The defending six-man football state champion (2019) South Wasco County High Redsides continued their recent success last spring as they went undefeated at 5-0. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there wasn’t any playoffs though and so there wasn’t an official state champion.

Nevertheless, the Redsides were undoubtedly one of the top squads out of the 26 total six-man teams. South Wasco was one of the highest scoring squads, averaging more than 50 points a game and outscoring five opponents by a combined margin of 251-98.

The Redsides capped a perfect season with a dominating 45-0 win over the Joseph Eagles in their April 2 season finale at South Wasco High in Maupin. Since Joseph was also regarded as one of the top title contenders too, the Redsides could very well be considered as the defending champs again. However, that would be unofficial since the OSAA didn’t sanction any spring sports the 2020-21 academic year.

The Redsides, guided by Coach Mike Waine, are now focusing on continuing the success they’ve had the last two years. South Wasco will certainly be a strong team again, especially with four returning starters from the spring and a total of 12 players. However, after losing standout receiver/defensive lineman Garrett Olson (graduated), it will be a challenge for the Redsides to be the top contender again this year.

“I think we’ll be in pretty good shape and we’re going to be young with having seven freshman,” Waine said. “I still think everything will come together and with the key players returning, we’re going to be pretty darn competitive. We’re going to be rebuilding a little bit and so we’re going to be a really strong team in a couple of years.”

The returning starters include linebacker/running back Remington Anderson-Sheer, who is the Redsides’ only senior. The other three returnees are junior quarterback/defensive back Ian Ongers, junior offensive lineman/linebacker James Best and sophomore running back/linebacker Joey Halloway.

“Last year, we unofficially won the championship after we beat the second-best team in the state (Joseph) in our final game,” said Waine. “Joseph is going to be tough again this year, too. We’re going to be on the road for every game this year, so that’s going to be kind of tough to overcome. It’s a small price to pay for what we’ll have later, and it will be nice to have home games next year.”

A construction project at South Wasco High includes a newly built track and football field along with other remodeling jobs at the school, as well. The Redsides’ seven-game OSAA Special District 4 schedule is all road games. The Redsides played in a jamboree Aug. 28 at Echo High School and their regular season opener is Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. against the Pine Eagle Spartans. The Redsides will have their Homecoming game Oct. 1 versus the Dayville/Monument Tigers at 7 p.m. at Dufur High School.

“Some of the freshmen are very good athletes who are capable of being very productive,” said Waine. “It’s just a matter of getting them accustomed to the speed of the game. It’s going to be a really interesting season.”