Author: Derek Wiley

Lady Celts come from behind to tie South Salem, earn play-in game

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Kayla Evans was fighting back tears before her last home soccer game at McNary. But afterwards she couldn’t stop smiling as the Lady Celtics earned themselves a state play-in game with a 1-1 tie against South Salem on Thursday, Oct. 20. “I’ve played with some of these girls since I was six and it’s just an emotional thing thinking after 12 years playing with them that this is our last home game,” Evans said. “It just blows my mind. This day was just really important for me. We had a lot at stake. I think we performed well for how much pressure was on us.” The Lady Saxons scored their goal in the first minute of the game. “Senior night is a vulnerable night,” McNary head coach AJ Nash said. “You’ve got a lot of emotions going into it and we kind of let our guard down. We goofed up in the beginning.” “In the first few seconds when they scored my heart broke a little bit,” senior Abigail Smith said. “I just remembered that we had lots of time to come back.” The Lady Celts shifted their formation to a 4-5-1 to put an additional player in the midfield. Their best chances to score came off set pieces. A corner kick in the 29th minute hit the post. McNary lost Natalie Gonzalez late...

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McNary thinking playoffs

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes The playoffs don’t technically begin until Nov. 4. But with two teams who will mostly likely be in the state tournament remaining on the regular season schedule and McNary clinching a spot as well, the Celtics are already in playoff mode. “I think (wide receiver) coach (Frank) Gauntz put it really well (Monday),” MHS head coach Jeff Auvinen said. “They’re (North Medford) going to be a playoff team. West Salem is going to be a playoff team. We might as well start the playoffs right now with that kind of intensity, that kind of mentality, that kind of preparation and focus. These are going to be playoff type teams so we use this as the beginning of our playoff run.” At 5-2, McNary is third in the Greater Valley Conference. McMinnville, West Albany and South Salem are all tied for fourth at 3-3. The Celtics have head-to-head wins over the Grizzlies and Bulldogs, who play each other on Oct. 28. The Saxons host West Salem, who is 6-0 in conference, on Oct. 21. North Medford, who McNary plays Friday, Oct. 21 in its final home game, is fifth in the Southwest Conference at 2-3 but ranked 22nd in the OSAA rankings. After beginning the season 3-0 with two wins over California teams, the Black Tornadoes have dropped three of their last four. But...

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Whiteaker volleyball off to hot start

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Whiteaker Middle School’s volleyball teams are off to a blazing start. After three weeks of matches, the four teams are a combined 13-1 in league play. “We have always spent a lot of time focusing on the fundamentals of the game,” said Whiteaker physical education teacher Scott Coburn, who coaches the varsity team, which is 4-0 in league. “We try to teach volleyball as it needs to be in order to make the kids successful at the next level. We teach the systems of volleyball, we expect a pass, set and hit every time, and set our overall expectations very high. Having been here for 25 years I have been able to get solid coaches, have set the bar high and have a great tradition of excellence.” Along with an unblemished league record, Coburn’s squad also went 3-1 in a tournament at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, losing in the semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 1. The other three teams are coached by Whiteaker teachers Carol Biamont, Amber Sweeney and Carley Parks. “Since I was a high school head coach and club coach for several years I know what is needed to succeed at the next level,” Coburn said. “We try to run our program to that level. McNary’s coaches have been supportive of us. We meet and talk so that we...

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Football: Celtics dominate West Albany

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes On paper, McNary-West Albany looked like it would go just like most of the Celtics other Greater Valley Conference games this season—a back-and-forth battle to the end. However, McNary had something else in mind. Setting the tone with a 15-play, 62-yard scoring drive to open the game, the Celtics defeated West Albany 28-7 on Thursday, Oct. 13 in Keizer. “We really came together like I don’t think we have yet this year,” senior Kolby Barker said. “Our offense was clicking. Our defense was clicking. Everybody did their job. We’ve been talking this whole time about taking us from good to great and I think we showed that tonight. I think people that haven’t been expecting a lot from us are going to change their minds real quick.” McNary was missing senior Brendan Van Voorhis, who was in New York on a track and field recruiting visit to West Point. “I was wondering how we were going to respond both offensively and defensively and it was great to see we didn’t miss a beat,” Celtics head coach Jeff Auvinen said. Senior Josh Benson became quarterback Josiah Gilbert’s No. 1 option at receiver, catching three touchdown passes. “I just knew I had to step up with (Van Voorhis) being gone to New York,” Benson said. “I thought we were going to run the whole entire...

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Breakdancing added at McNary

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes After a conversation with his older brother, Ricky Perez decided he wanted to be more active as he began his junior year at McNary High School and join a club. But looking through the list, there wasn’t one that interested him. So Perez decided to start his own—Aztec Rhythm, better known as breakdancing. He went to Ryan Somerville, a teacher at McNary who told Perez to “stop telling me what you’re going to do and come back and tell me what you’ve done.” Perez soon returned with three friends, Ryan Randolph, Eddy Lopez and Andres Miranda, and said, “This is my B-boy club.” He then filled out the appropriate paper work and Aztec Rhythm was added to the list of available clubs at McNary. “To me being the leader would surprise a lot of people in the halls because they see me as the kid who is just there,” Perez said. “I think it’s going to be really cool when they figure out I’m a leader here.” Perez was introduced to breakdancing in the eighth grade. He went to sessions twice a week at the Boys and Girls Club in Salem. But quit after six months. He played soccer in the eighth grade but hadn’t been a part of anything in high school. “One day I came to my senses, I don’t do...

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