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Roosevelt Leads the PIL After Signature Win over Jefferson

The Riders hosted their North Portland neighbors Jefferson on Monday, with a chance to earn a signature win to bolster their position atop the league standings. 

The venue was packed for Roosevelt and the energy in the building translated to an early lead for the home side. Starting center Demir Johnson was relentless on the offensive glass, reeling in back-to-back offensive boards and converting on a third-chance putback layup to give the Riders an early 13-7 lead. 

With the clock winding down, Terrence Hill Jr drained a step-back three to cap off his 12-point opening quarter and give Roosevelt an 18-10 lead at the end of one. 

In the second, Jefferson battled back spurred on by senior guard TJ Latu. Latu buried back-to-back threes to trim the deficit. Then, with under two minutes to play in the half, Latu powered through contact for a layup to tie the game at 27 all. 

A high energy close to the half saw Roosevelt earn back the 33-29 lead at the break. 

Again, momentum shifted to start the third quarter. This time Jefferson took their first lead of the game at 35-33 on a three from sophomore Adrian Montague

Both sides traded shots the rest of the way, each battling to earn the advantage. Roosevelt briefly stretched their lead to double digits, but the Demos quickly reeled it back in with a pair of Charles Manigo threes, tightening the score to 56-52 with a quarter left to play. 

At the final intermission, the competition spilled over to the cheer squads. Each side traded off turns, attempting to string together as many flips as possible. 

In the fourth quarter, tension continued to build, setting up for a special finish. With just over three minutes to play, Jefferson’s Carlos Rodriguez converted an and-1 to trim the Roosevelt lead to one possession. 

With the game in the balance, Roosevelt leaned on senior guard Utrillo Morris to steady the offense. Morris delivered with back-to-back assists on the next two possessions, setting up his teammate for an open three then collapsing the defense and finding a cutter for an easy layup. 

Roosevelt would hang on the rest of the way to earn a 69-65 victory over Jefferson. The win puts Roosevelt in the lead position to capture a PIL title and head coach Jamarr Lawson also has his team sitting in the top five of the OSAA state rankings. 

PIL Girls’ Basketball Take on National Competition in POA Holiday Classic

Jefferson headlined the PIL results from the Pacific Office Automation Holiday Classic. The Democrats earned big wins over Oregon City and West Linn while losing their first game of the year, 53-50, to out-of-state opponent Mission Hills (CA). Jefferson enters the new year with a 7-1 record and the Demos maintained their standing in the top five of OSAAtoday’s January 1st release of the statewide Oregon Coaches Polls. 

Defending PIL champions, Benson, battled with the coaches’ top two teams in Oregon: Clackamas and Willamette. The Techsters suffered close losses in both games and fell to Texas powerhouse Desoto to conclude tournament play. The OSAA Coaches Polls ranked Benson 3rd in the state. The Techsters take on Jefferson this Saturday at 7pm, in a matchup that will determine an early favorite for the PIL title. 

Elsewhere in the league, Grant went 2-1 in the POA class, with wins over Corona Del Mar (CA) and their Northeast Portland neighbors, Central Catholic. Ida B Wells joined them with a winning record by notching victories over Sehome (WA) and Liberty. 

PIL's Grant Girls' Soccer and Franklin Boys' Cross Country Crowned as State Champions

The PIL earned two state championships in the 2023 Fall season!

Congratulations to Franklin boys' cross country who earned the state title powered by top six finishes from Zafer Courcelle, Brennan Mcewan, and Emil Nelson!

Congratulations to Grant girls soccer, who hoisted the state trophy as the last the team standing from a vaunted 2023 field. The Generals bested PIL rivals Lincoln in the semifinals and Cleveland in the final. Kate Ratanaproeksa scored the winning goal in overtime to secure a 3-2 victory for Grant!

Grant, McDaniel Volleyball Teams Battle for the PIL Crown

The top two programs put on a showcase for PIL volleyball in front of a massive turnout, with both programs at the top of the league standings and looking to capture momentum early in the season.

The game kicked off with a highly competitive, back-and-forth start. As we entered the late moments of the opening set, McDaniel trailed 20-17. Then, behind an energetic home crowd, the Mountain Lions rallied for an 8-1 finish, capped with back-to-back aces from Lily Mae Buerkle to close out a service run that secured set one, 25-21 in favor of McDaniel.

