Previewing the OSAA 6A Semifinals

Previewing the OSAA 6A Semifinals

This Friday at Hillsboro Stadium, the OSAA 6A Semifinals between Jesuit vs. Lake Oswego and Barlow vs. Central Catholic will kickoff.

First, at noon, No. 9 Barlow (10-2) will get a re-match with No. 4 Central Catholic (10-2). Their previous game ended with the Rams winning 53-14, the 14th victory in a row for the Rams over the Bruins. The last time Barlow made the state semifinals was in 1991, but an upset to No. 1 Tigard in the round of 16 paved the way for their surprise appearance. The Bruins have won their three playoff games by a combined 11 points.

The Rams should roll Barlow given their talent advantage. Their senior class is headlined by three-star wide receiver and future Stanford Cardinal Silas Starr. In addition, the Rams’ senior class has three other three-star recruits in Kalvin Sounders, Elijah Elliot and Miles Jackson. After winning back-to-back state championships in 2013 and 2014, Central Catholic has been up and down. They do have a championship appearance since then but also underperformed given their talent level last season. Their seniors look to end their playing careers on a high note.

Then, at 5pm, the other match-up kicks off of No. 2 Jesuit (10-2) versus No. 3 Lake Oswego (10-2), another re-match of a regular season game, but this one was a 44-41 thriller where Lake Oswego came out victorious. But, Jesuit was without their star linebacker Andy Alfieri. Jesuit recently returned arguably the state’s best player in Andy Alfieri who committed to California. He was thought to be out for the season with a cracked vertebra, but has played in the last two games. 

However, the Lakers will field Casey Filkins who also has a case to be the state’s best player. Filkins not only led the Lakers to a state championship last season but he has committed to play for Stanford. Then, this season with the Lakers’ inability to pass the ball, Filkins has amassed an even larger workloud. In their round of 16 victory over West Salem, Lake Oswego ended the game running their offense from the wildcat formation. Filkins even threw a touchdown pass.

Yes, you worry about your kids playing football... but are you worried YOU may have CTE?

Yes, you worry about your kids playing football... but are you worried YOU may have CTE?

You've heard about this study by now. If you ever played NFL football, there's a real good chance you're suffering or WILL suffer, the effects of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). They studied the brains of 111 former NFL players and 110 of them showed signs of it. And that study included a punter and a placekicker.

Everyone is talking about whether they'd allow their children to play football, in light of this very chilling data. I must say, I wouldn't. For me, it isn't even worth a second thought. No way. Stick to baseball or basketball. Broken bones heal but broken brains don't.

In fact, I must say that even watching the sport bothers me a lot. Are we watching brains being sliced and diced for our personal entertainment?

And what I'm wondering today is how many former football players -- the ones who didn't make it to the NFL and played only in high school or college -- are worried about brain damage? And oh, by the way, it's a condition that can't be diagnosed until death. You probably wouldn't know you had it until the scary symptoms start to appear.

It's very clear that anybody who ever played the game at any level has a real chance of having the condition.

This study showed that 21 percent of those who played high school football had evidence of CTE and a whopping 91 percent of college players did. Now the flaw in those statistics is the brains that were studied could be much more likely to show evidence of CTE because they likely belonged to people who showed symptoms -- and that's why they were contributed to the study.

But still... This is some very depressing data and I can't even imagine what former college football players might be thinking right now:

Do I have CTE? Will I have CTE? Will I be rational enough even to recognize I have it?