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Category: McNary

McNary Highschool Sports

Basketball program brightens holidays for local family


Of the Keizertimes

For most high school basketball teams, the day after a big Friday night victory is spent with rest and maybe some film-watching in preparation for the next game.

But the McNary boys basketball program does things a little bit differently.

After defeating David Douglas 65-55 in the Newberg Boys Basketball Tournament on Dec. 21, the McNary boys spent the following day buying and wrapping Christmas presents for a family in Keizer.

During each holiday season, as a part of the senior leadership project, the Celtics will find a local family in the community with young kids that are in need — the family is usually selected through churches or schools. 

The McNary basketball program has been doing this for nearly a decade.

“Regardless of wins and losses and the success you have on the floor, our responsibility as coaches is not only to develop the player, but more importantly the person,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said. “(The project) gives us the opportunity to give back to a community that does a lot to support us. It really has become a staple of our program.”

The team bought the gifts with money that they fundraised through helping out at youth basketball tournaments that are hosted at the high school and getting sponsors through their annual free-throw-a-thon. 

Kirch reached out to the family the week prior to make sure everything was situated, but it’s up to the players to figure out how to break up the fundraising money and how to handle shopping and gift-wrapping duties.

“It’s actually a lot of fun being able to do something that’s not for you and give to other people,” McNary senior Alfredo Villareal said. “That’s honestly the best part of Christmas and this time of year.”

“It was a really good team bonding activity because we all had to work together to manage the money we had and buy the stuff that we thought the kids would like.”

McNary senior Noah Hudkins echoed those same sentiments.

“It’s amazing to have this opportunity to provide a Christmas for someone else,” Hudkins said.

This year, the lucky recipients were Ashley Beltran’s three daughters — Jasmine (age 6), Jade (age 7) and Lily (age 8).

Beltran, whose kids attend Keizer Elementary, filled out a form from the school asking for help for the holidays. 

Due to an unforeseen emergency, Beltran felt that she would have a hard time providing presents for her children this Christmas. But her fears were alleviated when Kirch informed her that his team was going to step up for her and her kids.

“I was so relieved,” Beltran said when Kirch notified her that the basketball team would be providing gifts for her daughters. “My girls were so excited to meet the players.”

After buying a myriad of gifts on the morning of Dec. 22, the Celtics squad made their deliveries to the Beltran girls later that afternoon. 

Jasmine, Jade and Lilly received multiple presents, such as, winter coats, LOL Dolls and Pikmi Pops — which are large lollipops stuffed with other toys inside.

The three girls were ecstatic about receiving the surprise presents from the players, and  they were even more excited when they got to open the numerous packages on Christmas Day.

“(The players) went over the top. It was so cool,” Beltran said. “I feel so blessed that they did that for my kids.”

Top sports news of 2018

Conference titles for the McNary High School football and boys basketball squads highlight a banner sports year in the city of Keizer.

McNary has spent the last four years under head coach Jeff Auvinen focused on getting better, not just every season or even every game, but every play.

That work paid off in November with the football program’s first league championship since 2005 as the Celtics defeated South Salem 40-33 to clinch the Mountain Valley Conference title.

McNary made no more progress within a single season than this one. After starting 0-5, the Celtics won all four of their league games — beating Sprague, Bend and West Salem in their first three league games.

“We stayed the course and got better,” Auvinen said. “That’s all you can do is play the next play.”

McNary appeared like it would roll the Saxons over when the Celtics led 25-6 and recovered an on-side kick with 5:40 remaining in the first half.

But South Salem took advantage of a McNary fumble and a turnover on downs on the following possession to score 14 straight points. An 8-yard touchdown pass from Elijah Enomoto-Haole to Diego Fuimaono and then a 10-yard touchdown run by Enomoto-Haole with 27 seconds left in the second period helped the Saxons cut the lead to 25-20 at halftime.

South Salem took a 26-25 lead midway through the third period when Gabe Johnson returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown.

“I think we might have came in a little over confident,” McNary senior lineman Wyatt Sherwood said. “We tried to keep that out of us this week. It’s going to happen. When they took the lead, I think we realized that we needed to step up and finish this.”

