Twin distance running standouts, a trio of stellar golf siblings, an unexpected big tournament at Bandon Dunes and a trip to the playoffs under a new coach for the football team highlighted the year in sports for the Bandon area.
Success for senior twins Sailor and Hunter Hutton is nothing new, but at the state track meet the two won Class 2A titles on the same day two days in a row.
Sailor, who signed a letter of intent this fall to run for Boise State University, won both the 3,000 and 1,500 meters at the state meet for the third straight year. Her time of 4:47.59 in the 1,500 shaved a little off the meet record she had set last spring.
Hunter, meanwhile, won his first state title in the pole vault the same day Sailor won the 3,000, earning the title when he cleared his opening height of 13 feet, 6 ¼ inches, on his second attempt — all the other vaulters were already eliminated. He ultimately cleared 14-6.
The following day, Hunter edged teammate and training partner Josh Snyder in a furious and thrilling finish in the 1,500 a few minutes after Sailor’s triumph in that race.
Snyder and Zane Olive also placed second and third in the 800 and Hutton was fifth in the 3,000. Snyder, Hutton and Olive teamed with Oscar Munoz to place fourth in the 4x400 relay, giving Bandon enough points for second place in the team race, just four points behind state champion Weston-McEwen.
The Tigers finished second in the state cross country meet as well, with Hunter Hutton placing third, Snyder seventh and Isaac Cutler 13th. Sailor Hutton was second in the girls for the third straight year.
This fall also saw a successful season for Bandon’s football team under new coach Aaron Freitag.
Freitag led the young Tigers, with only a trio of seniors, to third place in the Sunset Conference and at at-large bid in the class 2A playoffs. There Bandon put up a fight against favored Knappa through a half before the Loggers used a few Bandon miscues to pull away for a 62-32 win in a game played at Astoria.
Several of the players who formed the core of the football team also were on Bandon’s baseball team that advanced to the Class 2A-1A playoffs and put up a strong challenge to top-ranked Dufur before losing 8-5 in the first round of the playoffs. Sunset Conference champion Reedsport, which beat Bandon for the league title, just missed winning the state title, falling to Knappa 10-9 in the title game.
On the golf course (actually multiple courses), all three siblings in the Kennon family had significant accomplishments during the year.
Jackson Kennon, the oldest of the trio, placed third in the Class 3A-2A-1A state tournament to cap a strong sophomore season. Bandon also advanced to the tournament as a team, finishing 12th.
Scotty, meanwhile, followed his eighth-grade year by winning a qualifying tournament to advance to the U.S. Junior Amateur, his first USGA event. That tournament in Kansas was part of a busy summer that saw him play big events in multiple states.
Battling a flu bug, he missed the cut of the U.S. Junior Amateur in Kansas. He also finished second in the Oregon Junior Amateur at Bandon Dunes and won medalist honors before losing in the semifinals of the Pacific Northwest Junior Amateur at Sandpines in Florence. He represented Oregon in the Junior Americas Cup in Washington and was joined by Jackson on Oregon teams for the Hogan Cup, a regional competition.
Scotty Kennon finished the year with a big win in the Future Champions Golf National Championship for the 15-18 age group, shooting a three-day total of 9-under par to win by six strokes at Sycuan Resort in California.
Cassie Kennon, meanwhile, the youngest sibling, qualified for the finals of the national Drive, Chip and Putt competition, which means a trip to Augusta National in Georgia in the spring for the championship in that event. She will compete against nine other girls in the 10-11 age group.
For Bandon Dunes, the end of the year brought anticipation of not just one, but two USGA events in coming years.
Resort officials have been planning for several years for the 2020 U.S. Amateur, which will probably be the biggest event to date at Bandon Dunes in terms of stature. But late in the year, USGA also announced Bandon Dunes will be hosting the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which had been previously scheduled for Chambers Bay in Washington. The resort hosted the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015, the last USGA event at Bandon Dunes.