SHHS foresters win first-ever state team championship

Sweet Home’s Forestry Club won its first state team championship Saturday at Central Oregon Community College in Bend.

Senior Justin Wolfe was the All-Around Jack and Technical Forester, and senior Kara Baker was the All-Around Jill. Both scored over 70 points each of the team’s 238 total to lead the Huskies.

“This is the third time that we have had two people take home these honors,” Adviser Dustin Nichol said. “But we’ve never had it happen at the same time. The difference between then and now is that this time our rock stars had an excellent supporting cast that scored a combined score of over 300 points. This was truly a team-deserved award.”

He noted that Sweet Home had only a fraction of the competitors some other schools fielded.

“Knappa brought 28 competitors, Clatskinie brought over 50, Scio brought 24 and we took 15,” he said. A total of 132 competitors participated, he said.

“I think this is the most awards I’ve ever won in one competition,” Baker said. “And this was at state. We worked really hard for it.”

Wolfe said the team had overcome “a lot of adversities,” including an injury to teammate Amber Walton, who fell while climbing a pole and was taken to the hospital for observation during the competition. Nichol said Walton sustained some strained muscles and bruises in her fall, but is expected to recover quickly.

Wolfe said he expected “to do well,” based on his past experience at state competitions, but he wasn’t necessarily planning to walk away with all the awards, especially both of the two big ones.

“Perseverance and hard work paid off,” he said.

Nichol said he expected Baker and Wolfe to be in the running, but his biggest surprise from the entire experience was Talon Willes’ finish.

“He hadn’t placed in anything all year long and he took second in a technical event. Who wants to practice a technical event? It’s like doing schoolwork after you’re done with school.”

Those second-place points, he told the team Monday, were the key to the 18-point win over Clatskinie.

“That was the difference,” he said.

Sweet Home’s medal winners were:


Callie Baker – 2nd in Jill-Jill cable splice, 4th in Jack-Jill cable;

Kara Baker – 1st in Jack-Jill cross-cut, power buck, first aid and axe throw, 2nd in Jill-Jill cable, Jill-Jill cross-cut and choker setting, 4th in hose lay, 5th in Jack-Jill cable, 6th in written expression.

Julie Morgan – 4th in job interview, demo speech and hose lay, 2nd in spar pole climb, arbor climb and Jill-Jill cross-cut;

Shelby Neighbors – 4th in Jill-Jill cross-cut;

Sydney Nichol – 1st in pole, arbor and choker, 5th in Jill-Jill cross-cut;

Alanamarie Rhoads – 3rd in axe throw.


Dennis Baxter – 4th in hose lay, 6th in Jack-Jack cross-cut.

Tadyn Bentley – 2nd in pole, 5th in Jack-Jack cable, 6th in Jack-Jack cross-cut;

Nik Dishaw – 1st in arbor, 2nd in choker setting, 4th in Jack-Jill cable and power buck, 5th in Jack-Jack cross-cut and Jack-Jack cable;

Devon Dixon – 6th in arbor, choker and power buck;

Keegan Downs – 3rd in Jack axe throw, 5th in Jack-Jack cross-cut and log scaling;

Carl Steinborn – 1st in Jack-Jack cross-cut, 5th in hose lay;

Talon Willes – 2nd in compass/pacing;

Justin Wolfe – 1st in first aid, Jack-Jack cross-cut, Jack-Jill cross-cut, log scaling and demo speech, 2nd in prepared speech, 4th in hose lay, pole and arbor, 5th in timber cruising and Jack-Jill cable, 6th in job interview.