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North Marion 2019 4A Special District 2 League Champs!

| October 26,2019

North Marion 2019 4A Special District 2  League Champs!

How big was Friday night for The North Marion Huskies? Well let’s start with the first outright league Football title, in at least 60 years. 

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2018 Premature Playoff Predictions, Week 4

Jeff Drumm | September 28,2018

2018 Premature Playoff Predictions, Week 4

It's time for another season of Premature Playoff Predictions. Much has changed about Oregon high school football in the past year, but I got my spreadsheets adjusted, and (assuming I didn't make any typos) I'm ready to start guessing at what will happen.   Game predictions are based on the Freeman rankings...

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NM/Woodburn- It's Back!

| September 13,2018

NM/Woodburn- It's Back!

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You are here: Home More Blogs MWL/SWC Blog MWL/SWC Week 4


MWL/SWC Week 4

Let’s take a look at your upcoming Week 4 SWC and MWL games. The league openers are in the books, and some interesting league races are already forming.



After one whole week of league action, your SWC standings:


North Medford 1-0

Roseburg 1-0

Sheldon 1-0

Thurston 1-0

Crater 0-1

Grants Pass 0-1

South Eugene 0-1

South Medford 0-1


Sheldon (2-1) @ North Medford (2-1)


The Irish quickly took care of business Friday against rival South Eugene, jumping out to a big 1st quarter lead and coasting from there. I know the Central Catholic loss is still strong on everybody’s mind, but based on CC’s big win over Lake Oswego last Friday, I think it’s safe to say the Rams are just that good. I don’t see how that loss translates to Sheldon’s SWC success one iota, nobody in this league – outside of Sheldon – is a top tier program statewide.


North Medford lost a tight one at McNary in their opener, but blew the doors off McKay the following week and knocked off Grants Pass last Friday. Good for the Black Tornado, who are looking to bounce back from an extended dry spell. They’ll drop back down to .500 after this week, but their quest for .500 or better got a huge boost with that GP win.


Roseburg (3-0) @ Thurston (1-2)


The Colts have played three wildly entertaining games to start the year, losing 37-34 to Aloha, 42-41 @ West Salem, and finally breaking into the win column last Friday with a 38-35 win @ South Medford. Thurston has struggled to stop opposing offenses but have been able to put up some big point totals behind QB Brendan Quinn, RB Roy Jackson, and a host of playmakers at WR.


The Colts are following a path similar from 2012, where they quickly dropped to 0-2 with big losses to open the year against Aloha (45-0) and West Salem (44-35) before upsetting #6 South Medford 20-7. Last year, the defense rounded into form and helped catapult the Colts to a 2nd place SWC finish. This year, Thurston may have to rely on its offense in its quest to once against finish in the SWC upper division. Based on early returns, it certainly looks up to the task.


This game will be a big one, as Roseburg has gotten out of the gates quickly and certainly looks like an upper-division team. The Indians have been putting up big points themselves. We could/should have another shoot out at The Farm.


Perhaps of note: Thurston HC Justin Starck will miss this game with a back issue.


South Medford (0-3) @ South Eugene (2-1)


The Axemen got two big, emotional wins to kickstart the Chris Miller 2.0 era, and while I don’t mean to gloss over their importance in reestablishing a winning culture within the program, both wins were against 5A teams that likely will finish with losing records. They then got steamrolled by Sheldon. In a nutshell, it’s still hard to get a good read on SE. They won’t play anyone as weak as their 5A opponents, but won’t meet up with anyone as good as Sheldon. Almost a month in, and we really don’t know what the Axemen can truly bring to the table.


South Medford has yet to get a win, but they’ve also lost by 3, 4, and 3 points, respectively, to #6 West Salem, Westview, and Thurston. None of those are bad losses, and Bill Singler’s bunch has talent. I think this will be a good gauge for both programs: SE will finally play a 6A school in their stratosphere, and SM will get a team not destined for the round of 16 in the playoffs. The Panthers got their rushing mojo on track against the Colts last Friday; look for them to try to exploit the ground attack here.


Grants Pass (1-2) @ Crater (0-3)


Two teams who desperately need a win and would love to not drop to 0-2 in league. I was high on GP going into the season, but losing to North Medford really hurts. You don’t want to say a loss in the first week of league play can crush anyone’s playoff hopes, but to be down 1 in the loss column with all the usual top tier suspects still to play – Sheldon, Thurston, Roseburg, South Medford – the Cavemen have got to show me something, and quick.


