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A history lesson on Hillsboros prep sports scene

The goal of the Fall Sports Midseason Review was to catch readers up on how the four Hillsboro area high school teams have been doing so far this season. Now that you know that, it’s time for a history lesson.

Sifting through endless web pages of scores, I found out that some of the local prep teams are very good. That got me thinking about how these teams are going to fare in the state playoffs.

I know, I know, it’s only the beginning of October. But, how good will the Century and Glencoe football teams be? What about the Liberty and Hillsboro girls soccer teams? Or the Glencoe boys soccer team? What about the Liberty and Century volleyball teams? And how good could Hillsboro cross country star Lauren Lykins be?

Those questions, of course, begged more questions. I wondered about how Hillsboro’s local preps have fared in the past.

The answer was not overwhelming. While it is fair to point out that three of the four high schools are relatively new, when it comes to state competition for fall sports, Hillsboro’s preps have not brought home too much hardware.

Neither the boys nor the girls cross country teams have ever won a state championship. The only individual winner was Hillsboro’s Wendell Cox who took home first place in 1962 with a time of 9:01.3

There has never been a volleyball state champion out of Hillsboro, nor a girls soccer state champ. In 2006, though, Hillsboro’s boys soccer team won the 5A state championship. Glencoe’s boys won it the following year in 2007.

Hillsboro area high schools have been at their best in football. Glencoe took home state championships in 1986 and 1994. Hilhi won two state championships under the supervision of legendary coaches in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Spartans were led to the 1966 state championship by Ad Rutschman and the 1973 state championship by Mouse Davis. Then, in 2009, current Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla led Hillsboro to a third state championship.

The days of Rutschman and Davis were long before my time. But, I was there for the 2009 championship game.

That day opened my eyes to how important prep sports can be for a community. As I made my way onto the field to collect interviews after the game, I had to wade through a sea of people. There were of course countless students. There were almost as many adults, though. Too many adults to just be parents of players.

As I looked at those adults’ faces, I realized that the state championship meant something to them. There was a sense of pride, not just in the Hillsboro football team, but in the community itself.

High school sports matter to the kids and to the parents. But that day I learned that prep sports also matters to a community.

As I look at the results of the teams so far this season, I have to wonder, how much would a state championship this fall mean to the Hillsboro community?

Stephen Alexander is the Sports Editor of the Hillsboro Tribune.




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