Jaguars enjoy great success in several sports in 2013-14

It seemed like Brennan Baccay came from nowhere.

In late January, the Century junior was the eighth seed in his weight class. By March 1, he was a state champion.

That rise was one of the remarkable storylines of the winter sports season, which Baccay capped by defeating Hillsboro senior Joey Rodriguez in the 126-pound final at the Class 6A wrestling state championships in Portland.

He was equally dominant at Reser’s, racing through the bracket to the final, where he also defeated Rodriguez. The Jaguar, who knocked off Rodriguez four consecutive times during the season, became Century’s first state titlist in the sport since 2010.

That performance led the team, made up of just six wrestlers at state, to an impressive seventh-place finish in the overall standings. As the No. 1 seed at 132 pounds, Amari Sengsavanh also had plenty to do with the showing, as he finished second to Roseburg’s Cole Van Anrooy.

Boys swimmers shine at state, Liam Metzsch wins state title

Liam Metzsch made quite the — ahem — splash this season on the Century swim team.

The junior, a longtime club swimmer, turned out for the high school team for the first time last winter. The results were fabulous, as Metzsch picked up a state title and placed well in three other events at his state meet debut in February.

Metzsch proved he was the fastest swimmer of them all when he won the 50-yard freestyle at Mt. Hood Community College, becoming the somewhat uncommon sprinter to dip under 21 seconds at the competition. With his time of 20.96, he beat the rest of the field by more than three-quarters of a second, an eternity for a race of that length in the pool.

He added an eighth place in the 100 backstroke, and teamed with Josh Berquist, Brant Edwards and Josh Galbraith on two championship finals relay teams. The quartet finished fourth in the 200 medley relay and rounded out the meet with a sixth place in the 400 free relay.

Those results helped propel Century to a respectable seventh place in the team standings, complementing the Jaguar girls’ state championship.

Boys soccer team makes run to 6A state quarterfinals

These Jaguars were a special group last fall, taking the program to heights never previously reached. After finishing fourth in an extremely competitive and deep Pacific Conference, Century picked up its first-ever state playoff victory, kept rolling all the way to the quarterfinals, and finished with a 9-3-4 record.

The No. 11 Jaguars avoided a first round upset when they slipped past No. 22 Reynolds 2-1 in overtime. Then they hit the road and staged a memorable duel with No. 6 North Medford before prevailing 3-2 in penalty kicks.

The Jaguars went up a goal twice, but the Black Tornado answered twice, the second time with less than a half-minute remaining in the match. After neither team scored in the two overtime periods, senior goalkeeper Quinn Marshall came up with two big saves during penalty kicks, which the Jaguars eventually took by a 4-2 margin to advance.

The great run ended with a tough 1-0 loss at No. 3 West Linn, but under the steady leadership of Marshall and fellow league all-stars Carlos Hernandez-Morfin, Omar Alcazar Polvos, Gilberto Arreola Lopez and Oscar Guzman this Century soccer team could lay claim to being one of the school’s best ever.

State singles quarterfinalists in both boys and girls tennis

This spring was another great one for Century singles players, three of whom represented the school at state for the second time in as many years.

Jaguar sophomore Tommy Edwards breezed to his second consecutive title at the Pacific Conference district tournament in May, a performance topped only perhaps by Eka Essien, who rolled to her third straight singles championship.

Those two were joined at state by Neyen Essien, the No. 4 seed who lost to her older sister in the semifinal round but rebounded to win the third-place match and book another trip to the Class 6A state tournament.

The following week at state, Edwards matched his 2013 result by advancing to the quarterfinals, where he lost to top seed Goutham Sundaram, a Lincoln senior who went on to win his third state title. Along the way, Edwards won an exciting three-setter in the round of 16 against Central Valley champion Scott Wheeler.

Eka Essien also made the quarterfinals, and for the first time in her career. After a first round bye, in her third trip to state, the junior bested Roseburg senior Fiona Johnson 6-3, 7-5 to advance further than she had in two previous tries.

Century baseball upsets top-10 team in first round of playoffs

The baseball team may have only finished fifth in the Pacific Conference this spring, but that result belied the skill of a fundamentally sound and competitive team.

The Jaguars certainly put the state on notice in the first round of the playoffs, becoming one of five teams from the league to advance out of the first round when they upset No. 9 Central Catholic 5-4 on Memorial Day.

“We don’t really pay much attention to the power rankings,” Century coach Kyle Bunting said. “In baseball, if you throw strikes, play good defense and hit the ball, you’ve got a chance to win no matter who you’re playing.”

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