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College Bound! Local athletes head to the next level of competition

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by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Carson Davison is one of three Tribe football players headed to the College of the Siskiyous in northern California. Careers in athletics will invariably end for everyone at some point, but there are those whose work ethic, talent and skill are enough to extend their time as sport stars in the world of collegiate competition. Both Scappoose and St. Helens have a rich history of athletes advancing to college squads, winning scholarships and finding a name for themselves at the next level, and this season is no exception.

Western Oregon University will welcome at least three athletes, including Jacob Zartman and Kylie Reinholdt of St. Helens and Kenny Klippel of Scappoose. College of the Siksiyous in Weed, California will bolster their football roster with the Scappoose trio of Justice Oman, Carson Davison and Nick Rust. St. Helens' three-sport athlete Tanner Long will travel the furthest, heading to Kansas to play basketball for Bethel College.

There are also a number of current college athletes who are turning heads or making a big move from one stop to the next. Scappoose alumnus David Mayo will return for a senior football season at Texas State, Ariel Viera will continue to beef up the defense for the Portland Pilots, and Blake Updike will find a new home at Multnomah University.

Here is a still-growing roundup of the athletes who will be participating in collegiate athletics in the upcoming year. Several athletes, including Scappoose's Hunter Hoyt, Anthony Bernal and Lexi Courtney, and St. Helens' Thomas Hughes, Chris Gray and Alyna Habel are undecided or undeclared, but all plan to compete at the next level.

Justice Oman, Scappoose

College of the Siskiyous, Fr.

6’-2,” 182-pound Wide Receiver

Justice Oman's speed and agility on the football field have paid off: a two-year extension to his playing career at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California.

The Eagles, who compete in the Mid-Empire Conference based in north and central California, rolled off an 8-3 record last season including a loss to Chabot College in the Central Division Championship Bowl.

Oman leaves behind an impressive list of statistics, including 16 touchdowns over his two-year varsity football career. Twice in his senior season, Oman took a kickoff to the house, compiling 291 return yards in his senior season to go along with 1,124 receiving yards. In his career, he put up 1,848 yards and nabbed 83 passes, averaging nearly 70 receiving yards per contest and over 100 for his senior season.

On the track, Oman holds school records in both relay events and finished in the top-three in the 400 meter run at the OSAA 4A State championships for his junior and senior seasons.

Nick Rust, Scappoose

College of the Siskiyous, Fr.

6’-1,” 190-pound Wide Receiver

Adding to the Eagles' speedy receiver corp along with Oman will be fellow Scappoose senior Nick Rust, who was another essential piece of an Indian offense that blew away nearly every opponent they faced. Rust caught eight touchdown passes for Scappoose, finishing with 682 yards and 47 receptions over his two-year career. He also made a mark in the return game, taking back 11 kickoffs and three punts for 350 yards.

Carson Davison, Scappoose

College of the Siskiyous, Fr.

5’-9,” 178-pound Running Back

The Indians' speedy running back Carson Davison completes the Siskiyou threesome, and will beef up the Eagles' backfield. Davison is fresh off a senior season in which he rushed for 936 yards and 11 touchdowns, finishing his career with 1,931 total yards, 20 touchdowns and an average of 5.5 yards-per-carry. He also caught 12 passes his senior season, totaling 90 yards in 11 games.

Charlie Davidson, Scappoose

California Baptist University, Fr.

Cross Country, Track and Field

Hailed as one of several “exciting additions” to the Lancier cross country team, Charlie Davidson leaves behind a sparkling high school career in which she routinely found herself at or near the top of every race she competed in. Two state championships in the 1,500 meters and an armful of league titles have Davidson prepped well for her trip to the Riverside, California school, which competes in NCAA division two.

Emily Muth, Scappoose

Dominican University, Fr.

Centerback

Scappoose senior Emily Muth was an essential piece in the possession-oriented Indian philosophy that brought Scappoose the first soccer title in school history under first-year head coach Nicholas Heffernan. Instead of ‘booting’ the ball back downfield the moment it came into the defensive third of the field, the defenders were challenged with a far more difficult task: take possession and pass back to the midfield. And in spite of goalkeepers seemingly dropping like flies over the first few weeks of the season, the Indian defense performed beautifully, allowing just 14 goals in the entirety of the league season.

Muth steps on to a team in need of solid defenders. The Stars, who compete at the NCAA division-two level, put up a 3-1-12 record last season, letting in three or more goals on seven occasions.

Taylor Loss, Scappoose

Pacific University, Fr.

6’-1,” 190-pound Quarterback

After taking a look at a number of schools around the area, the two-year starter at quarterback will start his college career a hop, skip and a jump from his hometown at Pacific University in Forest Grove. The Boxers, still somewhat of a fledgling program after football was reintroduced in 2010 after an 18-year hiatus, won their first five contests of the 2013 season. They finished at 7-3 overall, splitting their six conference games and shattering the 60-point barrier on a pair of occasions.

Loss finished off his career at Scappoose with 4,828 yards, 58 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. The Indians won 16 games with Loss as the starter, including runs into the playoffs in both years.

Kenny Klippel, Scappoose

Western Oregon University, Fr.

6’-3,” 248-pound Lineman

Tribe senior Kenny Klippels' supreme athletic career won't end with graduation. Thanks to a stellar senior year in which he anchored the Indian defensive line and make a mark at the track and field championships, Klippel will compete for Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

Klippel had 16 solo tackles in his two-year varsity career, combining for 98 total tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. He also came up with an interception and four sacks in his 20 games.

Jacob Zartman, St. Helens

Western Oregon University, Fr.

