By Rod Martin
OYA Athletics and Recreation Coordinator
Teams of youth from six Oregon Youth Authority facilities convened at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility Sept. 27-29 to compete in the agency’s annual flag football tournament.
Camp Riverbend, Camp Tillamook, Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility, MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, and Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility all had teams participating.
The flag football event is one of four all-facility tournaments held annually in OYA facilities. The other tournaments are for basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
The competition, teamwork, and sportsmanship displayed throughout the weekend was high. Family members also attended to watch the games and spend time with their youth. More than 60 family visits happened on the Friday of the tournament, and these visits were very successful. Both the players and their families expressed a great deal of appreciation for the opportunity to visit and enjoy the games together.
The coaching was also top notch, and the staff who committed to working with the youth for this tournament should be commended for their efforts. Their role modeling and leadership is a staple in the continued success of the tournaments.
Since the inception of the tournaments, sportsmanship has been the priority, and it will continue to be the focus as we work with the youth on the meaning of healthy competition. There were a few instances where players lost their composure, but after having time to sit back and evaluate why decisions were made, everything came back together.
Unfortunately, we had to end the championship game due to injuries and reschedule it for a time when all the players were healthy. However, this also provided an opportunity for the athletes to reflect on prioritizing their health and recognizing the limits of their bodies.
The final championship game between the two MacLaren teams, the Bobcats and the Hawks, was held on Oct. 20. The Bobcats were the tournament champion.
The following youth were recognized for their individual efforts:
- Offensive Player of the Tournament: Bobby T., MacLaren Hawks
- Defensive Player of the Tournament: Kyle J., MacLaren Hawks
- Hustle Award: Bryce T., Eastern Oregon YCF; Jacob D., Rogue Valley YCF
- Individual Sportsmanship Award: Cameron I., Tillamook YCF
- Cameron was given this award based on how he was able to compete at a high level on the field while maintaining the standards we strive for in the facilities tournaments. His teamwork, positive attitude, and sportsmanship stood out to all the coaches who chose to recognize him.
- Tournament MVP: Trei H., MacLaren Bobcats
The following teams were recognized for their group effort and winning the tournament championship:
- Sportsmanship Award: Camp Riverbend and Eastern Oregon YCF
- Tournament Champion: MacLaren Bobcats
- Tournament Runner-Up: MacLaren Hawks
Thanks to all of the staff coaches:
- Camp Riverbend: Gary May
- Camp Tillamook: Diego Gonzalez, Aaron Green
- Eastern Oregon YCF: Angelo Worley, Aaron Glerup
- MacLaren Bobcats: Enrique Torres
- MacLaren Hawks: Roderick Edwards
- Rogue Valley YCF : Rusty Bertram, Brian Postma, Jesse Burroughs, Cody Monahan
- Tillamook YCF: Corey Herndon, Brian Watters