Learning and Growing as an AD

No one knows exactly what the job description of an athletic director is or knows what a day in the life of an AD looks like. Sometimes I feel like I live on an island in my department, wading through schedules, transportation requests, referee requests and communication, and most importantly working with student athletes and mentoring coaches. These are just a few of the things that fill my daily schedule. Then there are the big projects I have the pleasure to work on. 
Right now I am working on the Oregon Girls Sports Leadership Summit, an event that I founded six years ago and then had to take a hiatus from during the last couple of years due to COVID. There is still room to sign up: click here to save a spot and join 500 girls from across Oregon and SW Washington on Saturday, May 7 from 9 am-3 pm. This event is one you won’t want to miss, as it is a day filled with hands-on intentional leadership and team building.  
I am also working on another exciting project, the launch of the newly established OES Athletics Hall of Fame. The opening event will be hosted on June 2 with an amazing first-year induction class to be announced soon. The last big project that I am working on is the Aardvark Open, the annual alumni golf tournament that will be held on June 3 at Pumpkin Ridge in connection with Alumni Weekend. I hope to see many of our alumni in attendance at these events. These special projects continually fill my soul in this position in athletics. 
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the Oregon Athletics Directors Association (OADA) annual conference in Sunriver, Oregon. The thing that impacted me most at this conference was the chance to share stories and talk with so many men and women who are committed to doing the same work that I do. The other athletic directors understand what my daily workload looks and feels like and have experienced the same late nights that I have. They were eager to talk about how I do things and we shared ideas about how we can all work more efficiently. We swapped strategies for hiring and retaining coaches and the best practices for mentoring these coaches once they are hired. We also shared advice for dealing with difficult situations and concerned parents. Athletic directors genuinely care about doing the best job they can for the student athletes involved in their programs and want to inspire and help others to do the same. This conference inspired me to continue my growth as an athletic director professionally and personally. 
I serve as a board member of the OADA, and during the conference I was asked to present two different, four-hour classes to new rising ADs from across the state. The time spent preparing for the classes and teaching these young ADs after learning the material myself only made me better at what I do for kids and coaches. Having to lean in and grow is what we ask kids to do at OES and this is exactly what I did this past weekend. So when our student athletes are nervous or challenged in classes or on the sports field, I feel even better suited to encourage them to challenge themselves outside their comfort zone, just as I did last weekend.

Aardvark Sports Corner Highlights

The OES Girls Lacrosse teams have been working hard this spring to build team chemistry, focus on the fundamentals, and play beautiful lacrosse. After missing two weeks of practices due to Winterim and Spring Break, the varsity team started the season with several losses. However, each game focused and united the players. This effort was evident in their last game against West Linn, in which the Varks lost by 1 in the final few minutes of the game after leading in goals for most of the first half. The nine seniors on the team are thrilled to share their leadership and experience with the strong set of underclassmen who have stepped up this year and are enjoying learning from new teammates. The Varks have seen tremendous growth in just a handful of weeks, and they approach these next few games with renewed strength and focus. They continue to improve and have the potential to surprise opponents with their strength in the rest of the season. OES also has a young but strong girls JV lacrosse team with promising potential.  Recap by Sylvie B. ‘22
Experts say it is difficult to repeat as Super Bowl champion. The reason is the team is never the same in terms of its personnel the next year. The OES Boys Lacrosse Team experienced back-to-back success as state champions in 2017 and 2018. As with all high school sports, the graduation of experienced players can make a big difference in a team’s future performance. OES Boys Varsity Lacrosse finds themselves in this predicament this season. With just a few returning experienced players who also have a club background, the Aardvarks after a convincing win against Newberg HS in the first game of the year has fallen on hard times. Going up against older, more experienced teams like Lake Oswego, Lakeridge (last year’s state champs) Grant, and most recently Central Catholic, our lack of experience has shown on the scoreboard. Four straight losses can be humbling, but we have the best coaching staff in the state. Our boys need to understand that their lack of experience is temporary if they listen carefully to their coaches, and play disciplined and together as a team. The Varks can turn our season around by not giving in, but digging in and helping each other out. Lacrosse is a true team game and it shows on offense when possessing the ball. It shows on defense when players slide over to help out a teammate who has been beaten by a faster player. If the boys execute their coach's directions and remain focused our Varks can turn this season around with a good attitude and hard work. Go get ‘em Aardvarks! The Varks did just that as they got a big win over Hood River last night. Recap by Chris Carter OES team volunteer:

Victory over Hood River the boys celebrate as they continue to learn and grow. Photo courtesy of Raef Sales.
On Thursday (4/14) the Track and Field team traveled to Catlin Gabel to compete in a league meet against Catlin, Clatskanie, De La Salle N Catholic, Riverdale, and Warrenton. The women's team placed 5th with 50.5 points and ended only 3.5 points behind De La Salle N (54 pts) in 3rd. The men's team also placed 5th (full individual and team results can be found here). The team competed through rain that later turned to snow and came through with many notable performances: Recap by Nick Slenning Track Coach:

