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St. Paul's success reflected in all-league selections

The Casco League champion Bucks earn nine first-team nods in football and two in volleyball


by: SETH GORDON - St. Paul senior Delaney Sump was one of two Buckaroos - along with teammate Cameron Stone - to be named to the Casco League First Team this year.In a fitting sendoff following their last season in the Casco League, St. Paul’s conference champion football and volleyball teams were well-represented in the 2013 all-league teams.

Despite playing a 10-player rotation, all six starters on the St. Paul volleyball team 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 wasn’t 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 they’re actually avoiding your libero is a heavy task,” coach Lesli Hiller said. “They definitely figured out what areas Cameron didn’t cover and were putting them in those areas. Along the same lines, Cameron started inching out of her area because she wanted the ball so bad.”

Joining Sump and Stone on the first team were C.S. Lewis Academy middle blocker Mikaela Raudsepp, who was also named Player of the Year, Country Christian middle blocker Miranda Halverson, Cougars’ setter Courtney McGrath, Veritas setter Natalie Anderson and Perrydale outside hitter Sarah Nelson.

Hiller was disappointed St. Paul senior blocker Sara Pierson wasn’t named to the first team, but considering the lineup of middle blockers and that the league was as competitive as it’s ever been in 2013, 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 league’s 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.

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The football team was recognized with nine first-team selections and nearly swept the major awards after going 5-0 in Casco League play.

Sophomore Tyler Smith, who compiled 1,878 yards on just 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 we’re 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 Perrydale 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-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. “That’s as many kids as we’ve 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.



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