Given the amount of talent and success of Dufur High School’s sports programs, taking home Ranger of the Year honors is always tough to do.
Many great athletes of the past have had their names called.
Thursday night at Dufur’s year-end celebration, junior Sydney Reed was named as the 2016 Ranger Girl of the Year and Bailey Keever was recognized as the 2016 Ranger Boy of the Year.
In order to qualify, student-athletes need to have at least a 3.5 grade point average and show leadership in athletics as well as school functions.
The nominees also have to win league and state awards, ranging from honorable mention, first or second team status.
Coaching staff members from all team sports choose from the eligible athletes.
Reed is now the fourth member of her family to earn such praise, joining Jason Reed, Rylee Parke and Cole Parke.
“I’ve watched three of my cousins get this exact award and I’ve always thought it would be so cool to receive,” Sydney Reed said. “I didn’t really expect to get it because I’m not a senior. But getting it as a junior, makes it so much more special.”
On the volleyball court, Reed amassed 59 aces, 62 kills, three blocks, 113 digs and 496 assists.
She, a setter, earned a first-team all-league selection this year after receiving honorable mention in 2015.
As a point guard on the basketball team, Reed was a second team selection for her play for the Lady Rangers.
Reed scored 8.4 points a game and added 5.7 steals and 4.8 assists. Two times, Reed had team-highs of 18 points against Horizon Christian and Mitchell-Spray.
With this honor under her belt, Reed knows much more will be asked of her on the court, but she is ready to take on that responsibility to help aid in the progression of all female athletes coming through the pipeline.
She cannot imagine representing any other school, program or community.
“Sports are my life, and it’s safe to say, I put a lot of my time into them. I didn’t work as hard as I did with this award in mind, so when I received it, it showed me that others notice my love for athletics,” Sydney said. “I’d definitely have to thank everyone who’s coached me throughout the years and my family for always supporting me 100 percent through anything I want to do.”
Keever had a season for the ages on the football field, and he added more accolades to his resume in both basketball and baseball in the 2015-2016 season.
In addition to winning first-team all-Big Sky Conference awards on both sides of the ball, the junior was a first-team all-state winner at quarterback and defensive back.
He was also the 1A Football Player of the Year.
Keever was a dual-threat weapon for a Ranger football team that scored 632 points in 13 games this season, the state’s third-best scoring offense.
On the ground, the junior rushed 88 times for 1,089 yards and 18 touchdowns. Through the air, he completed 71 of 110 passes for 1,030 yards and 34 touchdowns.
He rushed for over 100 yards in the state championship game and had 20 tackles in a 36-32 victory over Crane.
“Bailey was the glue that held our team together this season,” said Dufur football coach Jack Henderson. “He became a great leader this year and made everyone around him better. He has unlimited energy that makes him a great player and leader.”
On the basketball court for head coach Tony White, Keever was a first team Big Sky Conference winner, as he averaged 16 points a game in 22 contests, including a season-high 23 in a win over Ione on Jan. 16.
This past spring, Keever played infield, catcher and pitcher for head baseball coach C.S. Little.
Keever started eight games and totaled four complete games in his team-high 43 innings pitched.
The junior right-hander struck out 78, walked 26 and allowed 36 runs, 12 earned, on 36 hits, while facing 195 batters for a 1.95 earned run average.
Keever hit .391 overall with 41 runs scored, 40 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
He led the team with two home runs, added 11 doubles and tied for the team lead with three triples.
He also led the team in walks with 16 for an on-base percentage of .538 and a team-leading slugging percentage of .724.
“He has been our iron man, playing several different positions this year,” Little said. “He has had to carry a lot of the pitching duties while Kolbe was hurt. He has been our catcher and played a number of positions and he hits No. 2 in the lineup.”