Men's Team

  • Hiathan N. placed 5th in the 100m with a PR of 12.21s
  • Barrett L. and Hiathan Nguyen placed 6th and 8th in the 200m with times of 25.06s (PR) and 25.44s (PR) respectively
  • Kole P. and Diego Frias 5th and 6th in the 800m with times of 2:20.76 and 2:27.42 (PR) respectively
  • Olin G. and Tyler Edwards both competed in the 1500m and ran times of 4:18.54 (PR) for 3rd and 4:25.4 (PR) for 4th respectively.  These times rank as the 5th and 7th fastest times in OES history
  • Christian C. and Tanner King ran in the 3000m and placed 2nd and 3rd with times of 10:54.57 (PR) and 10:55.68 (PR)
  • Hap F. placed 4th in the shot put with a toss of 36 ft 3 in
  • Ben K. placed 5th in the javelin with a toss of 102 ft 5 in (PR). This throw ranks 7th in OES history, and the furthest throw recorded by an OES freshman
  • Hunter B. placed 6th in the long jump with a 15 ft 3 in jump

Women's Team

  • Lily B. came in 5th in the 100m with a PR of 15.33s. She also placed 6th in the 200 with another PR of 31.57s, and 6th in the long jump with a mark of 10 ft 7 in
  • Etti T.A. came in 2nd in a sprint finish in the 800m with a time of 2:42.34 (PR). This mark ranks 10th in OES history
  • Morgan M. came in 2nd in the 1500m with a PR of 5:46.69
  • Lauren T. won the 3000m in a PR of 11:57.95. This time ranks 7th in OES history and is the fastest time recorded by an OES freshman
  • Madeline T. tossed the shot put 17 ft 5 in, which was good enough for 4th place
  • Senna VA. and Maggie McCaffrey placed 2nd and 7th in the pole vault, clearing heights of 7 ft 6 in and 6 ft respectively

On Saturday (4/9) the Track and Field teams traveled to St. Helens to compete in the Lower Columbia Meet to officially kick off their competition season.  They competed with 21 other teams, including league rivals Clatskanie, Rainier (OR), Riverdale, Warrenton, and Westside Christian (a full list of teams and results can be found here). The Vaarks withstood conflicting weather as cycles of rain, hail, and sun spanned the all-day meet. Despite this, the team walked away with many notable performances:
Athlete, Event, Mark, Meet Place
Daniel U., 100m, 12.88*
Lily B., 100m, 15.38*
Peter Z. , 100m, 12.63*
Diego F. 1500m, 5:33.6*
Maho M., 1500m, 6:31.76*
RE J., 1500m, 5:51.31*
Hunter B., 200m, 26.02*
Tully FW., 200m, 32.42*
Barrett L., 400m, 55.76*V, 5th
Etti TA., 400m, 1:11.26*
Hap F., 400m, 57.21*
Christian C., 800m, 2:30.02*
Lauren T., 800m, 2:41.09*V, 3rd
Tanner K., 800m, 2:31.17*
Alexander C., Long Jump, 12'8"*                
Lily B., Long Jump, 11'10.5"*
Madeline T., Shot Put, 19'4"*
Senna VA., Pole Vault, 7'6"*, 5th
Maggie M., Pole Vault, 7'6", 4th

4x100m (M), 48.86, 6th
4x100m (W), 59.02, 8th
DMR (M), 13:06.97V, 6th
DMR (W), 15:02.56V, 2nd

(* = PR, V = OES History Top 10)

Girls Tennis is off to a strong start, taking down Blanchet 8-0, Valley Catholic 8-0, Westside Christian 6-2 and Tillamook 8-0. The Varks’ only loss came at the hands of Catlin 1-7. They will get a chance to avenge this loss later in the season on the road at Catlin.The weather was beautiful Saturday morning as the girls hosted their first tournament since COVID. Marist, Corvallis and Wilsonville were all in attendance.Things were moving along smoothly until the weather changed and the snow and rain began to fall. The tournament was moved inside and moved at a much slower pace with the loss of the outdoor courts. As I finish writing this, they are still playing. 

Kaleia T. '22 serving as competed Thursday night at SPARC 

Boys Tennis was Blanchet 8-0, Valley Catholic 7-1, The Dalles 8-0, Riverdale 6-2, The boys’ only loss also coming at the hands of crosstown rivals Catlin Gabel 1-7. The boys hosted their tournament last weekend. Hood River, Philomath, and Marist were all in attendance. The tournament would come down to the last match and with the win, the Varks would take home the hardware and win their tournament. The boys will travel to Marist next weekend for a two-day tournament in Eugene.

Boys Golf continues to set records. Last Monday the boys traveled to Gearhart for what would be an extremely windy day, with gusts blowing as hard as 30 miles an hour at times. The boys would find a way to battle the elements and not only win the tournament but break the previous school record while doing it by shooting a 303. The boys played their second match of the year at Bandon, playing the Old McDonald course. Once again the boys battled the wind and came out victorious over a tough St. Mary’s of Medford team and the host team Bandon. The boys will play their first league match on Tuesday at Glendover. 

Girls Golf got off to a great start last week with Cayton S.’22 and Isabel P. ’22 as the lone teammates competing right now. Cayton S. shot a 92 to finish 2nd at the match and Isabel P. shot a 99, to finish 5th overall in the tournament. The girls will travel to Langdon on Monday to battle against the other half of the league.  

Isabel P. ‘22 at Quail teeing it up vs. Riverdale