Philomath High’s sports programs have been going through their typical summer routines including Levi Webber’s baseball team that has about a week remaining.
Les & Bob’s, the local business that sponsors the club, currently has a 7-4 record, according to its online scorebook. The team most recently defeated Dallas, 15-4, this past weekend and was scheduled to play Wednesday at Lebanon.
The team had a rough start with three losses to open the summer session before winning four straight over Sweet Home (15-4), Lebanon (13-12), South Albany (14-4) and Junction City (5-2). The other three victories have been over West Albany (14-13), Corvallis (11-1) and the Dallas win mentioned above.
This coming weekend, Philomath will compete in a tournament at Crescent Valley.
Les & Bob’s is batting .264 as a team with Kash Lindsey leading the way with a .500 average (10 for 20 with three doubles, two triples and 12 RBIs). Silas Pittman is also batting .500 but has limited plate appearances (3 for 6, one triple, three RBIs). Among the other batters with 20-plus at-bats, Wylie Griffith checks in at .308, Logan Matthews at .296 and Joe Barnes at .286.
On the mound, Griffith and Matthews have been getting the majority of the starts. Caleb Babcock has two starts and striking out a lot of batters at 24, which is nearly two strikeouts per inning. Matthews (22 in 14-2/3 IP) and Griffith (33 in 22-2/3 IP) are ringing up plenty themselves and Barnes has a decent ERA at 3.50.
It should be noted that Philomath is without catcher Grant Niemann and shortstop Mason Stearns, who are both playing American Legion ball with Gerding Builders this summer. Carson Gerding, a 2022 PHS graduate who now suits up for Eastern Oregon, is also on the Marketmen roster.
Philomath High’s cross-country teams will see a schedule this fall that’s a little different from previous years — beginning with the first competition that’s appropriately named The Opener.
Hosted by Central High School, participants will run a 3-kilometer Ash Creek Course in Monmouth in the early evening — varsity girls and boys followed by JV races.
“This is a great course and has been used for the Pac-12 Championships and the annual state middle school meet,” Fulton said.
Philomath then returns to the very competitive Ultimook Challenge Sept. 2 up in Tillamook, the course that includes a couple of river crossings and mud pit (that has been known to steal a runner’s shoes).
Meets at Stayton (Sept. 9), Elmira (Sept. 14) and Eugene (Sept. 23) follow for the Warriors, the latter meet mentioned there giving runners an opportunity to compete on the Lane Community College course that they will see at the state meet.
The boys and girls will split up in the month’s final meet. The boys varsity and the JV teams will compete Sept. 29 at the Willamette Golden Hour 5K, a meet that Fulton calls a relatively low-key affair with five teams entered as of this week. The next day on Sept. 30, the varsity girls will run in the prestigious Nike Portland Cross Country Invitational.
Philomath will host the Paul Mariman Invitational Oct. 7. The regular-season schedule then wraps up with meets in Cottage Grove (Oct. 14) and Harrisburg (Oct. 19) before teams head to conference meet (Oct. 28) and state meet (Nov. 4). The site for the Oregon West meet has not yet been announced.
Oh yeah, I’ll mention this interesting tidbit from that Cottage Grove meet, which is called the Bramble Scramble. Fulton said it will take place in the morning during a solar eclipse.
For those not familiar with PHS cross-country, it’s a big deal. The Warriors have won 41 top-four trophies at state, which includes 12 titles and 15 runner-up finishes. The boys have qualified for state 49 times, including 39 of the last 40 years, and the girls have qualified 41 times in the last 43 years. Individually, 90 PHS runners have earned all-state cross-country honors 159 times.
The girls potentially have a lot of talent coming back with six underclassmen placing among the top 35 at state last year — Adele Beckstead, Ana Candanoza, Lucy King, Hanna McDaniel, Kateri Pindell and Hallie Morrison. The girls as a team were second behind La Grande.
The boys also won a state runner-up trophy but lost a number of seniors to graduation. The top individuals back appear to be Leo Pausch and Lukas Hernandez.
OSAA Cup standings
Philomath High School nearly pulled off a repeat but came up just short in the final OSAA Cup standings for 2022-23. Scappoose finished first in Class 4A with 3,215 points with Philomath second at 3,152.5 and La Grande third with 3,052.5.
The Warriors actually compiled more points compared to 2021-22 when they took first place. Last year, Philomath won with 3,052.5 points — the same number that got La Grande third this year.
The Warriors won a state title in girls track and field, the boys basketball team reached the championship game and settled for runner-up and both the boys and girls cross-country teams had second-place finishes. Girls basketball and girls tennis each won fourth-place trophies.
There was also team successes in boys track and field (fifth), wrestling (ninth) and girls soccer (reached the quarterfinals). Boys soccer, volleyball, boys swimming, girls swimming, dance and cheer all qualified for state.
In addition, pretty much all of Philomath’s programs have done well in academics.
The OSAA Cup dates back to 1999 with its establishment as a way to recognize overall excellence by schools in academics, activities and athletics. The Oregonian sponsored the cup from 2002-17. Pacific Office Automation serves as the current sponsor.
Schools earn points based on their participation and finish in OSAA state championships and for top-10 finishes in the OSAA’s academic all-state program. Points are also rewarded for good sportsmanship, which is defined as no coach or player ejections.
On the academic end, schools that have teams participating in the OnPoint Community Credit Union Academic All-State program receive points in various ways.
Philomath High’s first OSAA Cup came in 2010-11, a year when the Warriors won state titles in boys cross-country and boys track and field. The team that the Warriors beat out that season? Scappoose.
(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at News@PhilomathNews.com).