By Wylly Willmott
When it comes to the sheer number of senior athletes leaving, some years are worse than others. For these 5 teams at OES, I would categorize this year as “worse.”
Having had the chance to take the field with a few of these seniors, it’s safe the say there is an underlying feeling of dread regarding their imminent departure. Across the board the OES athletic program will lose an incredible amount of talent, but here’s a brief rundown of the teams saying goodbye to the most 12th graders, and what the perceived impact of their departure will be.
**DISCLAIMER!!!!!** The numbers used to calculate percentages were compiled by members of these teams and osaa.org so I’m sorry if anything is inaccurate.
Percentage of Seniors by Team:
- Girls XC: 71%
- Girls Track: 64%
- Boys Lacrosse: 56%
- Girls Lacrosse: 50%
- Girls Basketball: 42%
- Girls Golf: 40%
- Girls Soccer: 35%
- Volleyball: 33%
- Girls Ski Team: 33%
- Boys Basketball: 31%
- Boys Tennis: 19%
- Boys Ski Team: 17%
- Boys Golf: 14%
- Girls Tennis: 14%
- Boys Track: 10%
- Boys Soccer: 5%
- Boys XC: 0%
Honorable Mention: Girls Soccer
# of Seniors on roster: 7
% of Team: 35%
Notable Achievements: 4 straight State Championships. Need I say more?
Future College Athletes: Joanna Cloutier (Bates)
Notes: Despite falling outside the top 5 for % of seniors, the impact the class of 2019 has had on girls soccer cannot be stressed enough. In 2017 they were ranked in the top 25 (#22) in the country… 6A schools included. And if that, along with their championships weren’t enough, what is arguably more important to the community is that they provided us with the satisfaction of besting Catlin in the final game every. single. year. #schoolpride.
Sophomore defender Olivia McCoog described the seniors as a key part of our team, stating that “there are some big shoes to fill.” She continued that while there are still high hopes for next year’s team, “we’ll definitely be missing some depth.”
Us freshman also had a sit-down and in-depth conversation about the landscape of next year’s team. Olivia F stated that it will be “different,” Nadia S proceeded to add “yikes,” and I closed off the discussion with “meow.”
#5: Girls Basketball
# of Seniors on roster: 5
% of Team: 42%
Notable Achievements: First Ever Trip to Coos Bay (2019), fewest points allowed per game in 2A-6A (2019), Ranked 5887th(!) in the Nation (2019)
Notes: Unfortunately I ran out of room to put this in the future college athletes section, but captain, and overall moderately trustworthy person, Maddy Reynolds wished to go on the record to say that “contrary to popular belief, Alma Nye is actually playing women’s basketball at CC***, but she just tells everyone that she’s going to U of O to play lacrosse because she’s embarrassed.” Another senior, Rachel Lowell, wanted to remind everyone that “honestly we probably set a record my sophomore year for allowing the most points.”
Sophomore Lauren Han, who will be taking over as one of our captains, made the insightful point that “we’re losing the amount of a whole starting lineup.” She went on to explain that the seniors “will be difficult to replace because they were all pretty good too.” Her strong concluding statement was: “Yeah it’s bad. It’s gonna be bad.”
Grace Borbon, a player of basketball, walked up in time to contribute that “we will miss [the seniors] dearly-incredibly-stupendously. We will miss their cheerful spirit greatly. They contributed incredibly to the team and their absence will leave a gaping hole in our delicate hearts.”
Greta F highlighted the loss of “leadership and energy.” Stating that “as a spectator, you really just see Rachel L out there going her hardest,” and that “the best thing coming out of this is that the underclassmen have had really good role models.” Captain Rachel Holzman expressed her agreement with the preceded statements before adding, “I’m really excited for next season. I’m confident it will be a successful season.”
#4: Girls Lacrosse
# of Seniors on roster: 9
% of Team: 50%
Notable Achievements (so far): First Trip to State Finals (2017)
Future College Athletes: Alma Nye (Oregon), Maya Lawliss (Cal)
Notes: I spoke with junior Greta F about the team’s outlook on next season, and she confidently stated that,
“Every year teams lose big players. Obviously, we’re losing players valuable on and off the field, but everyone will get better and we’ll get new freshman that will step up and we’ll deal in the end.”
Rachel Holzman added that “It’s going to be a big adjustment.”
I also sat down with Sylvie B, Amelia U, and Steph F. The conversation went as followed:
Amelia: It’s going to be what we like to call a rebuilding year. Definitely going to miss the bench support of Steph.
Sylvie: There will be some losses that aren’t as impactful, like Maya or Alma. But others like Steph that will leave a hole in the hearts of the collective team.
Amelia: If you really think about it, without Steph, what are we?
Sylvie: The ‘S’ in OES should stand for Steph.
Amelia: When Steph stands on the sidelines, we immediately feel-…
Sylvie: -like winners.
