Camas Valley coach Eli Wolfe tells his West team they have to do a practice play over again Tuesday. (BRAD MOSHER/The Observer)
If it comes down to hardware, the West team would have to be considered the favorite going into Saturday’s All-Star 8-man football game at Community Stadium.
They have the 1A state champion coach.
They also have the coach from the second-place team.
The West has six players from the St. Paul squad which lost in the finals to Camas Valley by a 24-8 margin.
They also have Eli Wolfe — both the coach and the player — from the Camas Valley Hornets.
Between St. Paul and Camas Valley, the two schools had a combined 24-1 record. Camas Valley was undefeated (13-0) and St. Paul lost only the title game in an 11-1 season.
Both also have a tradition of winning.
For Camas Valley, it has been more than two years since they have lost a game.
The Hornets won the 2011 title, with a 14-0 record.
The last time Camas Valley lost, it was to St. Paul in the 2010 state title game.
That year, the Buckaroos were undefeated with a 15-0 record.
So when the six Buckaroos hit the field Saturday they will represent a program that has been in the state championship game two of the last three years and lost only five games in that stretch.
The two teams won the last three state 1A titles.
Eli Wolfe — the coach — has two players from his title team, his son and LanaKila Peck.
For the coach, there is a lot of talent to chose from on the West squad.
Peck is a 255-pound all-state nose guard who also opened holes in defenses as a guard for his teammates. Most of the holes he opened on offense were for Eli Wolfe — the senior running back who also was the state’s 1A player of the year.
Wolfe ran for more than 200 yards against Imbler in a 40-12 victory over the Panthers in his final playoff run. Against St. Paul, Wolfe closed out his high school career with a second state title. He finished the season with 107 carries for 1,208 yards.
It was his father’s third state title — two as a coach and one as a player. The coach won a state 8-man football title as a player in 1990.
The Buckaroos entered the title game averaging 584 yards in offense and 66 points per game.
Now the East team will be facing a big chunk of the high-powered engine which drove St. Paul into two of the last three 1A title games.
St. Paul coach Tony Smith will be on the West sideline Saturday — with a lot of familiar faces.
St. Paul has both quarterback Danny Drescher and running back Cole Weisz in the lineup Saturday. Going into the title game against Camas Valley in November, Drescher had passed for 1,409 yards and 30 touchdowns, while Weisz had a team-leading 1,791 yards rushing with 17 touchdowns.
Drescher also has two of his favorite receivers.
In the 2012 semifinal against Lowell, Drescher hit the Merten brothers for five scoring passes in an 88-40 victory. Garrett Merten caught three touchdown passes, while Cody Merten grabbed two.
In addition, St. Paul also has linemen Parker Schibel and Ray Connor.
Cody Merten joined teammates Connor, Schibel and his brother on the Oregon 1A first team. Drescher was the second-team quarterback. Cody Merten made the first team as both a receiver and defensive end, while his brother Garrett Merten was a first-team linebacker.
Perrydale made it as far as the semifinals before losing to Imbler, 34-14. Three
Perrydale has Justin Cruickshank, Joshua Hiebenthal and Travis Chrisman playing Saturday. Cruickshank made the all-state list as honorable mention at quarterback and second team as linebacker. Hiebenthal was second team as a defensive back, and Chrisman made the honorable mention list at center.
In addition, the West also has Crow’s Brayden Anderson, a second-team defensive back, along with Tanner Eastlick, an honorable-mention defensive lineman from Crow.
According to the organizer for Saturday’s game, Chuck Steeves, both teams are ready to play Saturday.
“They are really ready to start hitting each other,” he said.