Soccer action returns to Philomath High at noon Thursday with the annual boys and girls jamboree. (File photo by Eric Niemann)

The Philomath High School boys and girls soccer teams will host the Warriors’ annual jamboree beginning at noon Thursday on the local fields.

On the boys’ side, Philomath will be joined by Elmira, Junction City, Lebanon, Newport and South Albany. For the girls, the Warriors will get time on the pitch along with Amity, Elmira, Junction City, Lebanon and Newport.

The Philomath boys are coming off a 9-1-4 season in 2022, which included a 6-0-4 record in the Oregon West Conference and appearance in the state playoffs. The Warriors haven’t lost a league game since falling to Stayton, 3-2, during the state title season of 2021. The Warriors will open the regular season Aug. 31 at home against Marist Catholic and note the later-than-usual start time of 6 p.m.

The PHS boys are ranked No. 5 in the preseason OSAAToday coaches poll. Ontario is in the No. 1 spot and Stayton is a close second, followed by Henley, North Marion, Philomath, Hidden Valley, Phoenix, Madras, Estacada and Newport.

The Warriors play in the same league with No. 2 Stayton, No. 4 North Marion and No. 10 Newport and will face each of those teams twice. The Warriors will also play No. 9 Estacada. Cottage Grove, which was just outside of the top 10 at No. 11, is another nonleague opponent for Philomath. South Albany received votes in the 5A poll.

The jamboree schedule for the boys shows Philomath playing 30-minute games against Elmira (1:30 p.m.), South Albany twice (2:15 p.m. and 3 p.m.) and Lebanon (4:30 p.m.).

Philomath’s girls had a 12-4 season last year with the Warriors reaching the quarterfinals, defeating Henley in the first round 3-2. The team opens the season Aug. 29 at home against South Albany before playing Marist Catholic on the road Aug. 31 for a rematch of last season’s playoff game. Marist beat the Warriors, 2-0, and went on to win the state title.

In the OSAAtoday preseason coaches poll, Philomath is ranked No. 7. Marist holds down the No. 1 spot followed by Gladstone, Scappoose, Hidden Valley, North Marion, Newport, Philomath, La Grande, North Bend and Henley.

At Thursday’s jamboree, the varsity girls will play at 2:15 p.m. against Elmira and 3:45 p.m. against Junction City. Coach Mat Phelps said the junior varsity players will go up against Lebanon at 1:30 p.m. and Newport at 3 p.m.

The jamboree games will feature 15-minute halves with a 5-minute intermission and will be played on the varsity field, JV field and football practice field.

The PHS volleyball team heads to Sweet Home Thursday for a jamboree. The team will get in four sets against four different opponents. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Volleyball heads to Sweet Home

The Philomath High volleyball team will participate again this season in a jamboree at Sweet Home for a tune-up before the regular season gets started. The action begins at noon Thursday. Joining the host school and the Warriors will be Cottage Grove, Madras, Marist Catholic, North Marion and Salem Academy.

The volleyball team went 16-9 last season and reached the state playoffs. Baker ended Philomath’s season in the first round. The regular season begins for the Warriors on Aug. 31 with a doubleheader in Corvallis High’s gym. Philomath will play Sprague at 5 p.m. before taking on the host Spartans at 7 p.m. The home opener will be Sept. 7 against Salem Academy.

The Warriors are ranked No. 9 in the OSAAtoday preseason coaches poll published this week. Marshfield was voted into the No. 1 spot with the Oregon West’s sitting at No. 2. Philomath will play Cascade twice as part of the league schedule. Sweet Home is also always tough for the Warriors and although not in the preseason top 10, did receive considerable votes at No. 12.

The jamboree will feature a total of four sets for each team — one against four different opponents. The schedule was set up so league teams wouldn’t face each other. The Sweet Home athletic director said there is no admission charge and estimated that the jamboree would run about three hours.

Philomath is scheduled to play Cottage Grove in the first session at noon, followed by Madras in Session 2, Marist Catholic in Session 4 and Salem Academy in Session 5. The Warriors will sit out the third session.

Runners to race in 3K

Philomath’s cross-country teams will open their season Friday evening with an appearance in a new meet at Monmouth, which has appropriately been named “The Opener.”

The varsity girls will race at 6 p.m. with the varsity boys to go at 6:20 p.m. Junior varsity races will follow. The meet course is located on Western Oregon University’s Ash Creek Preserve.

Thirteen schools are entered to participate with most from Class 5A and Class 6A. The complete field includes Barlow (Gresham), Central (Independence), Crater (Central Point), Corvallis, Estacada, Lake Oswego, McKay (Salem), Nelson (Happy Valley), Newport, North Eugene, Philomath, Taft and West Linn.

The runners will compete on a 3-kilometer course (regular meets are 5K) and the results will help coach Joe Fulton determine his varsity lineups for the following meet Sept. 2 at Hydrangea Ranch near Tillamook.

The cross-country team has been conducting off-site workouts during this preseason with the home course gone following the recent Downing forest thinning project. The team ran earlier this week at Crystal Lake Sports Park in Corvallis and Wednesday will head to Lewisburg Saddle. Peavy Arboretum and Beazell Memorial Forest are other running sites for the team.

As referred to in a team preview published Tuesday, La Grande will be Philomath’s primary competition for a state title this season. OSAAtoday published a story yesterday on the La Grande girls 

No football jamboree

Philomath High’s plans to participate in a jamboree at Crescent Valley Friday did not materialize. The decision was made last week to cancel the event so the Warriors will instead just get in an extra practice.

Coach Alex Firth told me in an interview before practice started that he wasn’t fond of jamborees anyway.

“I’m just not a big fan of the traditional jamboree. I think you just open yourself up for an opportunity for injury and then you don’t prepare — you’re going to play two or three teams you’ve never seen that may come out in something exotic that you’ve never prepared for,” he said at the time.

The jamboree that they had been planning was going to feature a different format that Firth described as a “training camp scrimmage.”

The football team opens the season with a road trip to Prineville Sept. 1 to play Crook County. The home opener follows Sept. 8 against Newport.

(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.