Crater has gotten out of the gates slowly, though not wholly unexpected after a difficult non-league slate and the loss of such a big senior class.


Your 5A MWL:


1. Ashland (1-0)

1. Churchill (1-0)

1. Springfield (1-0)

4. North Eugene (0-0)

5. Eagle Point (0-1)

5. Marist (0-1)

5. Willamette (0-1)


Ashland (3-0) @ Churchill (1-2)


Well, there you have it. Ashland has dethroned Marist’s reign of terror in the MWL; what now? The Grizz will look to keep the momentum going against a Churchill team who finally got their first win of the season against Eagle Point. Really, the only threat to Ashland here is over-confidence. They host Springfield next Friday.


Eagle Point (1-2) @ Springfield (2-1)


The Millers have righted the ship in a big way, recovering from their opening night disaster against Silverton by blowing the doors off Corvallis and Willamette. Eagle Point looks like another body bag game, setting up the aforementioned showdown with Ashland next week.


Willamette (1-2) @ North Eugene (0-3)


Will-Hi got the Springfield experience last weekend, but won’t see near as much firepower this Friday @ North. Without forgetting that the Highlanders did win this game last year, the Wolverines’ continued quest to get back to .500 ball can’t afford a letdown. Again.


Bend (0-3) @ Marist (1-2)


The champs fell hard in Ashland Friday, but all is not lost. There appears to be a triumverate of talented programs atop the league, and there are still a few big showdowns yet to be played. Springfield @ Ashland and Springfield @ Marist will both go a long way in determining who walks away with the MWL crown, and Marist – who, despite struggling offensively, still has a stout defense – is right in the thick of it, despite the naysayers. And frankly, I’m glad there’s parity in the MWL. For twenty years now we’ve had either Marshfield or Sheldon or Thurston or Marist running the show. Watching an actual three-team dogfight for the league crown will be a treat.


The Business


Just for fun, a mythical Eugene/Springfield-area power poll through week three (how things would look if the old school MWL were put back together, as it should be):


1. Sheldon – no change from when the league was split after the ’05 season.

2. Thurston – Colts have more firepower than the Millers, but really, neither defense would have too much success.

3. Springfield – though I’ll let the games figure themselves out, I have to give Springfield a slight edge over Ashland for the MWL crown.

4. Marist – figure that offense out, and you have another Spartan team making a long march into the playoffs.

5. South Eugene – proved they were better than at least some of the MWL, which is a pretty significant step up.

6 Willamette – if anyone can play spoiler to one of the three MWL teams leading the pack, it’s Will-Hi.

7. Churchill – finally got a win against Eagle Point.

9. North Eugene – may not get a win this year. Potentially next, either.


And, because I’m nothing if not full of whimsy, a mythical power poll ranking the Top 10 teams in the state of Oregon… regardless of classification.


1. Central Catholic – they look all kinds of nasty, and we’ll see if they can get through the last leg of their Sheldon/Lake O/Jesuit gauntlet this Friday in the Holy War.

2. Jesuit – most Holy War’s are big, but is this the biggest in the last few decades?

3. Sheldon – lost in their defeat: the Irish turned the ball over five times. If they clean that up, is anyone betting against them in November/December?

4. Tigard – undefeated, and it’s hard to see them working up much of a sweat until the playoffs. But they don’t play the schedule of the other elite 6A schools.

5. Sherwood – the undisputed bully of 5A, 2014 and a move up to 6A can’t come soon enough.

6. Southridge – cleaning up nicely since that big opening loss to Sheldon, but Lake O and Jesuit on the horizon will see how much progress they’ve made.

7. Lake Oswego – really not far away from being 0-3, but has anyone played a more difficult schedule?

8. West Salem – was that 42-41 shoot out with Thurston an anomaly? Good defensive showings outside of that game, but like Tigard, I don’t think we’ll truly know how good they are until the playoffs. The CVC is not strong.

9. Silverton – there’s one more team in 5A that deserves recognition, and it’s Silverton, who smashed Springfield (a potential top 5 5A school when all is said and done) and should rule comfortably over a pretty stout MWC.

10. Roseburg – the Indians narrowly edge out Clackamas, Lakeridge, Sunset, and West Albany. We’ll see how they do this week at Thurston.


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