pm. While adjusting to the High Desert Elevation, 4134 ft., and heat, fought to a 24-26 loss in the first set of the Match. McKenzie found it’s stride however and won the second set 25-23 and the third set 25-14. Crane refused to lay down and in the decisive fourth set, jumped out to a 15-5 lead and looking for the Home Stretch. Head Coach Dan Brenner, called his last remaining timeout and challenged his team to close the gap and the Eagles responded by strapping on their spurs and forging a dramatic comeback by winning the set 25-22 and the Match Victory. Senior Samantha Winningham led her team with 14 kills and 7 aces on the day. Teammate and Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker Makaila Hiddleston put down 10 kills, added 3 blocks and 33 digs. Eagle senior Outside Hitter/Setter Sydney King contributed 7 kills along with 13 assists. And Senior Outside Hitter Corinna Price totaled 9 kills in the victory. While the Eagle gals were celebrating their win and supporting the Football Team in their game, the McKenzie Coaches found the laundary room and washed uniforms in preparation for a Tournament in Oakridge the next day.
The Eagles, fresh off their comeback win at Crane, and having arrived home late Friday night from the High Desert, rose early Saturday morning and traveled over to the next river drainage to participate in the annual Oakridge Volleyball Tournament. McKenzie squared off against Mt. West League rival Mohawk in pool play, winning the match in time to face off against 2A Santiam. The long road trip the day prior began to take its toll as the Eagles dropped the Match to the Wolverines of the Tri-River Conference. Faced with elimination, the Eagles rallied to defeat 3A Pleasant Hill representing the PacWest Conference and set up a Consolation Semi- Championship Match with 2A Oakridge of the Mt. View Conference. McKenzie defeated the Host Team 25-19 in the 1st set, dropped a set 15-25, and won the match on the final set, 15-10 , to qualify for the Consolation Championship versus the 2A Monroe Dragons, also from the Mt. View Conference. The Eagles dispatched the Dragons in two sets, 25-11 and 25-18. McKenzie’ overall record now stands at 3-2 on the season.
McKenzie Senior Middle Blocker Peace Shepherd earned All Tournament Team Honors by leading her team with 13 kills. Junior teammate Ayshia Seiler added 23 assists, while Senior Sydney King led her team with 17 digs and 10 assists. The Eagles open Mt. West League play at home on Thursday, Sept. 13 against Mohawk. Match time is set for 6 pm. McKenzie then travels south to participate in the Yoncalla Tournament on Sat., Sept. 15.