Miles Vance: A look back at an eventful - and wet - spring season
There's no two ways about it — the 2017 spring season was one for the memory books.
There were big games, incredible athletes, season-changing performances, lifelong memories and … rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain.
Rain was indeed one of the big stories of the 2017 spring season, forcing scores of baseball, softball and tennis contests to be postponed, rescheduled and oftentimes, postponed and rescheduled again.
At the same time, Lake Oswego and Lakeridge's track, golf and lacrosse teams had to compete regularly in the worst of spring conditions, dealing with rain, wind, sub-par temperatures, difficult footing and poor field/course conditions just to keep their sports on schedule.
Through it all, the stalwart teams, athletes, coaches and administrators of Lake Oswego and Lakeridge persevered, though I'm guessing there were times when the conditions and scheduling tested their patience and resolve in the same way they did mine.
But by season's end, the best of the best rose to the top, proved themselves against the state's premier teams and individuals, and sometimes, made history themselves.
Here's a brief, unscientific list of some of the spring's best moments.
Lake Oswego Girls Lacrosse: The Lakers came into the season as reigning Three Rivers League and state champions, and as favorites to repeat in 2017. The top-ranked Lakers did not disappoint, rallying from an early deficit in the state championship game against No. 2 Oregon Episcopal School and pulling away to win 13-3 at Wilsonville High School on May 25, giving Lake Oswego its second straight state crown and its third in the past four years.
The win over OES, the team's 11th straight, capped Lake Oswego's 2017 season with a 20-2 overall record, an unbeaten record against Oregon teams and a 14-0 Three Rivers League championship.
Lake Oswego Girls Tennis: The LO girls tennis team finished its spring campaign in dramatic fashion, winning its second straight Class 6A state championship by the slimmest of margins. The Lakers took the 2017 state crown with 20 points, while Sunset finished second with 19, Lincoln was third with 18.5 and Jesuit took fourth at 17.
Along the way to their victory at state — held May 18-20 at the Babette Horenstein Tennis Center (formerly Tualatin Hills) in Beaverton — the doubles team of Melisha Dogra and Anna Lowy finished second, teammates Ally Hock and Phoebe Walsh, and Jennifer Ruan and Julia Lininger-White also scored in doubles, as did Jin Yu and Bo-Bae Yu in singles.
Lakeridge's Emmett Moore: Lakeridge senior Emmett Moore took a couple unique turns at the end of his senior tennis season that made it memorable. First, he played his way into the Three Rivers League singles championship match, then skipped it to fulfill a band commitment. Then, at the Class 6A state tournament, Moore lost his opening match before coming back with three straight victories to finish fifth overall.
Lakeridge Boys Lacrosse: The Lakeridge boys lacrosse team had enough ups and downs in their 2017 spring season to qualify as their own roller coaster. The Pacers dealt with a long list of injuries this year, struggled to find consistency throughout the regular season, battled through wind and rain and more … and eventually proved themselves one of the best teams in the state.
The 10th-seeded Pacers, after going just 6-4 in Three Rivers League play and 11-12 overall, found their footing in the playoffs. They crushed Roseburg in round one, upset No. 7 Summit in Bend in round two, then pushed second-seeded Jesuit to the limit at Jesuit in the state quarterfinals before finally falling short 11-10.
Lake Oswego's Carter Bracken and Ava David: Two Lakers at the opposite ends of their careers finished their spring seasons at the exact same place — at the top of the podium at the Class 6A state track meet at Hayward Field.
Bracken, a senior making his fourth state appearance in the 110-meter high hurdles, saved his best for last, racing to victory in a winning time of 14.26 seconds. David, meanwhile, was a freshman who qualified for state in the discus, but entered the meet trailing Sherwood favorite Shelby Moran by more than 31 feet. But David persevered, saw Moran scratch on all three of her throws, and won the 6A crown with a mark of 134 feet, 4 inches.
Girls Golfers: It wasn't easy, it wasn't dry and it sure as heck wasn't quick, but the girls golfers from Lake Oswego and Lakeridge finished their spring seasons in impressive fashion. Competing against the state's best in the Class 6A state tournament at Emerald Valley Golf Club on May 15-16, the Lakers and Pacers really earned their money on day two, persevering through two long rain delays when water inundated many of the greens. In the end, the Lakers stepped up to finish fourth in the team race while the Pacers' four individual qualifiers scored well enough that they would have finished eighth in the team standings.
Boys Golfers: There was more drama at the Class 6A boys state tournament, held May 15-16 at Quail Valley Golf Course, where the Lake Oswego boys team saw its state-record stretch of five straight big-school state championships finally snapped. Jesuit took the team title at Quail Valley with a two-day score of 602 strokes, while the Lakers finished fourth at 635, their efforts led by sophomore Peter Bouchard, who shot 77-74—151 to tie for sixth and earn all-state honors. Lakeridge, meanwhile, saw individual qualifiers Avery Keating and Tim Lee play to 13th and 25th in the overall standings.
Laker Baseball: The Lake Oswego baseball team had a wild spring, too, staggering through a tough preseason, picking up speed in the Three Rivers League, ending TRL play on a downer, then rebounding to reach the Class 6A state quarterfinals.
In the playoffs, the 28th-ranked Lakers knocked off fifth-ranked Sprague, ousted No. 12 Lincoln, then very nearly battled back from a disastrous nine-run first inning by Beaverton in their 9-6 quarterfinal loss.