Raudsepp, Smith garner top Casco League honors
The CSLA and SPHS standouts are named players of the year in their sports
The Casco League experienced one of its most competitive volleyball seasons ever and the depth of the conference was reflected in the 2013 all-league team.
Mirroring the impact she had on the C.S. Lewis Academy team and in shaking up what has been a fairly static hierarchy at the top of the league, Mikaela Raudsepp was named player of the year.
Raudsepp, who sat out about the first third of the season with a wrist injury, powered the Watchmen to a series of firsts, including the schools first-ever wins over Veritas, St. Paul, Country Christian and Perrydale.
The senior middle blocker racked up 367 kills and 55 blocks in her truncated season as C.S. Lewis advanced to the district tournament for the first time, beating Veritas and Perrydale to qualify for the state tournament, also a first.
It was really nice to see the coaches recognize her, a player of her caliber, but also a player of her character, head coach Vince Swagerty said.
The league recognized that the Watchmen built a solid team around Raudsepp, as senior middle blocker Lana Friedrich also earned second team honors. In the end, each of the teams five seniors received all-league accolades, with Halah Grobey, Hannah Schmeltzer and Hope Schmeltzer receiving honorable mention.
Despite playing a 10-player rotation, all six starters on league and district champion St. Paul were recognized as All-Casco League players, including first-team performers Delaney Sump and Cameron Stone.
A senior middle blocker, Sump racked up a team-high 292 kills while hitting .413 and leading the team with 55 blocks.
Stone, a sophomore libero, was given first-team honors for the second time, but it wasnt only league coaches who saw her talent, as Imbler went out of its way to avoid hitting at the diminutive dynamo during its matchup with St. Paul in the state quarterfinals.
To have people go up hitting and theyre actually avoiding your libero is a heavy task, head coach Lesli Hiller said. They definitely figured out what areas Cameron didnt cover and were putting them in those areas.
Rounding out the first team were middle blocker Miranda Halverson and setter Courtney McGrath of runner-up Country Christian, as well as Veritas setter Natalie Anderson and Perrydale outside hitter Sarah Nelson.
The fifth-place Vanguard were also represented by junior outside hitter Brianna Stoppa, who made the second team, and sophomore outside hitter Tess Johnson, who earned honorable mention.
Hiller said she was disappointed St. Paul senior blocker Sara Pierson wasnt named to the first team, but considering the lineup of middle blockers and the unprecedented balance of the league, it was at least understandable.
Joining Pierson on the second team were senior setter Kennedy Smith and senior outside hitter Jessica Wilmes, who was recognized by the leagues coaches despite sitting out a portion of the season due to injury.
Senior defensive specialist Carolina Ruvalcaba, who formed a tight partnership with Stone on the back line, earned honorable mention accolades.
Hiller shared coach of the year honors with Country Christians Janin McGrath.
In a fitting send off following their last season in the Casco League until at least fall 2016, St. Pauls conference champion football team was also well-represented, earning nine first-team selections and nearly sweeping the major awards after going 5-0 in Casco League play.
Sophomore Tyler Smith, who compiled 1,878 yards on 148 carries and scored 24 rushing touchdowns, was named a first-team running back and offensive player of the year.
As a sophomore, he did a great job the entire season, said head coach Tony Smith, who was named coach of the year. I thought he improved a lot during the season and were really happy to have him coming back for two more years.
All three starting offensive lineman junior center Pedro Dela Cerda and senior guards Zack Adams and Max Coleman were tabbed as first-team performers, as was senior end Keenan Wood.
Junior Joe Hiller, who started some games at guard, was named to the second team, as were senior end/punter Cody Faber, sophomore quarterback Carson Smith and freshman running back Fernando Dela Cerda.
Wood was one of four St. Paul players named to the first-team defense, earning co-defensive player of the year accolades at end along with Perrdayle counterpart Jesus Mendez. Wood finished with 58 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
He was just a really consistent player the entire year, Smith said. He was very fundamentally sound and was a great worker and leader for us. I think that recognition was really deserved on the defensive side, as it was on offense, too.
Also making the first team were Hiller on the defensive line, Adams at linebacker and junior defensive back Austin McMillen.
Coleman was named to the second-team defense as a lineman, with junior Nick Gooding and Faber earning that distinction at linebacker and kicker, respectively.
Junior defensive end Keenan Phillips, senior linebacker Mario Dela Rosa, junior linebacker David Elias and defensive back Fernando Dela Cerda all earned honorable mention.
The Bucks will return six all-league players on offense, seven on defense and one on special teams next year when they make the move up to Class 2A and traditional 11-man football.
We played a lot of young kids due to injuries, for the most part, but they did a good job, Smith said. Thats as many kids as weve had coming back in a long time.
Smith and Wood were the only two Bucks named to the first-team on both sides of the ball and were also selected to represent the league at the annual Oregon 8-man Football All-Star game. Coleman and senior quarterback/defensive back Cody Southerland were selected as alternates.