By John L. Braese
VALE – Here are the top 5 Malheur Enterprise sports stories for 2017:
In late February, the Nyssa High School wrestling team packed the bus with 20 contenders and headed to Portland for the state tournament. As the scores were posted, the Bulldogs grabbed the team’s third consecutive state title. The title also marked the 13th state title for the Dawg wrestling squad. At state, Heath Hartley wrapped up his wrestling career at Nyssa with his fourth state title. He was joined by teammates Jose Candelas, Osiris Tapia and Jose Sanchez, giving Nyssa four state titleholders.
ADRIAN/JORDAN VALLEY COOP
In a move that surprised more than a few ex-football players on both sides, rivals Adrian and Jordan Valley joined together to take to the football field for the 2017 season.
The Mustangs realized the season was lost due to low numbers and made a call to the Antelopes. Adrian welcomed the dwindled team with open arms and the combined team finished the season 8-2 overall, falling in the second round of the state playoffs to Dufur 50-12.
WES WHITE RUNS TO 2 STATE TITLES
After Wes White helped Adrian to a district track title, he followed up with two wins at the state track and field meet. White set a personal record with a win in the 100-meters, crossing the tape in a time of 11.36 seconds. He followed up with a win in the 400 meters in a time of 51.74 seconds. White also took third in the 200 meters.
VALE TENNIS EXCELS
The Vale tennis team produced its first state girls doubles champions as Drew Dobney and Tessa McFetridge needed only two sets to down a Junction City team and claim the state title. Earlier in the season, the boys took first place at the Buffalo Invitational, the first for the team since 2006.
With few injuries and exceptional talent at a number of positions, the Ontario football team extended the season all the way to the semifinals of the state 4A championships. The Tigers swept the Greater Oregon League with a perfect 3-0 record, following it up with a rainy home win over Banks in the first round of the playoffs. On the road to Scappoose, Ontario grabbed a 53-39 victory and then lost to Marshfield in the semifinals.