HSFB: Thurston High to Take on Undefeated Crosstown Rival

By Charles Martindale

SPRINGFIELD, OR.: About 10 minutes on highway 126 separate the Thurston Colts from Springfield High School, and Friday night, both of Springfield’s high school football teams will converge on Silke field for their first meeting since last year.

Background: Things got off to a rocky start for the Colts in 2023, with 20+ point losses spoiling their season and home opener. While the Springfield Millers jumped out to 4-0, the Colts have had to play catch up, entering Friday as winners of back to back games against North Eugene and Crater. The victory in Central Point against Crater saw the Colts put 64 on the board. Springfield also holds a win over Crater, and have averaged over 38 points per game to this point in the season. It’s a big game for the local rivalry, but also for a Thurston team looking to get above .500 for the first time on the young season.

Rushing: Arguably the biggest draw to the game is Springfield running back Connor Dye. The 5’10” senior has already matched his junior year tally for touchdowns with 10, doing it in just four games. He’s been the motor of a very effective Millers offense, averaging over 160 yards a game and seven per carry. Thurston’s attack on the ground is much more economic, with senior Ethan Burkhead averaging nearly six yards a carry and junior Ashden Weiler splitting the duties, rushing for 185 yards and a touchdown himself so far this year. The game will be determined by how well Thurston can implement their dual threat attack, while also likely gameplanning all week for Dye.

Passing: Thurston quarterback Noah Blair has had a lot of pressure on his shoulders as a junior, but he’s played solid for the Colts so far, completing 72% of his passes and throwing for 13 touchdowns to his 3 interceptions. The target of choice for Blair is senior Walker Bonar, who leads the team in catches and yards despite only playing in two games. Lombel Doreen, who also plays lacrosse for Thurston, has been another target for Thurston. At just 5’8”, Doreen has nearly 200 yards. Burkhead has been a weapon in the passing game as well as the rushing attack, averaging four catches for 20 yards weekly for Blair. For Springfield, Zackary Sherman will be under center. The senior is completing just 61% of his passes, and has a poor TD/INT ratio of 3-4. The lack of a dominant quarterback could be a focus of Thurston’s defense. As a receiver though, Sherman leads the team with a pair of touchdowns. The leading pass catcher for the Millers is junior Jaevon Spencer, who leads the team in yards and in catches.

Defense: Thurston’s defense is allowing 31 points per game in 2023, while the undefeated Millers are allowing just 17.

Overall, tonight’s game in Springfield will be a learning experience for both sides, with the Colts looking to make a statement around town, and the Millers attempting to start the year 5-0.

PREVIEW: Oregon Volleyball Faces Washington in Rivalry Match

By Cuinn Huber

After two clean sweeps in a row, the No. 6 Oregon Ducks Women’s Volleyball team (12-1, 2-0 PAC-12) is preparing for yet another rivalry game against the University of Washington (9-4, 0-2 PAC-12) in what is sure to be a thriller. The Ducks are currently on a roll winning, twelve of thirteen matches so far this season and have swept the last three teams they have played (Marquette, Oregon State, and UCLA). The team dominance is being spearheaded by several players including Mimi Colyer, last year’s PAC-12 Freshman of the Year, and Karson Bacon, who was just awarded PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Bacon averaged two blocks a set during last weekend’s matches against OSU and UCLA. Having not lost a home game since 2021, the Ducks are looking very good to keep the streak alive.

While the Washington Huskies are not ranked, they are by no means out of this match. Both May Pertofsky and Madi Endsley are both averaging above three points scored per set, similar numbers to the likes of Colyer and Morgan Lewis. The fact that this is also such a tense rivalry will add further motivation to the Husky team. They are also coming off of two consecutive losses against Arizona and Washington State so they are both eager and urgent to break their losing streak and what better match the end it at than against one of their main rivals in enemy territory.

The main factor going into this game is the depth of both teams and where the game is being played. The energy of the crowd at Matthew Knight will be extremely motivating for the Oregon squad however ultimately it comes down to the team itself. If Mimi Colyer, Morgan Lewis, Karson Bacon, and co can continue to play like they have it will be very hard to beat them. The way the Huskies win this match is if they prevent Oregon from getting into a rhythm, this means they can not allow any long scoring streaks against them.

Oregon no doubt has the advantage coming into this match, they have only lost one match of the thirteen they have played so far. Washington has lost four and is on a two-match losing streak. The Ducks also have a deeper squad on paper, as well as the home-court advantage being at Matthew Knight Arena. Washington will be extremely motivated to show their archrivals that they are a force to be reckoned with regardless of whether or not they are ranked. The teams split this matchup last year, so this is no way a shoo-in for either team.

Final Score Oregon 3, Washington 1