It was also a banner year in sports for Florence. This was the year that the OSAA re-designated schools for a new districting plan and at first it looked that Suislaw would stay in a conference with much fiercer competition than their talent allowed for. Being a smaller school with a low winning percentage was not enough to initially convince the OSAA to move the Vikings into a division with like schools. But after several appeals, not only from Siuslaw but other schools affected, the OSAA offered up what is being called a more appealing matchup. The new plan calls for Siuslaw to be matched up with Harrisburg, Brookings-Harbor, Cascade Christian, Douglas, Hidden Valley, La Pine, Pleasant Hill, Santiam Christian, South Umpqua, St. Mary’s (Medford) and Sutherlin. But the final decision will not come until 2018.
Celie Mans was decorated as Athlete of the Year for the Lady Vikings. Her prowess on the track led to a state championship and the recognition of the Athlete of the year.
On the Men’s side it was a close race with the award going to 3 sport athlete Trent Reavis. Staying with Reavis as he made another story in the top 10 this year although little coverage was given to it, after a decent personal season on the gridirion and the start of a promising run at state on the hardwoods, Reavis tore up his knee after a dunk in a win against Pleasant Hill on December 7th.
Former Siuslaw Viking Jake Thompson was also a big story for Florence as Thompson’s final year at OSU was phenomenal. Thompson went 14 – 1 for the year with a 1.96 ERA. Thompson made 20 plate appearances. Thompson received many award nominations and was included in several All-American First Teams. Thompson was subsequently drafted in the fourth round of the MLB going to the Boston Red Sox.
The Siuslaw Viking Basketball teams second place finish in the far-west league gave them a glimpse at the playoffs. The Newport Cubs ended their hopes for a state title, but the Vikings have high hopes for a return to the fray this winter.
Wrestling was huge in the winter of 2017 as Viking Richard Huff dominated the 113 pound class on the mat coming away with the state title. In his run for the title he took 3 of his 4 matches by fall and the fourth by a 13-3 major decision over Robert Watkins of Sweet Home.
It wasn’t the best news of the year in sports, but the second season of Viking Football under coach Jamin Pool was fraught with trouble. Injuries and overpowering play by opponents was the constant struggle throughout the season only managing to win one game. And it was the first time on record that a game had to be cancelled due to not enough players able to suit up for a game. The move to a more competitive league next season hopes to bring some satisfaction to the team.