The Generals would respond in set two by pacing out to an early 15-8 lead and holding on for a commanding 25-17 set victory to tie the set count at one each and set up for a crucial set three.

Following a familiar script, Grant once again got out to an early lead of 11 to 5. But a 4-point service run from McDaniel senior Olive Helms would tighten the score. Both sides exchanged runs leading to a 23-18 Grant lead. Once again, the Mountain Lions rallied back behind a packed and energized home student section to mount a 6 to 1 run and tie things at 24. The score stayed even until 26-26, when Grant junior Cecily Wagstaff came through with back-to-back kills to secure a dramatic third set for the Generals, 28-26.

In the fourth, McDaniel would take control with a 15-10 lead early on. This time Grant played the role of spoiler, as senior Regan Marshburn led a 5-0 service run to bring momentum back for the Generals. The Grant team wouldn’t look back, closing out a competitive match with a 25-20 set four win to stay undefeated in PIL play.

The PIL volleyball will continue through October! Grant, McDaniel, and Ida B Wells sit atop the league standings and all are ranked in the top 25 in the state. Come out to support PIL volleyball during weekdays and keep an eye out for the OSAA State Volleyball Playoffs schedule, starting on October 25th.

Roosevelt Youth Athletics Recognizes Hard Working Athletes

PIL Roosevelt Youth Athletics recognizes that they have athletes who are working hard and seeing results on the field, in the classroom, and in their community.

George Middle School recently recognized 3 of their athletes for their contributions to their school:

Michael Horsely - 8th grade Communication award (Roosevelt Youth Football)

Detrick Kirby - 8th grade Student of the Month (Roosevelt Youth Football)

Kai Mangum - 7th grade Student of the Month (Roosevelt Youth Girls Volleyball)

They also want to recognize Ockley Green's 8th grader and Roosevelt Youth Football player Kanoa Jones, who worked hard this summer in the PIL Summer Math Trajectory Camp and raised his Math scores by +24 points this Fall!

When asked to describe these young athletes, the description below could not be more accurate.

"Michael is one of the fastest young athletes in Roosevelt's Youth program. He also consistently has a great attitude. Those strengths coupled together make him nearly unstoppable on the field. Kanoa has both the size and skill to dominate. His all-around athleticism has made him an excellent offensive and defensive threat on the field. Detrick has a great mind for the game. His football IQ is off the charts, and while he is a lineman, he's often the one explaining the plays to his skill-position teammates. Kai is dedicated to developing as a player, and thrives when she's a part of a positive team environment. Kai is not only making herself better as an athlete, but also as a student at George Middle School. She has individual goals, daily goals, and end game goals."

Coach Nate Riley said, "Michael, Detrick, and Kanoa are leaders on the field and off. Few players work as hard as these boys. They consistently give 100% effort and they are examples for their teammates to follow."

Head Coach Marlan McCowan added, "As leaders, these fellas coach each other up, especially Detrick."

Youth Volleyball Coach Kelli Hite said, "I have seen a lot of growth with Kai as a player in her short time with PIL and at open gyms. We are so proud of her!”

Coach Nate spoke for all when he said, "It's been a pleasure coaching these boys the last couple of seasons, and I can't wait to watch the success they have in the future as they continue in both the game of football and the game of life. I couldn't be more proud of them."

Roosevelt Youth PIL Sports Coordinator Jaeger Vega adds “when you have players like Michael, Detrick, Kanoa, and Kai showing strong, positive communication with school staff, peers, and their family, they then become the all encompassing student. Our student-athletes begin to move forward to high school as the whole human being. All four of these student athletes have worked tirelessly at becoming their best selves, growing themselves into how they want to not only be seen, but to actually feel the vibe they are projecting onto others. Each of these kids has a special bond with their family, and their siblings are the biggest fans at games.

When Kai Mangum was asked how she feels about herself today, she simply said “It feels good Ms. Vega, it feels happy and not stressful. I am proud of me today.”

Roosevelt Varsity Head Football Coach Ryan McCants, and Roosevelt Varsity Volleyball Coach Isaac Doyle will be ecstatic to receive these four student-athletes in the near future. It’s a great day to be a Rider!

