Many may remember Coach Joe Bushman as the last guy to help a PIL team win a state championship. Close to 30 years ago Bushman quarterbacked the Benson Techman to the 1988 state title. That said as coach has turned the Clackamas Cavaliers into a consistent Mt Hood conference title contender, and a top 10 6A team.
For a long period of time the Clack program had struggled to put together what Bushman has apparently figured out. Athletes want to play for him as the numbers continue to grow. From 2013-16 the Cavs went (37-12) one of the top overall records in Oregon.
Speaking on some of the changes that have taken place, making all of this possible coach says, “The kids have bought in and rededicated themselves in the weight room”. Adding, “We also have a group of guys that make up a leadership council, which has proven effective on and off the field.”
This past season the Cavaliers reached the state semifinals, and battled, before being up ended by eventual state champion West Linn 41-20. The pasting that West Linn put on Central Catholic in the state title game all the more exemplified how far the group has come.
Sophomore LB Jake Bushman (5-11 205 19′) will rank as one of the state’s best for his class. His 63 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks was one of the best performances from any young linebacker in the Northwest. Referencing being able to coach his son he says, “Anytime you get to coach your own flesh and blood, its really special and fun.”
Add to this 6-6 WR Cole Turner who is one of the top wide outs on the west coast for the 2018 class. His continued dominance on the field and on the 7v7 circuit, make him one of the more appealing recruits anywhere. When all is said and done he will be a double digit D1 offered athlete.
Look for Clack to be ranked one of the state’s best heading into the 2017 season. The perimeter is in good shape with the likes of Turner, 1st team all conference safety Braelen Bettles (6-2 185 18′), and QB Mitch Modjeski (6-2 190 18′) returning. Current Sophomore WR’s Matt Dalzell and Thomas Tolonen look to be two of the state’s best for their class as well.
The biggest question mark will come up front with the departure of Mt Hood conference player of the year Quincy Baker (6-2 310 DT 17′) and talented all league lineman Simon Grishkevich (6-3 225 17′), Michael Vance (6-4 300 17′), and Jack Buechler (6-3 220 17′).
The Cavaliers will feature some of the state’s top young guys on the line, with the likes of Kelsen Hennessey (6-5 250 19′), Brian Espinoza (6-6 240 19′) and Alex Hall (6-1 245 20′) being tested early and often.
In summary Oregon is lucky to have a man like Bushman leading one of its premier schools. Coaches and players alike cheer an individual who does things the right way. Look for Clack to once again be a 6A contender this season, as the program is now widely considered to be one of the region’s best.