Three Rider teams make history in state playoffs (Nov. 2023)

For the first time in Roosevelt’s storied history, all three of its major fall teams—football, girls soccer and boys soccer—have earned coveted berths in the state playoffs.

Roosevelt is headed to the prestigious state football playoffs for the second year in a row after routing Grant 36-7 in the regular season finale Oct. 27. The victory earned Roosevelt a first-round playoff game at 7 pm Friday, Nov. 3 at Tualatin, the No. 2 ranked team in the state.

Most observers expected a close game against Grant (5-4), which narrowly lost to Ida B. Wells who had stung the Riders with a 36-8 defeat last week

Roosevelt High football team playing against Grant High. Photo by Evan Guerra.
Roosevelt High football team playing against Grant High.
Photo by Evan Guerra.

But Roosevelt stopped the Generals on their very first possession. Ronald Woods then returned the Grant punt to the 11-yard line and Miles Green squirted in for the score Quarterback Caelen Kelly then connected to Yves Kelly for a 18-yard touchdown pass putting the Riders up 16-0 in the second quarter. The momentum continued to a commanding 30-0 lead enabling reserves and JV players to finish the fourth quarter. Two-way star Tau Takau, taken from the field by ambulance in last week’s game, returned to play and received medical clearance. 

Roosevelt High girls soccer game against Franklin High, photo by Keagan O'Connor
Roosevelt High girls soccer game against Franklin High
photo by Keagan O’Connor

No. 7 ranked Sheldon edges RHS girls 2-0

The girls soccer team advanced to state for the first time in school history after a 8-5-1 regular season record that included PIL wins over Franklin and McDaniels. They played the No. 7 ranked Sheldon to a 1-0 halftime lead before succumbing 2-0 to the host Eugene school Oct. 27. More details weren’t available before our press deadline. RHS seniors this year include Alana Munoz, Karter Green, Mela Brucato, Roxana Xapar Aguilar, Camille Lawrence, Greta Jobs, Hazel Levin and Elowyn Gottsacker. 

RHS boys soccer pull off shocker in Southern Oregon

Roosevelt High boys' soccer win against Medford
Roosevelt boys soccer vs. Medford. Left to right: Owen Nathan,
Judah Eneryi-Campbell, Giovanni Lopez Gonzalez, Jake Lanigan

Some soccer experts applauded this year’s Roosevelt boys soccer team for making the state playoffs for the first time since 2015, but expected them to get summarily thumped in the first-round by top-rated South Medford.

But no one told the Roosevelt boys they were supposed to lose. The Riders stepped off the team bus after a five-hour drive over three mountain passes to Medford and then stunned the powerful South Medford Panthers in a 2-1 upset.

Roosevelt quickly seized the game tempo controlling the ball on Medford’s side of the field. In the 15th minute, Angel Hernandez-Flores sent a 30-yard free kick that Owen Nathan knocked the ball with a header into the goal for a 1-0 lead. That awoke the Panthers and over the next 20 minutes both teams launched furious attacks. 

South Medford tied the game near the first half break when the Panthers scored on the penalty kick that flew inches beyond diving Roosevelt goal keeper’s Eduardo Salazar’s fingernails.

The Riders came out with a fresh head of steam in the second half and pounced with Nathan assisting Judah Erenyi-Campbell on a scoring shot to gave Roosevelt a 2-1 edge. The Roosevelt defense thwarted repeated attacks for the next 40 minutes and then with three seconds left in the game, the Panthers got a free penalty kick that ricocheted outside the goal until a South Medford player seemed to score the tying goal, but too late. Referees appropriately ruled that time had expired.

“These boys played with all their heart today,” RHS Coach Luis Rodriguez-Bribiesca said. “This is the beginning of a new era.”

Roosevelt will play at West Linn on Wednesday, 7pm, November 1, in second round playoff action. 

(The above South Medford game summary provided by Roosevelt supporters)