PIL Soccer Teams Climb the State Rankings

It’s been an impressive opening month for PIL soccer. Entering October, the girls boast three of the top six teams in the state, while the boys have five programs in Oregon’s top 18!

It has been a breakout year for the Cleveland girls program in particular which has climbed to #6 in the state. The veteran group is led by 11 seniors, headlined by team captains midfielder Elsie Koehler and center defender Jaidyn Richter. Freshman forward Eleanor Cohen has added a spark to the offense scoring in nearly every game, while junior goalkeeper Lloy Bartolotti has protected the net with multiple key saves. The Warriors' only loss of the season came in their second game against Oregon’s top team Jesuit, and they look poised for a playoff run alongside PIL girls' soccer staples Grant and Lincoln, both of which are ranked top three in the state.

So far in PIL boys soccer 6th-ranked Franklin and 8th-ranked Lincoln are the league’s two top ten teams. Roosevelt, Cleveland, and Ida B Wells all rank in Oregon’s top-18, and the battle for the PIL regular season title is still closely contested. Ida B Wells has had a special season so far behind their high-powered offense. The Guardians lead the PIL with 35 goals scored and have had three seniors record a hat-trick already this season: Jaden IgartaEvan Motsko, and Cole Aman.

The first round of the OSAA State Playoffs kick-off for boys and girls on October 28th!

Roosevelt Football Surges to the Top of PIL Standings

After a come-from-behind victory over Jefferson to open league play, Roosevelt hosted an undefeated Franklin team ready to pose a real test to the up-and-coming Roughriders.

Franklin took an early 7-0 lead on their first possession and quickly got the ball back setting up for another drive. On their next possession, the Lightning marched the ball into Roosevelt territory and seemed poised to score, but things flipped on a key sack from Roosevelt senior Demir Johnson, who had an impressive game, to halt the early Franklin momentum.

After forcing a punt, Roosevelt got the ball back and strung together a long drive of their own. Midway through the 2nd quarter, the Riders managed to set up a 1st and goal. But Franklin's defense rose to the occasion for a crucial stop, earning a turnover on downs just 3 yards from the endzone.

Roosevelt saw the ball again with five minutes to play in the first half, but this time they broke through. After stringing together a pair of first downs, star running back Dontrell Betts broke through the Franklin defense for a 34-yard touchdown and Jasmere Davis caught the two-point conversion to give Roosevelt the 8-7 lead.

On the following possession, Franklin would respond with a touchdown of their own. Quarterback Will Reid moved the ball quickly down the field, then found receiver Cash Landau in the endzone to give the visiting Lightning a 13-8 halftime lead.

To start the third, Roosevelt would continue to move the chains with their run game. Behind a powerful offensive line, the Riders alternated carries between their two lead backs: sophomore Miles Green and junior Dontrell Betts. On their first drive out of halftime, Betts punched in another touchdown and added a 2-point conversion to make it 16-13. Minutes later Roosevelt got the ball back. Green muscled his way to the 5-yard line, and Betts got in the endzone for his third time that night to go up 24-13.

Franklin refused to go away, again relying on their high-powered passing attack to move downfield and, capping off the drive with another touchdown pass from Reid to Lindau.

On the ensuing kickoff, Roosevelt’s JaMarrion Causey put on a special display, finding the hole and returning the kickoff all the way for a momentum-killing touchdown. Despite Franklin’s best efforts, this was Roosevelt’s night.

The home crowd would leave happy after cheering their Riders onto a 40-27 win. This is one of the biggest wins yet for head coach Ryan McCants and has turned Roosevelt football into one of the best stories in the PIL. The Riders leave September at 4-1, first in the PIL standings, and ranked 11th in the state.

Cross Country Season Begins with the First PIL Meet

The first cross-country meet of the PIL season took place on September 20th with participants from Benson, Grant, Lincoln, McDaniel, and Roosevelt competing in 5k competitions.

For the boys, McDaniel junior Joshua Hepner took home first place with a time of 16:18. Grant put on an impressive team performance, filling up places two through seven including juniors Leonardo Aslakson and Nathaniel Rumberger who finished one second apart and both earned top-three finishes for the Generals. Lincoln finished second in the boys' team standings.

