Central Catholic aims for redemption

The Rams are primed to unseat Jesuit as Class 6A state champions
Nov. 8, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

The state's top volleyball programs are prepping for title runs beginning Friday with the quarterfinals of six state tournaments being held at three sites across the state.

None of the tournaments will have as much focus as the Class 6A event, which features top-seeded Central Catholic looking to regain its spot atop the state.

The Rams were heavy favorites to win last season, but were upset by upstart Roseburg in the semifinals, losing 15-13 in the fifth game.

Jesuit then defeated the Indians in the final, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to claim its first title in four years.

The defending champions in four of the other five tournaments return.

Here's a rundown with the finals being held Saturday night at Liberty High School for 6A/5A, Lane Community College for 4A/3A and Ridgeview High School for 2A/1A.

CLASS 6A - Central Catholic's tournament run begins with Sheldon Friday morning and is likely to run into Jesuit Friday night. The teams met in the final from 2009-11 with the Rams winning each time.
Lakeridge is the surprise at No. 2 with Three Rivers League rivals Clackamas and West Linn in its half of the bracket. The Pacers have not even reached a final in their history. Roseburg returns as a threat seeded third.

CLASS 5A - Defending champion West Albany played its way to the No. 1 seed during the season and is a heavy favorite to repeat. Churchill, which took the Bulldogs to four game in the final last year, is seeded second. St. Helens, which needed a 19-17 win in the fifth game against Mountain View Saturday, is seeded third with Bend fourth.

CLASS 4A - Is there any doubt Crook County will win its eighth-straight title Saturday night? Well, the Cowgirls are seeded second in the playoffs, so there's a hint of drama. Cascade, which has never played in a final and wasn't in the quarterfinals last season, is seeded first with Hidden Valley and Banks seeded third and fourth, respectively.

CLASS 3A - It's been 31 years since Vale won a title, but the Vikings are seeded first with defending champion Santiam Christian, which has won three titles in the last four seasons, seeded second.

CLASS 2A - Defending champion Culver is back as is finalist Days Creek, which won in 2011. But, the teams would meet in the semifinals leaving a finals spot open for a team such as top-seeded Weston-McEwen, which won in 2010.

CLASS 1A - Defending champion and perennial power Powder Valley, which had reached the final the past three years, didn't qualify for the playoffs leaving top-seeded Lowell as the favorite. A title would be the program's first. Dufur is seeded second.

Rams back up ranking with shutout of Gresham

Wilder runs wild, while defense keeps 5-0 Gophers at bay
Oct. 5, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

The growing sense of success in the Gresham Gophers football program hit a major snag Friday in the form of the Central Catholic Rams.

Led by junior Aidan Wilder, who ran and passed for more than 400 yards, the second-ranked Rams beat Gresham 37-0 in a Mt. Hood Conference game at Jeld-Wen Field.

Central improved its record to 4-2, and continued to serve notice it's a significant contender to win the state title for the first time since 1953.

The Rams led 30-0 at halftime of the Homecoming game and Wilder capped the win with a 57-yard scramble on a broken play early in the third quarter.

Last week, Central Catholic beat Reynolds 55-14, rolling up 42 points in the first half. In their last two games, the Rams have outscored their opposition 72-7.

Gresham dropped to 5-1.



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