Best of 2016-17: St. Paul Buckaroos
The Buckaroos finally claimed their crowns as queens of the Tri-River Conference last fall.
After winning the regular season league title in 2015 only to fall in the conference championship game against Kennedy, this year's St. Paul team left no doubt which Tri-River program was the undisputed best.
The Buckaroos went 10-2 in league play to claim the regular season title, then cemented their success with a 3-1 win over Central Linn in the conference championship game.
St. Paul then followed with a first round win over Oakland to earn their first trip to the 2A State Quarterfinal Tournament since moving up from the 1A Classification three years ago.
Track and field
The 4x400-meter relay teams for the St. Paul track and field program put the finishing touches on a spectacular spring season in May.
The quartet of Jennifer Hernandez, Emalee Ell, Isabelle Wyss and Rachel Vela came less than a second from winning a state title with a second-place finish in the long relay.
Meanwhile, the boys team of Francisco Vargas-Ayala, Adal Izquierdo, Ethan Wyss and Saul Martinez placed third in the event with a school record-breaking time of 3:33.64.
The St. Paul football team proved they once again belong in the conversation of the best 2A programs in the state.
The Buckaroos bounced back from a winless campaign in league the year before to go 6-4 in 2016 and earn an at-large berth to the state playoffs as the No. 5-ranked team in the OSAA.
The Bucks scored a 32-24 victory over Knappa on the road in the first round before bowing out in the quarterfinals to the eventual champions out of Regis.