Lost track of who was talking: “Win or lose, Steph stands.”
Steph mostly just sat through the conversation, adding in the occasional nod or two at the appropriate time.
#3: Boys Lacrosse
# of Seniors on the roster: 10
% of Team: 56%
Notable Achievements (so far): State Champs (2017, 2018), “8 or 9 on the west coast. Or 7.”
“Beating Lincoln on their senior night that time was pretty cool.” -Abe H.
“But then they beat us.” -Nicholas C.
Future College Athletes: Abe Harris (Bates), Alex Slusher (Princeton), Vernon Cowell (Colorado College), Jack Morissette (Chapman, Club), Redmond Dinger (Chapman, Club)
Notes: If you haven’t noticed the amassment of Carolina Blue that engulfs what normally is a table of senior guys on game days, you’re either a victim of color blindness or just plain unobservant. Regardless of the current state of your eyesight, the boys lacrosse team will lose players next year. A lot of players.
I asked the 9th-11th grade members of the team if they could offer up one word to describe next season considering the loss of so many seniors, and here are their responses:
“Sure” – Noah W, defensive midfield.
“Volcanic” – Ethan B, defender.
“Different” – Max F, midfield.
“Persevere” – Luke M, attack.
“Unicorn**” – Ryan Monshi, fan-of-OES-for-every-game-except-against-LO.
“A challenge” – Jakob W, defensive midfield.
“Good” – Duncan S, freshman.
“Okay(.)” Ryan B, channeled by Ethan and Milo.
“Fine” – Milo K, son of Asha.
“Hopefully-Optimistic”- Luke S, defender.
“Unimportant.” – John F, Men’s Basketball Captain.
John’s quote reflects the overall attitude of the team as they look to make the most of the season at hand. They have their eyes on a 3rd straight title this June.
**Due to the team’s ‘uniqueness’
#2: Girls Track
# of Seniors on roster: 7
% of Team: 64%
Future College Athletes: Sammy Woodring (TCU) , Stephanie Finley (Dartmouth)
Notes: Formerly 5-strong, the senior class of runners expanded to 7 this year with the new editions of Rachel Lowell and Alma Nye. Despite fighting injuries, the senior-heavy 4×400 team consisting of a mix of Alma, Steph, Rachel, Grace W, and Emma W (‘20) has their eyes on state this year, hoping to bolster last year’s girl’s state crew, of which class of 2019 members Sammy and Steph contributed greatly to a 7th place team finish. Steph has placed in the top 3 at state every year in the 3000m and 1500m, and Sammy has continuously set school records in the pole vault, beating her previous record by 10 inches earlier this year when she cleared 11′ 6”. Additionally, the team will lose captain Audrey M, one of the district’s top 10 discus throwers.
Harper H, a new runner this year, said that looking forward, “losing Steph is really impactful. She gets a lot of points for us. We’re also losing our only hurdler, Christina, who’s also a great long jumper.”
Junior Emma W was able to add that “It’s going to be really different without Steph. Our relay teams will be pretty messed up, though there’s a lot of promise for the 4×100. The team’s attitude will also definitely change. There aren’t a lot of dominant personalities from the juniors so there will be a very different leadership style.”
Even though track is reliant on individual results, 2019 is a year with high hopes for the team to do well at state as a unit. Keep your eyes open for district and state results in the coming weeks!
#1: Girls XC
# of Seniors on roster: 5
% of Team: 71%
Notable Achievements: 4th in State (2018), 3rd in State (2017), First Ever District Championships (2017&2018)
Future College Athletes: Stephanie Finley (Dartmouth)
Notes: Out of the 7 members who made the trip down to Lane Community College for the 2018 state meet, 5 will be leaving behind OES, and with it, the cross country program following their graduation this spring. While the cross country effort has been spearheaded by 2016 individual state champion Stephanie Finley, OES could not have won its first two girls district championships without the other running members of the class of 2019, Ella Menashe, Alison Thomas, Alma Nye, and Rachel Lowell.
I got the chance to speak with the lone remaining scoring member, sophomore Genevieve Bailly, who will be taking over as captain this fall. She reflected that “it has been amazing to have so many leaders on the team, and they were especially impactful as seniors. Their presence really brought the team together and motivated everyone to push themselves as hard as they could.”
She also stated that in order to succeed next year, “there’s definitely going to have to be a lot of unifying of strengths. Cross Country is a team sport even though you’re running individually, so it’s going to be important for us to have consistent placing and times. The environment of the team is also super important, and having a close team will give us an edge.”
Thanks for making it this far. My conclusion? Greta’s quote is right. Every year teams lose great players, and despite the feeling of impending doom, it always works out. Always. That’s the cycle of high school sports.
In the end, no matter how many records the class of 2019 has shattered, crazily enough, there will still be just as many for us to break next year. So, to the seniors, thanks for setting the bar a little higher. To everyone else, let’s get back to work so we’ll have the chance to raise it even more.