Celtics shine with Beacons Awards nominations

The McNary Celtics will be represented at the 2022 Beacons Awards with nominees in six categories, including first-year softball coach Kelly Parsell nominated for coach of the year. 

Parsell led the Celtics to the semifinals of the 6A playoffs and a 24-6 overall record, 12-2 in the Mountain Valley Conference. She is joined by Sprague wrestling coach Mike Ritchey and Salvador Maciel of North Salem mens soccer as nominees for coach of the year. 

Celtic softball is also represented by junior pitcher Lacey Vasas, who is nominated for athlete of the year in softball. Vasas pitched in all but five games with a 19-4 record in the regular season and playoffs, allowing only 38 earned runs in 157.1 innings pitched. Also nominated for softball player of the year are Mackenzie Scott from South Salem and Sophia Honse from Sprague. 

The other nominee from the Spring seasons is Colby Sullivan from mens golf. Sullivan finished fourth at the OSAA state tournament with a two-day score of 138. Joining Sullivan from the links are Jonathon Scott from Sprague and Lucas Paul from South Salem. 

From mens basketball, Brody Roth is nominated. Roth led the Celtics in field goals made (99) and points per game (10.5), and was second on the team in three-pointers made (29) and rebounds (69). Sprague’s Dallon Morgan and Jon Breyman from West Salem are also nominated for mens basketball athlete of the year.

Max Blanco’s 31-5 record on the mat earned him the nomination for wrestling athlete of the year. Blanco was only taken down six times all year, and he scored 48 takedowns himself. In total, he outscored opponents 230-60 on the season. Blanco is joined by a pair of Sprague grapplers in the nominations, Brook Byers and Brayden Boyd.

Mountain Valley Conference football player of the year Tyler Copeland is nominated for football player of the year. Last season, Copeland threw for 1,757 yards and 22 touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Copeland received honorable mention for all-conference at safety. Joining Copeland in the football player of the year nominations are David Sherman from Sprague and Josiah Davis from North Salem.

Former coach and namesake of the Celtic’s baseball field Vic Backlund will be honored as McNary’s school beacon. Backlund was McNary’s first baseball coach when the school opened in 1965, and made the playoffs in 14 of his 27 years. Backlund and the Celtics won state titles in 1989 and 1992. He was voted Valley League Baseball Coach of the Year in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989 and 1992. 

The Beacons Awards is sponsored by the Salem-Keizer High School Sports Booster Club. The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, at the Elsinore Theatre in downtown Salem at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are all general admission. 

Lacey Vasas

Kelly Parsell

Brody Roth

Tyler Copeland

Colby Sullivan

Max Blanco