PHS senior Cole Beardsley was named to the Oregon Basketball Coaches Association’s all-state first team. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Editor's note

This story was updated with Philomath's correct time in the 4-by-400-meter relay.

Philomath High basketball players Cole Beardsley, Ty May, Abigail Brown and Emily Taunisila earned statewide recognition this week with the release of the Oregon Basketball Coaches Association all-state teams.

Beardsley and May helped the Warriors to a 22-4 record and No. 1 ranking entering the Class 4A playoffs. Philomath advanced to the championship game but came up short against conference rival Cascade, 61-52.

Beardsley averaged 9.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game in conference play this past season. May had averages in league play of 10.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Both were on the all-conference first team.

OBCA’s Player of the Year award for boys basketball went to Junction City senior Kaleb Burnett. Coach of the Year was given to Craig Rothenberger of Junction City. Others on the first team with Burnett and Beardsley include Crook County junior Eddie Freauff, Baker sophomore Isaiah Jones and Henley senior Blayne Boersma.

No players from state champion Cascade made the first team but the Cougars did have two on the second team — Landon Knox and Spencer Horne.

For the girls, Brown earned a spot on the OBCA’s all-state second team. A major presence inside with shooting, blocking and rebounding, Brown averaged 12.6 points per game this past season.

Taunisila, who earned recognition as an honorable mention choice, was one of two freshmen to earn all-state status in their first year of high school basketball — the other was Devan Lee of St. Helens. Taunisila averaged 7.3 points per game in league play.

Philomath’s girls went 19-8 this past season and won the fourth-place trophy at the 4A tournament with a 54-50 win over Henley.

Baker senior Jozie Ramos earned the girls basketball Player of the Year honor. Baker’s Jason Ramos was named Coach of the Year. Joining Ramos on the first team was Gladstone senior Hanne Hopkins, Henley junior Annie Campos, Astoria sophomore Shelby Bruney, Baker senior Macey Moore and Marshfield senior Kate Miles.

The OBCA surveys 4A basketball coaches from across the state to compile the all-state teams.

Warwick Bushnell gets encouragement from his dad, Jason Bushnell, during the 4-by-400 relay last weekend at the Philomath Invite. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Hearing only footsteps

PHS sophomore Warwick Bushnell opened up following a very successful Philomath Invite this past weekend with some very candid comments about his races. In the 4-by-400 meter relay, the final official event of the afternoon, he talked about how lonely he felt over the last half of the race.

“With around like 150 to 200 (meters to go), there’s really like no one over there — everyone’s kinda at the finish line so it just got dead quiet,” Bushnell said. “I really get motivated by my peers like when people are cheering me on, it really helps me run better. It felt pretty lonely and that’s where it starts to get hard. The (final) turn is where you’re supposed to start to kick it in and I was struggling.”

Added Bushnell, “It was so quiet, I was listening to try to hear footsteps behind me and I honestly was just terrified.”

There’s nothing wrong with running scared if you produce the type of results that Philomath had in the relay. Seniors Mateo Candanoza, Ben Hernandez and Nixon Mooney ran the first three legs. The foursome finished in 3:37.57 for first place.

Bushnell, sophomore Adele Beckstead and sophomore Anneka Steen all made the school’s all-time lists in events that they competed in. Beckstead’s time of 11:01.63 in the 3,000 placed her 12th on the list. Bushnell’s 23.42 seconds in the 200 and Steen’s 4-10 in the high jump placed them both at 15th on those respective event lists.

This week, the track and field athletes head to Banks for the Rob Frank Invitational.

Coach Joe Fulton, seen here at Saturday’s Philomath Invite, had nothing but good things to say about the meet’s volunteers, other staff and his assistants. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath Invite volunteers

During last weekend’s Philomath High Invitational, I crossed paths with coach Joe Fulton in the infield area and we chatted for a few minutes in between events. In that short conversation, Fulton didn’t offer his observations on the meet up to that point in time but instead lauded the efforts of the volunteers that showed up to help at the meet.

Fulton specifically mentioned Trina McGaughy. Up until a few days before the meet, there was nobody in line to run the concessions stand. During an event like a track meet which goes on for the majority of the day, it’s nice to have a spot where you can buy some food and beverages. McGaughy stepped up big to help out.

“That was literally put together by Trina the day before the meet and it was a roaring success,” Fulton wrote in a post-meet email he sends out to parents and others with a connection to the program. “It really added to the meet and by the looks of how many people were eating slices of pizza, it was obviously much appreciated.”

Brian Skaar and Mike Crocker were helping keep the masses informed with their work in the press box. Nancy Thompson took charge of hurdle placement. Jason Bushnell handled starter duties. Viktor Bovbjerg, Marit Bovbjerg and Rich Lattin kept the events running smoothly without any big delays.

Fulton had a special shout-out to the volunteers running the javelin, an event that went on much longer than the others because there was a junior varsity competition (this is something that rotates — next year, the JV event in the field events will be the shot put).

The coach also mentioned the work turned in by George Looney and the Athletic Timing Services crew and his coaching staff, which includes Brian Lucas, Diana Bushnell, Tyler Thomas and Alanna Volk.

Fulton himself should be recognized as well for all of the work that he puts in.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.