On the girls' side, Grant’s Amelia Campbell set the pace with the lone sub-20-minute time of 19:55. The Lincoln girls' team filled out the rest of the top five leading them to the overall team points victory. Junior Sam Reid finished in second place, while a pair of Cardinals freshmen, Ellery Lincoln and Izzy Eggleston, crossed the line less than a second apart to earn third and fourth place respectively. McDaniel also earned a top-ten finish thanks to junior Berlin Herrera.

The Lincoln girls followed up their performance with a team championship at the Bob Firman Invitational XC in Boise, ID where the Cardinals prevailed over multiple nationally ranked teams and individuals. “The girls ran with incredible poise as we found ourselves 101 points behind Boise at the 1000-meter mark but we gradually moved up over the race and ran a very strong last K to walk away as team champions,” said head coach Eric Dettman.

 Franklin Rolls to an Undefeated 3-0 Start and League Play Kicks Off Across the PIL 

September 19, 2023 by Reid Tingley

In the highest-profile matchup, the Cleveland Warriors hosted the Franklin Lightning in a showdown between the PIL’s two undefeated teams. Things started fast for Franklin on the road as they took the early 7-0 lead. Then a fake punt went arry on 4th down for the Warriors to give Franklin the ball back. Facing their own 4th down decision, senior Franklin quarterback Will Reid read the defense and found senior receiver Max Wallace open for a touchdown. 

Cleveland got the ball down 22-0 to open the 3rd quarter. The Warriors showed impressive resolve on a must-score drive. Junior running back Max Copus broke off a 40-yard run to get the Cleveland offense rolling, and then punched it in a few plays later for the touchdown on 4th & 1, to cut the score to 22-6. 

The Cleveland defense held tight initially, pushing Franklin back to a 2nd & 21 from their own 10. Then Will Reid hit junior receiver Cash Lindau down the sideline for a big play to spark a Franklin touchdown drive. Reid and Lindau would connect again before the end of the 3rd quarter on an 85-yard touchdown pass to take a commanding 35-6 lead and put this game out of reach. Franklin left the night 3-0 on the season, as the PIL’s lone undefeated team.

Jefferson hosted Roosevelt in another tightly contested matchup. The Democrats took a 12-0 lead at halftime, but in the 2nd half Roosevelt's defensive line settled in to control the run game and junior Jamarrion Causey came up with a big interception to put Roosevelt in scoring position. From there, the Roughriders let junior running back Dontrelle Betts, who finished the night with 30 carries for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns, take over to lead Roosevelt to a 13-12 come-from-behind win. 

Elsewhere in the PIL, McDaniel hosted Lincoln. The Cardinals steadily controlled the game into the 4th quarter and built a 19-0 lead on a touchdown catch from Emmett Togni. With just under five minutes to go, McDaniel got on the board with a 42-yard touchdown catch from freshman Dontae Stidum Jr. The Mountain Lions followed it up with an interception from another freshman, Johnny Gayton, and a quick touchdown drive capped off by senior running back Brandon Kyle. Ultimately, the comeback bid would fall short as Lincoln ran out the ball to close out the 19-14 victory. 

On the west side, Ida B. Wells notched an impressive 30-21 victory over last year’s PIL State Playoff representative Grant. Led by a strong run game, the Guardians built a 24-7 lead early in the 3rd quarter and were able to keep the Generals at distance the rest of the way. 

Trio of PIL Girls' Teams Dominate the First Two Rounds, While Boys Spring Multiple Upsets in State Soccer Playoffs

November 2, 2023 by Reid Tingley

The OSAA State Soccer Championships are in full swing and six PIL teams have survived the first two rounds to advance to the quarterfinals. 

On the girls’ side, the PIL boasts three of the top four overall seeds: #2 Grant, #3 Lincoln, and #4 Cleveland. All three sides have been dominant through the first two rounds, shutting out all six opponents for a combined margin of 27-0! #19 Ida B Wells and #26 Roosevelt also celebrated a state appearance to cap off impressive seasons but both were knocked out in round one. 

