Adversity doesnt stop Crusaders
The 'demise' of Jesuit's football team came after a bundle of injuries in the offensive backfield. But that demise lasted just one game, a 35-3 loss to Beaverton.
Since then, the Crusaders have showcased why they're an annual contender to win the state title, winning six in a row and scoring 38 points per game.
Quarterback Jon Breuer missed much of the Beaverton game, running back Mike Jones has missed several games, and receivers Zach Tarver and Slade Norris have missed much of the season with injuries.
Yet the Crusaders will play host to Clackamas in the state quarterfinals at 7:30 tonight.
'What this team is doing is playing through adversity,' coach Ken Potter says. 'And that's all you can ask.'
The offensive line is healthy, with just one player lost from the regular rotation of starters and subs. That's allowed for consistency in pass protection and run blocking.
Junior Heath Faulk assumed a key role in the backfield with Jones struggling to get healthy. Seniors Ben Clark and Matt Markley and juniors Corey Cooper and Jordan Mast stepped into holes on offense and defense created by the loss of Tarver and Norris.
'The injuries we've faced have caused other kids to step up into key positions,' Potter says. 'That just shows the depth of our program.'
The Wilson boys team is in the countdown phase before heading off to a tropical vacation Ñ a trip to Maui beginning Dec. 16.
Wilson, which finished sixth in the PIL standings last year, returns a pair of three-year lettermen and has four players 6-4 or taller, one of whom is Cody Aker, son of coach Scott Aker. After Lincoln traveled to Hawaii last year, Scott Aker thought that it might be a fun adventure for this year's Trojan team.
'We got the idea from them,' Aker says. 'We've raised $19,000 to be able to take 19 people on the trip. We've done just about every kind of fund-raiser you can think of to raise that money.'
Cody Aker, a senior, is being recruited by both the U.S. Air Force and Naval academies. Senior Jeff Christiansen is being recruited by small colleges, and senior Jermaine Jordan-Brown, who grew 3 inches in the offseason to become a 6-4 forward, also may get some attention.
Sophomore Ian Anderson, a 6-4 guard, already has received interest from schools in the Midwest such as Missouri and Purdue.
Scott Aker says the trip wasn't planned based on Lincoln's experience last year. The Cardinals returned from that tournament and won the PIL title.
'I hadn't even thought about that,' Scott Aker says. 'But if it works and we win, we might go every year.'
The fifth annual Borderclash, where boys and girls from Oregon battle those from Washington, is set for Sunday morning at the Nike campus, and the top five Class 4A boy cross country runners from Oregon are entered: Galen Rupp and Stephen Oliver, both from Central Catholic, Centennial's Ryan Vail, Beaverton's Stuart Eagon and Benson's Zuber Ahmed.
The race is part of a two-day event that includes a dinner in the Tiger Woods Center and a coaches social. Rupp finished third last year.