Successful spring season brings another laundry list of awards for Eagles athletes

HRVHS announces Athletes of the Year; athletes honored with All-Conference, All-State, and All-Star selections

THE BOYS track team and coaching staff were honored at a Hood River County School District Board meeting on Wednesday. Superintendent Dan Goldman is pictured at far right.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
THE BOYS track team and coaching staff were honored at a Hood River County School District Board meeting on Wednesday. Superintendent Dan Goldman is pictured at far right.



Another season of Hood River Valley High School sports is in the books and with it, another haul of awards for local athletes.

Taking stock of all their athletes’ accomplishments over the season, staff members at HRVHS recently named the Athletes of the Year for the school: Payton Rigert for the girls and a tie between Montana Kurahara and Dallas Buckley for the boys. All three are seniors.

Athletes of the Year:

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Payton Rigert

Payton Rigert: Rigert is a three-sport athlete for HRV, competing in water polo, track, and wrestling. Rigert found a great deal of success in wrestling over her high school career and served as a co-captain for this year’s squad. In her freshman year, she came in second at the state tournament, then won her weight class at the state championship for the next three years. She helped lead her team to two consecutive state championships and was recently named the Female Athlete of the Year in Oregon for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

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Montana Kurahara

Montana Kurahara: Kurahara is also a three-sport athlete and started off they school year by helping his team make the playoffs. As a member of the HRV football team Kurahara was named First Team All-Conference in the Columbia River Conference as a tight end and Second Team as a defensive end. On the ski team, Kurahara was untouchable, winning every single race he entered this season and taking first place in state in both the Giant Slalom and Slalom events, giving him the state title overall. He finished off the year on the HRV baseball team, where he played first base and was named Second Team All-Conference.

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Dallas Buckley

Dallas Buckley: As quarterback, Buckley helped the HRV football team to its first post-season appearance in more than a decade and was named First Team All-Conference at the position as well as the CRC Offensive Player of the Year. In the winter, Buckley made Second Team All-Conference for the basketball team. On the baseball team, Buckley was named First Team All-Conference Outfielder.

Spring awards:

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Skyler Hunter

Baseball: The Eagles squad had another successful year, qualifying for the state tournament once again, where HRV placed second, losing 12-2 to Summit in the title game last week. They became the only team to ever make the 5A state championship three years in a row. Many Eagles received All-Conference and All-State Awards this season. At pitcher, senior Patrick Harvey was named to First Team All-Conference, while junior Isaiah Enriquez made Second Team. Junior catcher Adam Cameron was named First Team, and Kurahara was Second Team in the first base position. At infield, senior shortstop Skyler Hunter and third baseman Kellan Duffy were named First Team and junior second baseman Morgan Williams was Second Team. Harvey made his second appearance on the list after being named First Team in the outfield category, as was Buckley. Chase Lariza was named Second Team. Senior Andrew Roberts received an honorable mention as designated hitter. HRV easily won the CRC title and Erich Harjo and Hunter were named Coach of the Year and Player of the Year, respectively.

For All-State selections, Cameron received an honorable mention as catcher, while Hunter was named First Team for the infield. Harvey was named Second Team outfield.

Softball: The softball team had an extremely competitive conference this season and did not make it to the playoffs, but that didn’t stop others from taking notice of the talented players the Eagles had on the team. HRV had a lot of names on the First Team All-Conference list, including sophomore Zoe Munn (catcher), sophomore Hannah McNerney (pitcher), frosh Haylee Baker (outfield), and sophomore Janessa Casteneda (designated player). Senior

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Madé Vallejo

Madé Vallejo was named Second Team (infield). Munn and McNerney were also named All-State, with Munn making First Team and McNerney making Third Team.

Track: The boys track and field team brought home the school’s first-ever track and field state title, edging Marist by four points in the 5A state championship in Eugene last month. Seniors Sebastian Barajas and Parker Kennedy were both individual state champions for winning titles in discus and pole vault, respectively. Barajas became the first athlete ever in 5A to win the discus state title four years in a row. Barajas was named CRC Field Athlete of the Year and senior Parker Irusta was named CRC Track Athlete of the Year for the boys. Head Coach Donnie Herneisen was also named CRC Coach of the Year for the boys.

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Lauren Robinson

There were a number of athletes who were named to both First Team and Second Team All-Conference, which is based on how athletes finish at the district meet (first through second are First Team, third through fourth are Second Team). First Team boys: Barajas, Irusta, Kennedy, senior Quinn Fetkenhour, senior Tyrone Stintzi, and sophomore Gabriel Campos-Davis. Second Team boys: Junior Jacob Bromham, senior Sam Fults, senior Travis Duval, sophomore Braxton Wilson, junior Jesse Wiley, senior Bryson Gudiel, freshman Chad Klaas, senior Noah Noteboom, and sophomore Michael Jones. First Team girls: Sophomore Yahaira Chavarria, senior Kassidy Davidson, senior Lauren Robinson, frosh Katie Kennedy, senior Marlie Bloomster, junior Maya Anderson, sophomore Audrey Marble, junior Clarissa Najera, and frosh Barrett Ihde. Second Team girls: Abby Kinoshita.

First Team All-State boys: Barajas, Kennedy. Third Team: Stintzi, Campos-Davis, Irusta. Honorable mention: Crosswhite. Third Team All-State girls: Kennedy. Honorable mention: Davidson.

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Erin Mayer

Girls lacrosse: The HRV girls lacrosse team had its most successful season in program history, winning the inaugural Navy bracket championship late last month. The team also finished with an 11-3 overall record in the regular season and a 9-3 record in the Portland League.

Numerous players also made the All-League list, with sophomore Kat McElderry on First Team at the attack position and senior Erin Mayer at midfield. On Second Team, junior Daisy Dolan represented at the midfield position and junior Riley Bauer made it under defense. Senior Lydia McElderry (attack) and sophomore Ella Rand (goalkeeper) were given honorable mentions.

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Alex Ellifritz

Boys lacrosse: It was a season full of ups and downs for the boys lacrosse team, who started out with a 7-0 record before losing players due to injuries and other issues. That didn’t stop the team from performing better than last season and qualifying for the state tournament, where they lost in the opening round.

Representing HRV and the Columbia Conference on the First Team All-Conference list were junior Bruce Ostler at the midfield position and Alex Ellifritz at the long stick middie position. Junior Elliot Cramer was named Second Team, also at midfield, and freshman goalkeeper Jhett Chrisman received an honorable mention.

All-Star games:

The spring sports season may be over, but some athletes continued beyond the season as they were selected to play in various All-Star games.

After being named Second Team All-Conference for the infield, Vallejo recently played in the 5A senior softball All-Star game at Jane Sanders Stadium at University of Oregon. She played for the North team, made up of the CRC, Intermountain and Northwest Conferences. The North lost both games of the series.

Ostler and Ellifritz were also nominated to play for the White team in the first-ever boys lacrosse All-Star game, held last Saturday at Beaverton High School. The White team narrowly lost to the Blue team, 9-8.

For baseball, Harvey, Hunter and Harjo have also been selected to appear in this year’s All-Star series held at Oregon State University June 18-19. Harvey and Hunter will play in the outfield and infield positions, respectively, for the North team, which Harjo will coach. Harjo also coached the North team last year in a series that featured former HRV pitchers Ryan Ward and Kameron Walker.



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