Philomath High School athletes have traditionally done well in the classroom and those positive trends continued this past academic year. Just recently, the OSAA Academic All-State teams were released and Philomath was No. 1 for both boys and girls track and field.

The Warrior girls had the top grade-point average with a 3.84 to just beat out Cottage Grove’s 3.80. The same group of girls also were tops on the track and in the field after winning a second straight state championship.

Philomath’s boys were also No. 1 for GPA in all of 4A with a final figure of 3.81. Molalla was a distant second at 3.70.

Among other OSAA-sanctioned activities this spring, the high school’s band and choir programs each finished tops in Class 4A as well. The band came in with a 3.82 GPA and Scappoose was the runner-up at 3.71. In choir, Philomath was No. 1 with a 3.61 with North Bend second at 3.53.

Each member of winning teams receives a commemorative decal and a certificate and the school receives a plaque to honor the accomplishment.

The softball program led the Oregon West Conference with a 3.49 GPA, which was 12th overall in Class 4A. The Warriors just missed the top 10 after turning in a 3.51 GPA — a mere 2 percentage points behind the No. 10 team. Tillamook led all of 4A at 3.82.

The boys tennis team had a 3.41 GPA, which ranked first in Special District 2 and 13th in 4A/3A/2A/1A. Cascade Christian was first overall with a 3.81. The girls were 19th in 4A/3A/2A/1A with a 3.58 GPA with Scappoose tops overall at 3.99 and North Marion leading Special District 2 teams at 3.84.

In baseball, Pendleton had the top GPA in Class 4A at 3.69. Stayton led the Oregon West with a 3.44, which tied for sixth statewide. Philomath ranked 18th with a 3.15.

Philomath had GPAs above 3.00 in all athletics and activities. Going back to last fall, the boys cross-country team was No. 1 in 4A with a 3.94 and the girls cross-country squad was No. 2 at 3.93. Boys soccer finished with a 3.75 GPA, which was second overall. Girls soccer was fourth in 4A with a 3.72. Volleyball also had a 3.72, which in that sport was good for No. 7 overall. Football ranked 12th in 4A with a 3.06 average.

In the winter sports, boys swimming had the top GPA among those activities with a 3.83 GPA. The girls basketball team had ninth overall with a 3.70. The girls swimming program was 17th with a 3.60. The wrestling squad had a top-10 finish with eighth overall at 3.25. The boys basketball team had a 3.28 for 21st.

The PHS cheerleaders had a GPA of 3.66, which ranked them 11th overall. The dance and drill team had a 3.23 GPA for 37th among all classes.

Kaili Saathoff poses with the Elite 90 Award May 31 in Texas. (Photo by Linfield University)

Saathoff earns impressive honors

Philomath High graduate Kaili Saathoff has turned in an impressive sophomore season at Linfield University and she recently earned some nice awards for her accomplishments, including a top national academic honor and selection to the NCAA Division III All-America team.

Linfield was one of eight teams that advanced to the DIII softball championships. The Elite 90 Award is presented to a student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site. Saathoff was announced as the winner at a May 31 pre-tournament banquet in Marshall, Texas.

Saathoff became the second Linfield softball player to earn the award. Former Wildcats second baseman Kenzie Schmoll received the honor in 2015.

The NCAA says the Elite 90 Award “recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among her peers.”

A mathematics major, Saathoff has a perfect 4.0 GPA. She graduated with Philomath High’s Class of 2021.

Saathoff was also included on the Division III All-America team as selected by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. She was one of four Linfield athletes to make the team — the other three being Tayah Kelley, Katie Phillips and Claire Seats.

Saathoff, who plays first base, received All-America recognition on the second team. She led the Northwest Conference with a .455 batting average and a stat line that included 76 hits, 11 doubles, 37 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. In her first season as a full-time starter, she was named to the all-Northwest Conference first team and selected as a first team all-West Region infielder.

Linfield had a 46-6 record this season, advanced through the Northwest Conference Tournament, McMinnville Regional and McMinnville Super Regional to make it to the NCAA Championships in Texas.

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

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.