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Glencoe caps an amazing softball season with an appearance in the Class 6A state title game

Dynamic pitching. Powerful hitting. A reliable, out-churning defense.

A softball team must possess all of these facets to be truly great, and Glencoe had greatness in spades this year. The program posted its best season since moving up to Class 6A in the fall of 2010, sweeping through nonleague and Pacific Conference play and well into the state playoffs.

Though the Crimson Tide ultimately lost the Class 6A championship game 2-1 to North Medford in extra innings, that outcome does little to diminish the body of work the squad put together this season.

“Our team has worked very hard to get back to a place where we could play championship ball,” senior pitching standout Katie Sutherland-Finch said after that title game defeat. “We succeeded this season.”

That might be a bit of an understatement. Over the course of the spring, Glencoe defeated seven teams that ended the year ranked in the top 12 in the state — including the reigning state champion Black Tornado at their own spring break tournament in March — as well as two top-10 Class 5A squads.

The Tide’s only losses were in the championship game and another one-run contest to No. 3 South Salem over spring break. The offense generated 209 runs, the fifth-highest total in Class 6A. The defense allowed 33 runs, the second-lowest number in the state.

With that kind of track record, it should come as no surprise that Glencoe racked up numerous highlights, achievements and honors this season: a 29-2 overall record, a 25-game winning streak, an undefeated league record and a third straight Pacific Conference title.

In Katie Sutherland-Finch, Courtney Clayton and Jacy Jukkala, the Tide held the league’s pitcher, player and coach of the year. Morgan Brown and Macy Besuyen also earned first team nods, and four other Glencoe players were second team or honorable mention selections.

Clayton, Glencoe’s fabulous junior shortstop, batted .523 this season. She recorded 56 hits, including 23 for extra bases. Her 40 RBIs and 34 runs scored were both team highs, and she struck out, improbably, just once this season. Plus, she was a rock for the Tide on defense. For her sensational play this year, she was recently named the Class 6A state player of the year.

Sutherland-Finch was the team’s ace and a workhorse in the pitcher’s circle, going 25-2 and pitching 173.1 innings. She yielded just 65 hits but fanned 373 — a ratio of about one hit for every six strikeouts.

And Brown, the team’s steady senior center fielder, batted .439 with 43 hits, 23 RBIs and 32 runs scored.

Along with Clayton, the two seniors were named first team all-state. They were the only holdovers from the Tide’s 2010 Class 5A state championship team, and they captained Glencoe with wisdom beyond their years, creating a culture of togetherness, belief and success.

The results speak for themselves.

“I’m very proud of them,” Sutherland-Finch said of her team. “I’ve been a part of this team for four years, and this is the best team that I have ever been on. I love them.”

Glencoe’s England takes down Pacific Conference meet record

Competing in the 800 meters at the district track and field meet in May, Ryan England of Glencoe more than delivered as the favorite.

Not only did the Crimson Tide senior win easily win the race by more than three seconds, but he also broke the 11-year-old district meet record. After putting himself in perfect position by the end of the first lap, England destroyed the field over the second 400, and his time of 1 minute, 55.69 seconds broke the meet standard of 1:55.85 by Tualatin’s Jon Titterington.

The performance earned England his first individual district title and made him the sixth-fastest boy in Class 6A and 10th-fastest in the state through last weekend.

Boys golf team caps stellar season at state tournament

Best in school history.

That is the claim the Glencoe boys golf team can safely make after an outstanding 2013 spring. Last month, the Crimson Tide swept the Pacific Conference overall and league tournament championships and then went on to tie for fifth place in a deep Class 6A state field at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis.

“It was a great effort by the guys,” Glencoe coach Tim Duvall said. “We’re really proud of them. By finishing in a tie for fifth, that’s the best team finish in school history, so they accomplished another team first for Glencoe.”

Four different Tide players — Connor Tripp, Jared Duvall, Nick Karich and Ethan Zickel — won at least one tournament over the course of the season, and Tripp earned medalist honors at the conference tournament, leading a parade of five Tide golfers in the top 14. After Tripp, Duvall was second, Karich tied for third, Zickel was 13th and Hayden Vetter was 14th.

At state the following week, Duvall finished 10th and made the all-tournament team. With that result, he became just the second Glencoe boys golfer ever to finish in the top 10 at state.

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