Warrior sports: Football, boys soccer strong out of the gate

Lebanon High School’s fall sports season is under way, with particularly strong starts on the football field and boys soccer pitch.

But, cautions Athletic Director Kraig Hoene, the Mid-Willamette Conference looms as a reality check for everybody.


Lebanon opened its season with a 62-28 win at home over Corvallis, in which Brock Barrett rushed for 202 yards and Keith Brown added 154 on the ground, scoring three touchdowns apiece.

Junior quarterback Cole Weber was 9-of-16 passing for 199 yards, including an 82-yard catch-and-run connection with Dane Sipos.

The Warriors were up 34-7 before a defensive lapse in the second quarter let the Spartans close to 34-28. After halftime, they never looked back.

“Corvallis, if you don’t come to play, they typically find some ways to put points on the board,” Hoene said.

Nonetheless, for the Warriors, “it was a good start to the season,” he said. “You are never sure what you’re going to get. We have a new young quarterback, who managed an offense that totaled over 500 yards.”

Lebanon’s next outing was at Dallas, after Lebanon Local went to press. The Dragons beat South Albany at home 58-13 in their opener.

“They appear to be the real deal,” Hoene said.


The Warriors were 0-3 after the first week of the season, winning one set, and Hoene said they needed to “find a way to win.”

“A big part of winning is just knowing how to do it,” he said.

“I doesn’t matter what sport we’re in – our league is so good. The teams at the bottom seem to be more competitive this year. In our league you’d better have your game on every night.”

Girls Soccer

Lebanon’s girls were winless after three games at the end of Week 2, but Hoene noted those losses were to North Eugene (7-0), typically one of the top teams in the 5A, and Springfield (4-2), ranked 10th, followed by a loss Thursday at No. 8 Scappoose (6-0).

The Warriors have a new coach, Luis Bueno, who has coached some of them on club teams in the past, and Lebanon has been short players, Hoene said.

“I think, in the end, they’re going to be fine,” he said. “It’s a new system, a lot of kind of changing girls around, trying to get a game plan together. When Luis gets to league, he will know what he has.

The girls only play league teams once, so their Mid-Willamette Conference season begins Oct. 1.

Boys Soccer

Like the girls, the Warrior boys start their league soccer season Oct. 1. Unlike the girls, they’ve exploded out of the gate in nonleague action, posting a 2-0-1 record with wins at home over North Eugene (4-2) and Redmond (5-2) and a 0-0 tie at Springfield in a game that was halted by lightning.

They were ranked fourth in state at press time.

New coach Jacob Butler has the team “off to a good start,” Hoene said. “The kids are gelling. Jacob’s a new head coach, but he’s been the JV coach. The kids know him, so there’s less transition.

“I think the boys are responding, believing in him.”

Still, he added, the league is “going to get real tough, real fast.

“Hopefully after nonleague, they’ll have some confidence going in.”


DINA ALTUHOV, right, runs in Sweet Home.

Lebanon’s boys started their season Sept. 7 at the Ash Creek XC Festival at Western Oregon University, placing ninth behind some of the state’s power teams – Jesuit, Franklin, Ashland and Central Catholic.

Senior Alex Solberg broke 17 minutes for the first time at Ash Creek, to lead the Warriors with a time of 16:52.10.

The girls did not field the five varsity runners needed to score as a team at Ash Creek or at the Sweet Home Invitational, in which they competed Thursday, Sept. 12.

Senior Dina Altuhov was the girls’ top runner in both meets, taking 10th on the Sweet Home course, which included a steep hill, narrow trails and a creek crossing. Her time was 23:39.1. Crescent Valley’s Sunitha Black won the girls race, in 20:14.3, six seconds short of a two-minute lead on teammate Kaiya Leamy, who was second in 22:08.

Solberg was eight at Sweet Home (18:51.0), behind Crescent Valley sophomore Blake Byer, who won in 17:11, with East Linn Christian’s Brandon Williams second in 17:58.1.

“They seem to be running pretty well,” Hoene said. “We just need a fifth kid for the girls.”