2007 was a year marked by a large number of significant sports stories in Crook County.
The volleyball team won back to back state championships, and the wrestling team finished second at state. Boys basketball won their first playoff game ever, and boys soccer made the playoffs for the first time ever.
Individually Ryan Smith won his third state wrestling title and was joined by Jessie Cruise and Tyrel Albert as state champions.
The Foley sisters went one-two-three at district in cross country, while senior Michelly Foley won the state cross country title.
Crook County hired a new athletic director and the head boys soccer coach resigned in the middle of the season while the team was undefeated. Following the fall sports season the head football coach also resigned.
On the national scene five Crook County cowboys qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. The father and son roping team of Mike and Brandon Beers spent much of the season ranked number one in the world before injuries to Mike and to Brandon's horses took the wind out of their sails.
Grace DeBoodt was named an NAIA volleyball All-American, and Howie Mole won a national title in Small Bore Rifle at the National High School Rodeo.
After taking a survey of newspaper employees the following is an attempt to rank the important sports stories of the year. Your list may well be different, but hopefully this will give you a chance to look back and reflect on the year in athletics.
1. The Crook County High School Volleyball team went through the Intermountain conference without losing a game. They won the Clearwater classic defeating five of the top ten 6A teams along the way, and then defeated Summit High School in the state championship match to repeat as state volleyball champions. Five team members were named either first or second team all-state, and head coach Rosie Honl was named 5A coach of the year for the second consecutive year.
The Foley sisters:
2. Sisters Michelly, Kellie, and Leslie Foley went one-two-three, sweeping the first three places at the IMC District cross country championships. Senior Michelly went on to win the individual title at the state championship, while freshman Kellie finished fifth, and sophomore Leslie finished 23rd.
In addition, last spring as a junior Michelly Foley also placed fifth at the state meet in the 3,000 meter race, and fourth at 1,500 meters.
3. The Crook County High School boys basketball team went to the state playoffs for the second consecutive year, and for the first time in school history got a playoff win defeating West Albany 50-48 in the first round. The Cowboys then lost to Roosevelt in the second round 55-42 in spite of holding a one point lead at the half. It was only the Cowboys' fourth appearance in the state playoffs in the last 60 years.
4. The Crook County High School wrestling team placed second at the district meet, and then won the second place trophy at state, falling to Hermiston both times. The Cowboys sent 11 wrestlers to state and came away with three individual championships. Ryan Smith (photo to right) won the state championship for the third year in a row, this year at 160 pounds, and Jessie Cruise won the 145-pound weight class, while Tyrel Albert won the 285-pound class. Five other individuals also placed at state for the Cowboys.
5. The Crook County High School boys soccer team placed fourth in the Intermountain Conference qualifying for their first ever playoff berth. The Cowboys started the season 6-0 before losing a game.
The Cowboys lost in the first round of the playoffs 2-1 at Crater High School.
Changing faces in the Crook County Athletic Program:
6. Crook County hires a new athletic director in Casey Waletich. Waletich came to Prineville after a stint as offensive coordinator for the Weber State Wildcats.
While the boys soccer team is undefeated with a 5-0 record John Ries resigns as the head coach citing a disagreement over team discipline. The resignation comes shortly before league starts.
Following the conclusion of the season Shea Little resigns as the head football coach.
DeBoodt named All-American:
7. Grace DeBoodt a sophomore middle-hitter for the Eastern Oregon State University Mountaineers is named first team all Region 1 in volleyball, and then is named honorable-mention All-American. DeBoodt also went to nationals in track last spring as a freshman, and is currently playing on the Mountaineer basketball team.
The following are important stories that did not make the top seven.
Father and son roping team Mike and Brandon Beers are at the top of the world standings for much of the season before injuries to Mike and to Brandon's horses set them back .
Five Crook County Cowboys compete in the National Finals rodeo. Mike and Brandon Beers, Charly Crawford, Dean Tuftin, and Jason Havens.
Howie Mole and his partner win the small bore rifle championship at the National High School Rodeo for the second straight year.
Christian Radabaugh, Laura Fenimore and Ty Johnson all win state championships at the Oregon High School Rodeo Association State Finals.
Fourteen-year-old Riley Roberts qualifies for the Concrete Rodeo Skateboard National Finals in Battle Ground, Wash. and finishes 15th.