PHS senior Ty May comes up with a steal in the first half of Monday night's win over Newport. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Warrior Watch is Brad Fuqua’s midweek look at Philomath-related athletics.

The Philomath High boys are still No. 1 in the latest Class 4A basketball polls and rankings.

In the OSAAtoday coaches poll released Tuesday, the Warriors received 10 of 11 first-place votes to continue its strong hold the the top spot despite a 50-49 loss last week to Cascade, which is ranked No. 2. 

For those who missed it, Cascade followed the win over Philomath with a loss two days later to Baker, 54-46. Baker is ranked No. 4 in the coaches poll behind No. 3 Junction City — a team the Warriors have beaten twice. North Marion, the team Philomath plays on Thursday, is ranked No. 5.

Philomath has a 5-1 record in games against teams currently in Class 4A’s top 10.

The Warriors are also No. 1 in the OSAA rankings with Junction City at No. 2, Cascade at No. 3 and Baker at No. 4.

The girls dropped their game last week on the road to Cascade as well but also remained ranked ahead of the Cougars in the coaches poll released Monday. Philomath dropped from fourth to seventh after the loss while previously unranked Cascade moved into the top 10 as part of a three-way tie for eighth.

In the OSAA rankings, Philomath is No. 5 and Cascade No. 11. The Warriors are currently 12-6 and will face a struggling North Marion squad on Thursday.

District swim meet

Philomath High School’s boys and girls swim teams will compete on Friday and Saturday at the 4A/3A/2A/1A District 4 Championships at Albany Community Pool. Each session during the two-day event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

The district meet will cost $4 for adults and $3 for heat sheets and the gate will be unable to run credit cards, so bring cash. The pool will be open to spectators beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Preliminaries on the first day show 408 total swimmers by the xx schools. Combining the boys and girls entries, there are 22 events and 78 heats. The first day is expected to run until around 2:15 p.m.

The Warriors have opportunities to advance athletes to the state meet. Carrson Hirte is seeded No. 2 in both the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Allison Neelands is seeded second in the 500 freestyle. The boys 200-yard medley relay with Hirte, Kellen Houchin, Cameron McLennan and Henry Katsikis enters as the second seed.

Third seeds for PHS include Kyah Weeber in the 200 IM, Houchin in the 100 butterfly, the girls 200 medley relay (Kathleen Donovan, Kateri Pindell, Weeber, Neelands) and the girls 200 freestyle relay (Neelands, Madison Juhl, Donovan, Weeber).

Pair of Gerdings in CF

Austin Gerding

Philomath High graduates and brothers Austin Gerding and Carson Gerding both started in center field for Eastern Oregon University in the team’s season-opening doubleheader on Feb. 4.

Austin played center in the first game of the twinbill, an 8-2 loss to Whitman. He went 0 for 4 batting cleanup for the Mounties. Whitman starter Julien Hernandez struck out 14 batters in six innings. Austin is a redshirt junior.

Carson Gerding

In the nightcap, Carson started in center and batted eighth in the lineup. In his first collegiate plate appearance in the bottom of the second, Carson singled to center. It turned out to be EOU’s only hit of the game in a 2-1 loss. Carson is a true freshman.

The Gerding boys are the sons of Rick and Tricia Gerding.

(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.