Coach Moment

Clatskanie Middle High School Softball Coach Kevin Sprague talks to his team following the players 3A OSAA State Championship victory over Dayton.

The community is invited to help celebrate the 3A OSAA State Softball Championship victory during a special event at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12 at Clatskanie Middle High School. 

The school plans a recognition assembly to celebrate the Clatskanie Girls Softball Girls State Championship.  d

Doors to the school auditorium will open at 9:45 a.m.

Previous Chief coverage posted on June 7

The Champions!

By Jeremy C. Ruark

The Clatskanie Middle High School Softball Team is the 3A OSAA State Softball Champions after defeating Dayton 10-5 in a thrilling contest on Friday, May 31.

Clatskanie entered the contest, at the University of Oregon in Eugene, ranked the top seed following an undefeated 26 game season.

The Lady Tigers took the lead 3-0 in the beginning of the championship game, only to slip behind in the middle the competition. But Clatskanie came back strong to take the game 10-5 and claim the 2019 championship title.

Coach Kevin Sprague said as team began to struggle he told the players to remember to maintain composure.

“I told them if we just do what we have been doing all season long we will come out on this OK,” Sprague said. “This is about everything we have preached all year long. We got to an inning where we were a little bit tight defensively, but we got to the bats and swung ourselves out of that.”

Sprague said the victory was an entire team process.

“I told them if they just get back into character it will come back, and it did,” he said. “You cannot be prouder of those kids,” he said. “We calmed down and we got through this.”

“We just needed to relax and play our best that was our plan all season,” Clatskanie Middle High School Softball Team member Shelby Blodgett said. “We are a great team. We work well with each other. We just followed our plan.”

Shelby said the victory showed her anything is possible.

“We really thought it was so hard to get here,” she said. “We did it in basketball, so I think getting it done this year gives us a big standard for next year.”

Sprague said the sports program is all about teaching students life lessons.

“These are life lessons that the kids are learning,” he said. “This game is a memory for life, but more importantly for 27 times we have forced ourselves to go about our business. They can take that with them when they go to math class, any class, or when they go to work. It is a process that they trusted. This just validates everything that we have been doing.”

Sprague said the championship will also give the team confidence into the next season.

“They are going to know, and they are going to believe,” he said. “And my job is going to be the easiest on the face of the planet.”

See more photos from the championship game with the attached story.

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