6’-4,” 265-pound Lineman

St. Helens football’s star lineman Jacob Zartman, the centerpiece behind the offensive and defensive lines for much of the last two seasons, is headed to Western Oregon University on a partial football scholarship.

Zartman finished with 58 total tackles in his senior season, earning second-team all-state honors with 35 solo tackles and 11 sacks. Zartman also caused three fumbles and scored a touchdown during the Oct. 4 game at Sandy, and completed two conversions during the Lions' 5 OT win over Cleveland.

Kylie Reinholdt, St. Helens

Western Oregon University, Fr.

Track and Field

High school careers don’t come much better than that of graduating Lion Kylie Reinholdt, who finishes her four track and field seasons with her name on three top-10 all-time lists at St. Helens High School, holding the school record in the triple-jump after a second-place finish at the 2014 5A State Championships in May. Her performance at the state championships also moved her to third in the long jump at 17-1.25, and her best high-jump mark of 5 feet ties for the sixth best in school history.

Reinholdt will take all those records and more to Western Oregon University in Monmouth, competing as part of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Reinholdt’s career marks of 37 feet in the triple jump and 17-1.25 in the long jump would have put her and fourth and fifth, respectively, in the conference standings this spring.

Gage Bumgardner, St. Helens

Lewis and Clark College, Fr.

6’-3,” 180-pound Quarterback, defensive back

After being converted from receiver at the last minute before his junior season, Gage Bumgardner stepped into the role as quarterback and led the Lions through the next two years, withstanding a coaching change and putting up impressive numbers through two tough years in the Northwest Oregon Conference. He also started on defense at safety, coming up with four interceptions, deflecting 10 passes and recovering a pair of fumbles in three years.

On offense, it was a steady mixture of his throwing arm and quick feet. He threw for a career high 1,380 yards his senior season and for 2,150 in his career, accounting for 21 touchdowns through the air and 11 on the ground, totaling 737 yards on his feet.

Bumgardner will head to Lewis and Clark College in southwest Portland, where the Pioneers have struggled as of late. Lewis and Clark won just once in the 2013 season, a 60-20 thumping of Puget Sound on Oct. 5.

Tanner Long, St. Helens

Bethel College, Fr.

6’-1,” 180-pound Guard

All-around athlete Tanner Long, starring in football, basketball and track, will make the trip to Kansas for his collegiate career, and will play basketball at Bethel College in North Newton, home of the Threshers.

Long gained a reputation as a leader and an exceptional athlete, putting up 2,293 all-purpose yards over three years with the Lions' varsity team. 1,476 yards came during his junior season, in which he rushed for nearly 800 yards and scored 14 touchdowns, adding to his 26 career scores.

Injury hampered Long at times during his senior season, but he still marked down nine rushing touchdowns and three through the air.

During basketball season Long led the team in scoring in nearly every game. Though the Lions struggled to win games, Long emerged as a dependable scorer and ball-handler, often taking on tough defensive assignments while still filling the stat sheet.

David Mayo, Scappoose

Texas State, Sr.

6’-2,” 228-pound Linebacker

Former Indian defensive star David Mayo had his best year yet for the Texas State Bobcats, getting nine starts in 10 games, and being named a team captain and given an all-Sunbelt Conference honorable mention by the league’s coaches. He led the Sunbelt in solo tackles, and was 12th in the nation. He’ll return for his senior season to a team that split their 12 games and went 2-5 in conference, but in just their first bowl-eligible year after moving to the top division in college football. This upcoming season, they’ll kick things off against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Aug. 30 before hosting Navy on Sept. 13.

Blake Updike, Scappoose

Multnomah University, Soph.

6’-2” Guard

After completing his second year for the Saints at Mt. Hood Community College, Blake Updike will take his talents to Multnomah University in southeast Portland for the final two years of his collegiate athletic career. Updike was fourth in scoring for the Saints with 9.52 points per contest and was tied for second on the team in steals. His career high is 16 points, set twice against Linn-Benton on Jan. 18 and Feb. 15 of his sophomore season. The Saints missed the postseason by a hair’s breadth: a 101-93 loss to Chemeketa in the final game of the season.

Multnomah University, by contrast, is coming off one of the best seasons in program history. The Lions lost in the Association of Christian College Athletics final four after putting up 132 points to make the national semifinals.

Ariel Viera, Scappoose

University of Portland, Soph.

5’-4” Defender

Though she was moved to the back line after starring on the attack for Scappoose – scoring more than 100 goals in her high school career – Ariel Viera still managed to get a pair of shots on goal for the Portland Pilots, one of the country’s premier locations for collegiate womens’ soccer. She saw action in 21 games, totaling over 1,800 minutes for Portland and helping the Pilots to an 18-3 record before losing a controversial game to Illinois in the playoffs. She didn’t see much of the bench, averaging more than 88 minutes and helping the Pilots’ defense to hold opponents to an average of one goal per match. The Pilots kept 10 clean sheets.

Portland will get things started early, holding an exhibition match against Kentucky on Aug. 16 at Merlo Field in north Portland before returning home to take on Stanford on Aug. 30.

Susanna Sass, St. Helens

Chemeketa Community College, Soph.

5’-6” Outfielder

St. Helens' alumni Susanna Sass has made a mark at Chemeketa Community College in her first season with the Storm softball program, garnering eight runs, six RBIs and 12 hits in 22 appearances.

Sass was among the team leaders in stolen bases, and scored a massive run at the community college championships last weekend to give the Storm a 2-0 lead on Spokane in the top of the third inning. They'd end up needing that run, outscoring Spokane 3-2 to remain alive in the consolation bracket. The Storm lost the next game, however, and will return next season with a host of experienced sophomores for their second year under head coach Susan Krewer.