Four Banks coaches are honored by the Cowapa League after excellent seasons

An outstanding fall sports season at Banks High School was recognized by the rest of the Cowapa League, with four Banks coaches earning league Coach of the Year honors while 26 athletes were selected to various all-league teams.

“We were very proud of our fall teams and the success they each had,” Banks athletic director Jacob Pence said. “Both boys and girls soccer advanced to the postseason for the first time in program history, football had a very competitive season and made it to the first round of state ... and volleyball was third in the state.

“On top of that, every one of our fall coaches was named Coach of the Year ... for their individual sport.”

Banks volleyball capped a dominant season with a third-place trophy at the Class 4A state tournament earlier this month, beating Phoenix and Madras to lock up the program’s third consecutive top-three finish at state.

Prior to that, the Lady Braves posted a perfect 10-0 record in league play to win their first regular-season Cowapa championship since 1982.

For her efforts, head coach Suzanne Alley was named league Coach of the Year, and five players earned First Team All-League status — freshman Megan Bunn, plus seniors Lexi Chung, Aubrey Rue, Samantha Duyck and Kaylin Vandomelen, who was also named league Player of the Year. Freshman MaKenna Partain was an honorable mention pick.

The Banks football team finished second in the league behind Scappoose, wrapping up the regular season with a 6-3 record, then advancing to the Class 4A state playoffs with a play-in victory over Central.

The Braves’ postseason run came to an end with a 27-16 loss to Gladstone two weeks ago, but there was still plenty to celebrate after head coach Ben Buchanan split league Coach of the Year honors with Scappoose’s Sean McNabb, and senior linebacker Neal Olson was one of three players to share the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

Meanwhile, Banks’ fledgling soccer programs, which started just three years ago, each earned their first-ever trip to the postseason while landing several players on the all-league team.

The Banks girls earned four First Team selections — Lauren Birr, Cassie Streblow, Emily Vandehey and Michaela Shurts — while Holly Dotson was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year and head coach Brian Reed earned Coach of the Year honors.

The Banks boys had three First Team all-league selections — Danny Adams, Riley Philippi and Aaron Streblow — and Kelly Waugh was tabbed as Coach of the Year.

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