Numbers good for Warrior sports, though COVID continues to loom

Lebanon High School sports are off to a healthy start, with good numbers in almost all of the fall programs, Athletic Director Kraig Hoene said as the Warriors finished up their first week of competition.
“Our numbers across board are good right now,” Hoene said. “I’m really happy with where we’re at.”
Cross-country is still down, but we’ve gotten a few more (since initial sign-ups). We have 14 or 15 kids total right now.”
Football has 100 players, volleyball has 40, there are 70 boys and girls out for soccer and 24 girls out for cheer, he said.
“We weren’t sure what it was going to look like this fall,” Hoene said. “We’re really happy with the numbers.”
Every day is a new day with the COVID pandemic still looming over sports.
“We’re not talking about if you have a positive test – we’re talking about when you have a positive test,” Hoene said, describing the situations coaches and school officials find themselves dealing with. “A lot of us, over the summer, kind of got used to things being a little more lax. We had to relearn some of those lessons – smart contacts, minimizing exposure.
“It doesn’t hurt to have your mask up when you’re on the sideline, and yeah, you can be 3 feet apart, but why not 6 feet?”

He said the school is working with county health officials to keep things moving.
“We’d rather quarantine three or four kids and not have to shut down an entire program,” Hoene said.
COVID kept the Warriors from participating in their scheduled football jamboree on Aug. 27, he said, which didn’t help when Lebanon, under first-year Head Coach Troy Walker, lost 42-19 to Wilsonville in their opener on Sept. 3. The Wildcats are also considered one of the top two or three teams in the 5A Division.
“We played very competitive at times,” Hoene said, noting that the Warriors took their opening drive to the 20, before they stalled out. “We have a lot of first-time varsity kids, who didn’t get a jamboree under their belt. They’ll make some adjustments.”
Lebanon starts its Mid-Willamette Conference schedule Sept. 17 at Central after taking on South Salem Sept. 10 at home. The Warriors play at home against South Albany (Sept. 24), Corvallis (Oct. 1) and Dallas (Oct. 15).
The volleyball team dropped its first match 1-3 at North Salem, but rebounded Sept. 7 on the road at Corvallis, winning 3-2 before taking on West Albany and Crescent Valley at West Albany, getting shut out in both matches. The Warriors will open their home schedule Sept. 14 against Silverton.
Boys soccer got off to a good start for Lebanon as the Warriors notched a 7-0 win over North Eugene.
“That was a good win for the boys,” Hoene said.
Lebanon went on to beat Redmond/Culver 1-0 at home on Sept. 9.
They play Springfield on the road Tuesday.
“That will be a pretty good test,” Hoene said.
The Warriors started with a couple of “pretty good teams,” losing 8-0 to North Eugene and 7-0 to McKay.
Hoene noted that North Eugene is typically “one of the better teams in the state and McKay is a solid squad.”
Lebanon’s girls are young and Heoen said it will take a few matches to get them used to “varsity speed.”
Cross-country opened Sept. 11 at the Ash Creek XC Festival.