Enterpriseís Marta Stangel (left) and Unionís Keesha Sarman both led their teams to the 2A state tournament in Pendleton this past season. Observer file photo
Enterprise’s Stangel, Union’s Sarman share BMC’s player of the year honors
by Casey Kellas/The Observer
The Blue Mountain Conference proved to be one of the best leagues in the state this past season, sending four teams to the state tournament in Pendleton.
And when the coaches got together to select the BMC’s best player, they couldn’t decide on just one.
Instead, Enterprise senior Marta Stangel and Union sophomore Keesha Sarman shared the conference’s player of the year honors.
The two were joined on the all-league first team by Hayley Riggs of Enterprise, Bailey Bennett of Heppner, Caitlin Zyph of Pilot Rock and Molly Von Borstel of Weston-McEwen.
But all year Sarman and Stangel separated themselves from the pack.
“As much as any player I’ve had, Marta has the all-around skills that make her a good athlete,” Enterprise head coach Mike Crawford said.
“She also had the work ethic to put in the time. She was always in the gym.”
Stangel was an all-around force for the Outlaws (21-6), averaging 10.2 points per game, 11.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.1 steals.
Sarman, who won player of the year honors last season, was the league’s best scorer this year.
She finished the year with 605 points, an average of 20.8 per game.
“Keesha demonstrates the role of what a true athlete is and what they need to do in order to be successful,” Union head coach Tessa Nicholson said.
“She is the heart of her team, and pushes herself, teammates and coaches to be better.”
Crawford likened the skills of Sarman to those of Stangel.
“Everything I’ve seen from Keesha, she has the same skills. She uses everything she’s got,” said Crawford, who was also named the BMC’s coach of the year. “I think another thing they have in common is that they have spent a lot of time playing against boys.”
Union’s Dani Sturm and Enterprise’s Elsa Steen were both selected to the second team, along with Brittany Gregerson (Stanfield), Alana Wilson (Heppner), Ginni Harrison (Pilot Rock), Taryn Coffman (Weston-McEwen) and Hailey McConnell (Grant Union). Eight players were honorable mentions, including Union’s Kacie Langford and Elgin’s Miah Slater.
Irrigon dominates boys selections
The Irrigon Knights dominated the boys side of the BMC this season, going 16-0 en route to a 28-1 season.
For their efforts, the Knights highlighted the all-league selections.
Anthony Landeros was named player of the year, while Jake McElligott was the coach of the year.
But that didn’t stop a slew of local athletes from garnering attention.
Union’s Brazen Wellington was a second-team selection, while teammate Kaleb Poor was one of 13 honorable mention selections.
Damon Greenshields, Blu Risseeuw and Cody Duquette of Enterprise, and Jake Burgess of Elgin were also