Here we go! The 2022-23 school year is upon us. If you are like me, you are excited to start the school year as “normal” as possible. Masks are gone. Limitations on the number of fans are gone. Reduced school days are gone. It feels like old times with school and athletics as we knew them before. Life is good!
Fall sports are in full swing. Just about every sports program has more kids participating this year, some more than we have had in over a decade. Already this year, we have seen great achievements from our kids and teams. The cheer team has grown in numbers and brings tremendous energy and excitement to our sporting events. Cross country, especially on the girls’ side, has a chance to make state as a team, and a few runners have a chance to do something special like possibly win state. Volleyball has started strong and has their sights set on making the playoffs at the very least. Girls’ soccer has played a very difficult pre-season, but as we enter the league play, they have a chance to be very competitive. Boys’ soccer, currently ranked number one in the preseason poll, looks to make a deep run in the playoffs, again contending for a state title. Football started the year 2-1 and 1-0 in league play. They are very much in contention for a league title this year.
As we move into the winter season, new dance coach Bree Hughes will look to begin a new era for the Highlights combining dance and cheer following the new OSAA categories. Swim returns some key athletes, and as is always the case for coach Brown's teams, they look to place a number of kids at the state meet. Wrestling graduated some amazing athletes including four time state champion Mauro Michel, but they return some great wrestlers who just might end up state champs as well. Girls’ basketball has some key kids returning as this sophomore group attempts to play well beyond their years. Boys’ basketball will have a new look centered around dominant big man Garrett Callsen. They are predicted to be very much in line to have a chance to win the league. Winter will be exciting.
Spring seems like a long way away, but it is something to look forward to! Golfers will be a year older and hope to take many strokes off their score. Track has some unbelievable athletes who could find themselves on the top of the podium this year. Tennis has some outstanding players and returning to state is very much within reach. Baseball lost a few key seniors, but they return a number of players from last year's successful group that made the playoffs for the second year in a row. Look for at least a repeat performance. Ryan Borde is the new head coach for softball, and he inherits a very talented group returning just about every player. With a run to the semi-finals last year, lots is expected from this group, but we know they are up to the challenge.
Stayton High School is a great place to be. From the tremendous facilities we now have, to our amazing students and athletes, to the supportive parents and teachers, it is a great time to be an Eagle. I am looking forward to an amazing year!
Degrees and Certifications:
BS Language Arts Western Oregon University MA Language Arts Western Oregon University Initial Administrator's License, George Fox University
Darren Shryock ~ Athletic Director
Darren Shryock became the Athletic Director/Assistant Principal at Stayton High School in 2014. Prior to joining the administrative ranks, Darren taught high school English and coached boys' basketball for 25 years. Although he taught and coached at McKay High School and Silverton High School, Darren and his family have been Stayton residents for many years. His two older girls both graduated from Stayton, and his wife Janet teaches Kindergarten at Sublimity Elementary. After playing basketball at Corban University (formally Western Baptist College), Darren went on to earn his master's degree from Western Oregon University and his Initial Administrator's License from George Fox University. Darren has lived all over the world including Virginia, Ohio, California, and the Philippines.