DALLAS — Dallas junior Emmalee Jones wasn’t used to being the “go-to” player.
“I’ve never been one of the key players,” Jones said.
That’s all changed during the 2015 season.
“I got more playing time this year and I’m finding ways to actually help the team, whereas in the past, I’ve relied on everybody else.”
Jones, a midfielder, has become a constant presence on the field during a season that’s seen multiple injuries force a number of lineup changes.
“She’s the epitome of what our entire team is,” Dallas coach Kirk Myrold said. “The girls have had to take on different roles and learn new responsibilities. I have trust in what she can do and know she’s going to give it her all no matter what she’s doing for you.”
Myrold hopes Jones leads the Dragons to postseason success. Dallas hosted South Albany Tuesday after press time in its final regular season match. The Dragons already clinched a spot in the OSAA Class 5A play-in round and entered Tuesday’s match in fourth place in the Mid-Willamette Conference.
A victory on Tuesday meant a home match in the play-in round on Saturday. A loss meant going on the road. See online for updates.
No matter where they play, Myrold said the girls — with players like Jones leading the charge — will be ready to show their true potential.
“We’ve practiced and played this entire year for our play-in game,” Myrold said. “We want to prove and show everybody this is what we’ve done all year and this is what we can do.”
VOLLEYBALL ADVANCES TO PLAY-IN: UPDATE: Dallas lost to Churchill in straight sets in the play-in round. The Dallas volleyball squad lost its final two matches of the regular season, but held on for a sixth-place finish in the MWC. The Dragons (10-12 overall, 5-9 MWC) lost to Lebanon 24-26, 25-23, 25-10, 25-18 on Oct. 20 and to Silverton 25-18, 25-14, 28-30, 25-18 on Thursday. Dallas ended the regular season on a five-match losing streak. The Dragons played at Churchill Tuesday after press time in the play-in round. The winner advances to the state tournament. Visit www.polkio.com for results.
BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY NARROWLY MISSES STATE: The Dallas boys cross-country team saw its bid to qualify for the state cross-country meet fall short, finishing fourth at the Mid-Willamette Conference Championships on Oct. 21. The Dragons finished with 109 points, five behind Crescent Valley. The top three teams advanced to state. Freshman Trevor Cross and senior Justin Huxel led the Dragons, finishing in 18th and 19th overall in 17 minutes, 26.69 seconds and 17:26.94, respectively. Seniors Cody Tilgner (22nd, 17:27.65), T.J. Cross (23rd, 17:27.98) and Isaiah Letney (27th, 17:31.21) rounded out Dallas’ top-five finishers.
The Dragons’ girls team finished sixth. Senior Elizabeth Sutton led the girls in 14th place with a time of 21:06.30. Seniors Angie Sletten (27th, 22:01.36), Anneka Bloomstrom (29th, 22:07.03), Alyssa Miller (32nd, 22:09.92) and freshman Peyton Fast (37th, 22:45.95) rounded out the Dragons’ scorers.
BOYS SOCCER ENDS SEASON: Dallas’ boys soccer team dropped a pair of league matches, falling to Silverton 3-0 on Oct. 20 before losing to Corvallis 7-1 on Friday. The Dragons (1-10-2 overall, 0-6 MWC) played at South Albany Tuesday after press time in the team’s final match of the season.