Girls' Volleyball - Crook County
Confidence is one trait the Crook County girls' volleyball
team lacked when coach Rosie Honl was hired 13 years ago.
The Cowgirls endured a stretch of nearly eight seasons without
a league win and walked with their shoulders down. These
days, the resurgent team might as well adopt the song
"Swagga Like Us" as its motto after the Cowgirls wrapped up
their third straight Class 5A title in the fall by knocking off
Mountain View in the finals. "Confidence is so important," says
Honl. "They knew they could do it and they were a good team."
Led by the two-pronged attack of All-Intermountain
Conference stars Krissi Kemper and junior KC Loper, Crook
County went 25-6 and earned its second straight league
crown. Kemper, a senior middle blocker, led the team in hitting
percentage and kills. "She is 5-foot-10 but jumps really well,"
Honl says. "She has a cut both ways; they never know where
she's going." The Cowgirls entered the season minus four All-
State players from the 2007-08 squad. In their absence, seniors
Kaitlyn Duncan, Katie Leavitt and Cassie Low, junior Emily
Gannon and freshman Kelsi Kemper ensured the Cowgirls
would maintain possession of the title. "They felt horrible pressure,"
Honl says. "We had seven seniors on the roster and got
several contributions from underclassmen." With a talented
cast expected to return next fall, the Cowgirls could be singing
"Can't Stop, Won't Stop" come tourney time.
Football - Southridge
The Skyhawks quelled all the talk about Lake Oswego being the best team in Class 6A by handing the previously
undefeated Lakers their first loss in the state finals. The win was the first title for Southridge, which lost in the finals in
2006 and finished third in the Metro League behind Jesuit and Beaverton this season. The Skyhawks finished the fall at
12-2 and had seven players earn All-Metro honors, including senior Paul Tuma, who was Defensive Player of the Year.
Girls' Basketball - South Medford
After helping their Oregon Reign AAU team win a state championship earlier in the year, promising freshmen Leilani Morris
and Tess Picknell look to propel South Medford to the Class 6A title this winter. The duo entered the season wounded; Morris
injured her hip flexor and Picknell suffered a pinched nerve in her back. Morris returned to score 13 points and five rebounds
in a 49-19 win over Hidden Valley on Dec. 5, while Picknell made her season debut in a 63-42 loss to Thurston four days later.
Boys' Soccer - Cottage Grove
The Lions featured a stifling defense in the regular season and the same held true in the playoffs. Cottage Grove
outscored its playoff opponents 6-1 en route to capturing the Class 4A state title. Senior goalie Garrett Rhodes played
lockdown defense in net and made a series of clutch saves in the finals. Senior Mauricio Lopez powered the offense with
five goals — including the championship-clinching strike — during the team's four-game playoff run.
BREAK OUT TEAMS
WRESTLING – CLEVELAND
The Warriors feature one of the area's best wrestlers in the 130-pound weight class in senior Eric Luna.
GIRLS' GOLF – LAKE OSWEGO
Amy Beth Simanton came up just short in her bid at a second straight individual state title as a junior.
BOYS'TENNIS – CASCADE CHRISTIAN
There aren't many players in the state better than senior Scott Morse.
GIRLS'TENNIS – BEAVERTON
The Beavers return sophomore Audrionna Farr, who has 43 career victories.