In the boys’ tournament, the PIL went undefeated in round one and advanced all seven teams thanks to multiple stunning upsets of top ten teams in Oregon. #26 Roosevelt took down #7 South Medford 2-1, #29 McDaniel topped #4 David Douglas 4-3, and #30 Grant bested #3 Central Catholic 1-0. Additionally, #8 Franklin, #9 Lincoln, #14 Cleveland, and #17 Ida B Wells cruised to round one victories of their own. 

In round two on Wednesday night, Roosevelt fell to #10 West Linn capping off their season. McDaniel pulled off another upset win to advance to the quarterfinals, this time a 3-1 victory over #13 Mountainside. Then in a pair of PIL matchups, Grant outlasted Cleveland 3-2 on penalty kicks, while Franklin snuck past Lincoln 1-0 in a defensive struggle.

On Saturday, the six remaining PIL teams will compete for a spot in the state semifinals. For the girls, each side will host a quarterfinal match this Saturday at 6pm as Grant faces #7 Sheldon, Lincoln squares off with #11 Sunset, and Cleveland battles #12 Mountainside. On the boys’ side the three PIL teams are on the road Saturday as Grant travels to #6 Aloha, McDaniel goes to #12 Lake Oswego, and Franklin visits #1 Lakeridge. 

Roosevelt Youth Sports Recognize Outstanding Student-Athlete

Last month the PIL welcomed international students from Japan in a cultural exchange program centered around wrestling. 

The idea started when the Oregon Wrestling Association began a relationship with Japan in 1963. This year, Lincoln High School hosted its 60th anniversary in Portland. 

Japan’s National High School Wrestling team flew into Portland in early January and was hosted by Lincoln families and members of the broader Portland wrestling community.

Over the three-day stay in Portland, the international visitors were shown around the city. “We did some hiking around Portland, we went to Multnomah Falls and took them to the Nike World Headquarters for a tour,” shared Lincoln Head Wrestling Coach John Farinola. 

The team also visited Grant High School, where students in Grant’s Japanese Immersion Program had the opportunity to spend time with the visiting team directly and enjoy their shared knowledge of the Japanese language and culture. 

In the middle of their visit, Lincoln hosted the main event where Japan’s National Team was able to wrestle against athletes from across the PIL as well as other Portland metro area schools. 

As expected, Japan’s team was “incredibly advanced” according to Coach Farinola. For many PIL wrestlers, it was a new opportunity to wrestle in the international styles of freestyle and Grecco Roman, as PIL schools typically compete in the collegiate or folk styles that are more common in the US. 

“It was a great experience for a lot of the kids from wrestling and beyond. It was great for our families and kids to interact with these young men from another culture,” said Farinola. 

The PIL wrestling season is hitting its final stretch as well. The youth wrestling tournament will be held this Saturday, February 10th at Cleveland High School. Then the PIL High School season culminates with Varsity Districts on February 16th and 17th at Lincoln High School. Come out and support PIL Wrestling!

State Basketball Tournament Tips Off, Four PIL Teams Advance Past First Round

The top teams from PIL boys and girls basketball opened tournament play this week. 

On Tuesday the boys' teams played their first-round games. #3 Roosevelt handled David Douglas 96-59 in a dominant showing for the league’s regular season champion. #11 Grant defeated Roseburg 77-57 to advance as well.  

Also making the field, Cleveland fell 81-46 to #9 South Medford, Jefferson lost 74-62 to West Linn, and Lincoln came up short in a close 75-72 loss to Gresham. 

In the second round, Roosevelt hosts #14 Gresham at 7 pm on Friday. Grant travels to #6 Liberty at 7 pm as well. Both teams are playing to reach the quarterfinals where they could meet at the Chiles Center in an all-PIL matchup on March 6th. 

The girls' teams tipped off on Wednesday night and saw the PIL’s top two teams advance as well. #6 Benson dismantled McNary 87-31 and #4 Jefferson dominated Tigard 59-29.

Cleveland and Grant also made the tournament but did not advance. The Generals lost 45-19 to #7 Tualatin and the Warriors fell 54-42 to Sherwood. 

After splitting the PIL regular season title, Benson and Jefferson will both host games on Saturday at 2pm. Benson faces off with #11 Nelson while Jefferson plays #13 Forest Grove.