Did you ever receive a new bicycle for your birthday when you were young? You know the bright shiny red bicycle with the bell that you couldn’t wait to ride through the neighborhood and show to all your friends and those just passing by? Well, that’s the feeling I have had over the past few weeks as I have greeted numerous visiting teams, parents, and alumni at the front door of the new OES Athletic Center. The teams and fans that once came through the dimly lit side door of the old gym now enter via the grand tree-lined walkway. The walkway gives a glimpse of anticipation of what they are about to enter into. This new home of the Aardvarks is reigniting the spirit that was put on hold over the past year-plus of Covid sports. Not only is the space a place of amazement, but it is also a place of pride.
The varsity volleyball team christened the new Morissette Court by starting the season off with a win over Rainier 3-0. This team would make history and will hold the title of the first win in the new Athletic Center. Last Friday night, the Varks volleyball team, in front of a blackout-dressed crowd, hosted highly-ranked league rival, Catlin Gabel. The crowd did not disappoint. Dressed in all black and bringing the noise, OES fans battled in riff-offs with a highly charged Catlin crowd.
The Varks did not disappoint, taking the first set from Catlin and sending a message that this young OES team means business. They would continue to battle each set with hustle and determination but would come up just short in the next three sets. I overheard one of our varsity volleyball athletes say as she walked off the court, “This place just makes you proud and pushes you to be the best version of yourself.”
Disappointed but not done, the Varks would get back to work in a space that now supports all three teams practicing on their own court at the same time. No more satellite teams—we are now building programs!
The volleyball teams aren’t the only ones enjoying the new community space. The cross-country team is using the new front porch turf area as their warm-up and stretching space, the soccer teams are loving their new team room gathering spaces, and Dennis and I are living our best life in our new office. It has been wonderful to look out our window and watch the Middle and Upper Schools gathering in the new space as well. A huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that made this athletic center a reality. If you haven’t yet been in space, please reach out. I would love to give you a tour.
I am so excited to see our middle school athletes back in their uniforms and able to compete—it makes me so ecstatic. We have weathered the long tremulous times and now get to see these kids shine on the courts and fields. Our middle school athletes are busy playing soccer, volleyball, tennis, running cross country, and fencing this fall. Way to go Varks! It feels great to be back with all of you.
After almost a year and a half since the last middle school competitions, it feels great to be able to let these kids shine on the trails, courts, and fields. Our middle school athletes dressed in their uniforms Tuesday afternoon and it seemed like business as usual. The day was a huge success with almost every team competing. Outside OES hosted two middle school and two upper school cross country meets, two middle school soccer matches, and two upper school soccer matches. Inside the all three upper school volleyball teams were competing while the middle school tennis, fencing, and volleyball teams were practicing. The campus was abuzz with everyone enjoying the competition. It warms my heart to have kids back in action.
Aardvark Sports Corner Highlights
The JV Volleyball Team got a huge win over Catlin last Friday night. After being down 2-10 in the third set the Varks clawed their way back to take the victory. They continued their success with wins over Westside Christian and De La Salle this week as well. The JV team continues their undefeated season.
JV2 Volleyball had their first match Tuesday night and lost a tough battle to Hood River. They bounced back and got their first victory on a road trip to Blanchet Catholic.
Cross Country hosted the OES Cross Country Invitational on Tuesday afternoon. The Varsity Boys Team dominated the race and brought home the trophy. Tyler E. ‘22 was the individual winner with Olin G. ‘23 and Kole P. ‘22 finishing second and third, respectively. The girls finished in second place overall with great finishes from second-place Ruby G. ‘24 and third-place Morgan M. ‘24.
The athletic department wants to send a huge shout-out to all the faculty volunteers that offered their afternoon to support the event. The event could not have succeeded without your help.
The Varsity Boys Soccer Team played Delphian this week and came up with a huge 5-0 win, with fantastic goals from Alex C. ‘23 and Patrick R. ‘22. But the goal of the night came from Logan C. ‘23 with a first-time finish from outside 22 yards into the top left corner. The team is excited to play 5A Scappoose on Monday.
The JV boys were outplayed by a tough Catlin team this week, but despite the score, the Varks continued to play hard and compete. The boys went on the road for a night game against Jefferson and came out with the draw after Ben K. 24’ made an amazing PK save.
JV2 Boys Soccer is off to a solid start, battling back from being down 0-2 vs. Portland Adventist to end the game in a 3-3 tie. The boys had a tough go at Catlin but are continuing to train hard for their next matchup next week.
The Varsity Girls pulled out a 2-1 win against #8-ranked Dayton, giving them their only loss so far. Annie H. ’22 scored both goals to secure the win. While they lost to Grant, the team was able to hold the second-best team in all of 6A girls soccer to four goals. The girls are looking forward to a non-league match later this evening (Friday 9/17/21) against 4A Molalla at 6 p.m.
JV Girls Soccer lost a tight matchup 2-3 vs. Jefferson and lost 1-4 vs. Benson—both class 6A schools. The highlight of the week was watching the execution from Sophia M. ‘23 and Sydney S. ‘23 scoring on a corner kick set piece they had been working on in practice.