Congratulations, state champions
Resiliency. Hard work. Overcoming adversity. Fighting until the end.
Powder Valley High School had done all that and more as the Badger volleyball team made it to the state championship game three straight years. The first two years they came up short in the title clash. Disappointment, yes? Give up? Never.
Saturday the Badgers proved indeed that the third time is a charm.
In an all-Northeast Oregon Class 1A final, pitting local rivals Imbler and Powder Valley, Coach Lasa Baxter’s Badgers defeated Coach Jennifer Teeter’s Panthers, 3-2, and accomplished the Badgers’ longtime goal — a state championship.
Both coaches and their players deserve a lot of credit. For Baxter’s three-time OOL champion and No. 1-ranked Badgers, it was their first volleyball state title. Powder Valley was undefeated at the 1A level. Their only losses were to Class 2A squads Weston-McEwen and Heppner.
For Teeter’s Panthers, which concluded the season 23-5, the only losses were to just two teams — Powder Valley and Dufur.
Both teams had great groups of girls and great community support — in Powder Valley’s case from “Riki’s Rowdies,” in honor of Riki Anderson, player Ali Abrego’s mom, who died of breast cancer a couple of months ago.
It’s just too bad both teams can’t be champions. But Imbler will be back. The Panthers won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
Powder Valley, too, will be back. The Badgers will play with strong fundamentals and achieve more greatness.
Both teams are full of winners, not just on the volleyball court but in life. Their championship seasons should propel them far whatever course they choose for their lives after high school
Congratulations to both teams for jobs well done.