New football coach Troy Walker may help Lebanon on another field as well

Lebanon has a new football coach, but he’s not new to the Warriors.
Troy Walker, a 1998 Lebanon graduate who has been an assistant at fellow Mid-Willamette Conference member North Salem for some 15 years, will lead the team in the fall.
Head Coach Ty Tomlin, who led Lebanon to its first state title in 2016, simply decided he needed a change, Athletic Director Kraig Hoene said. Tomlin wound up with the head coaching job at 6A-Division McMinnville.
“Ty and his relationship with Lebanon High School is very good,” Hoene said, noting that Tomlin had resigned before he went job hunting. “He just felt like he needed to turn the page, find something new.”
Walker has been quarterbacks coach and, more recently, defensive coordinator for the Vikings, who play football in 5A Special District 2.
He also will contribute to Lebanon’s track program as “one of the best jumps coaches in the state,” Hoene said. “He’s a very knowledgeable track guy. He’s one of the reasons North Salem’s girls team has turned into a state powerhouse.”
Meanwhile, in OSAA’s Season 4, for winter sports, Lebanon and East Linn Christian Academy are in the middle of their boys and girls basketball seasons.

Lebanon Boys Basketball
The Warriors had three boys basketball games postponed at the beginning of June due to “some COVID problems,” Hoene said, but they picked things back up Wednesday, June 9, with a close 56-51 loss at home to South Albany.
“They’ve been very competitive,” said Hoene of the boys, who are 2-4 overall, 2-2 in league, behind some 20 points per game from junior Henry Pointer this season. “We’re young; we’ve only got one senior, Cole Weber. The boys have been playing their tails off for Casey (VanderBos). They’ve been competitive with some good teams.”

Lebanon Girls Basketball
“If the boys are young, the girls are babies,” Hoene said of the team that was 2-6 overall, 0-4 in MWC after a 46-37 loss at home to McNary Thursday, June 10. Lebanon has seven sophomores, at least three of whom are on the floor at any given time, and it didn’t help that they opened this season with a “murderer’s row” of Corvallis, Crescent Valley and North Albany, he noted.
“We have a good core of sophomore girls. Mardy (Benedict) will coach them up. Last year our sophomores got drilled by McNary early in the season, then lost their last game to McNary by two points.”

The Warriors have five competitions before the district tournament on June 19, and state on June 26.
At the Linn County championships on June 5, Lebanon had three winners in senior Andy Vandetta (126), junior Brayden Burton (138) and senior Rafael Ramos (heavyweight).
Sophomore Landon Carver (113) and junior Tanner Ensley (132) were second. Finishing third were senior Justus Freeman (145) and sophomore Austin Loveal (182).

Swimming participation is down across the MWC, Hoene said, and that includes Lebanon.
“The numbers just aren’t what they usually are,” he said. “COVID-stuff with pools, so much indecision.”
He said that coaches in all sports will need to “put in good effort this summer to find the kids who didn’t come out, connect with the freshmen who didn’t come out and with the eighth-graders who will be here next fall.
“You can’t find a school in the state where the same thing isn’t happening.”

ELCA Basketball
The Eagles are 4-4 in boys basketball after wins earlier this weekover Monroe and Oakridge.
The girls, though, were 7-2 after a 40-19 drubbing of Oakridge Thursday.

Lebanon Track
Lebanon had eight qualifiers, four boys and four girls, for the 5A state track and field championships held May 21-22 at Wilsonville.
Sophomore Jackson Parrish was third in the long jump (20-6) and sixth in the triple jump (40-9¼) for the boys.
Junior Blake Seibert was sixth in the javelin with a personal-best throw of 164-8, while junior Brayden Currey finished 15th at state.
Junior Caleb Christner was 10th in the 400 in a PR of 52.69.
For the girls, two freshmen, Alyse Fountain and Hayden Knutson, showed a lot of promise, as Fountain finished 13th in both the 100 and 200, and Knutson was 14th in the long jump.
Noting that Walker’s arrival should be a big plus for Lebanon’s jumpers, Hoene said Knutson “hasn’t even scratched the surface of what she could do. She’ll get a big addition next spring.”
Also qualifying for Lebanon’s girls were senior Holly Port, who finished 15th in the discus, and sophomore Saide Voight, who was 15th in the 300 hurdles.

ELCA Track
The Eagles’ biggest finisher at the 2A state meet, held May 22 at Union, was Grant Davidson, who won the shot in a personal best of 44-6¾, and the discus (120-0).
Senior Ethan Slayden was third in the 800 (2:06.05) and second in the high jump (5-10) on misses.
Senior Brandon Williams was fifth in the 1500 (4:28.74), third in the 3000 (9:52.13), and fourth in pole vault (11-0).
Junior Erik Hatch finished 15th in the 100.
The 4×400 relay team of Morgan, Wheeler, Slayden and Williams was second in 3:41.16, behind Lost River (3:37.42).
The 4×100 relay team of Hatch, Aidan Morgan, Warren Wheeler and Kolby Clark finished fifth in 47.22.
Wheeler was seventh in the long jump (18-2), and Morgan finished fifth in the triple jump (38-8).
East Linn’s only qualifier on the girls side was junior Sidney Lane, who finished 14th in the 3000.