McNary running back Junior Walling made sure that lead didn’t last long as his 13-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter put the Celtics back on top.

Walling put the game on ice with his score from one-yard out midway through the final period. He finished the game with 210 rushing yards.

Celtics quarterback Erik Barker had a big game on the ground as well, running for 124 yards and two scores. He also connected with Noah Bach on a 52-yard touchdown through the air. 

“We knew we were the better team and if we just did our jobs and didn’t make stupid plays, we’d come back and win the game,” Barker said. “Our O-line was making big holes all day and Junior was running great and he blocked for me when I would run it.”

Nadia Witt knew that she would be playing softball in college before the start of her senior season in 2018.

After originally committing to Western Oregon University, Witt had a change of heart and decided to instead sign with the University of California Riverside — a Division I school that plays in the Big West Conference.

“I committed (to Western Oregon) kind of early, and once I got older, I decided that I wanted to change and get out of state, and I wanted to play D-I ball, so I decommited,” Witt said. “I went on a visit (to UC Riverside), and I kind of fell in love. The program has really rebuilt itself, and the campus is nice.”

Even though she was excited to start her college career, Witt wanted to finish off her high school playing days on a high note.

It’s safe to say that her goal was accomplished.

Witt, ended the year with  a .602 batting average in her final season with the Lady Celts. She recorded 23 extra base hits, including 11 doubles, six triples and six home runs. She also had 29 RBIs, scored 46 runs, stole 17 bases and was named the Greater Valley Conference player of the year for the second straight season.

“Honestly, she’s just an all-around great player. She’s super smart,” McNary head coach Kevin Wise said. “She hits lasers. Her home runs are just rockets — they get out in a hurry.”

Witt helped McNary win two league titles in 2015 and 2017 and led the Celtics to the playoffs in all four years of her high school career.

McNary High School’s Brayden Ebbs heard from all of his coaches that the most honorable thing a wrestler can do at a tournament is place third.

At the 2018 state wrestling tournament, Ebbs took that to heart, defeating Oliver Myers of Newberg by a 13-0 major decision on Feb. 17 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the 160-pound third place match. 

“After my semis match, I told myself I’m not taking anything less than third,” Ebbs said. “I think it was supposed to be a close match but something flipped in my mind and I wrestled what I think is my best match and I just put the points on the board that I needed to. ‘Score first, score fast and keep on scoring’ is what my club coach always told me.”

McNary head coach Jason Ebbs said Brayden was as focused as he’s ever seen him.

“I think Brayden did what you hope all your best wrestlers will do,” coach Ebbs said. “He came out in the third place match and he was at the peak of his intensity and ready to roll. This is the first time that I’ve ever seen Brayden wrestle such a focused style, in those last three matches, the semifinals, the consolation semifinals that goes into overtime, i’ve never seen him stay so focused on his technique and his strategy and what he needs to do instead of worrying about scoring and worrying about being ahead or behind. He matured really well this year and did some of his best wresting here. I’m proud of him.”

Ebbs earned an 11-2 major decision and two pins to reach the semifinals, where he lost to No. 2 seed Josh Grant of Century 6-3.

For more of the top sports stories, pick up a copy of this week’s Keizertimes on sale now.

Shorthanded Celtics fall in tourney championship


Of the Keizertimes

Even though they weren’t at full strength, the McNary boys hoops team put together a valiant effort against Newberg on Saturday night. But the Celtics couldn’t climb back into the game after falling behind by 21 in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 67-57 in the Newberg Boys Basketball Tournament Championship game.

“I’m disappointed that we lost, but I’m encouraged at some of the things we showed with our toughness and competitiveness,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said. “Sometimes shots don’t fall and you come out on the losing end…Being down a couple of bodies made it really challenging for us at times.”

McNary was without two of their best players in Junior Walling and Griffin Oliveira. Walling has missed the last few contests due to injury, while Oliveira was not present due to “family stuff and prior engagements” according to Kirch.

David Boston and Nate Meithof each had 23 points to carry the Celtics offensively, but in the end, McNary didn’t get enough help from the rest of their supporting cast.

“We have a lot of leaders who lead in different ways and Griff is a guy that a lot of guys look to,” Kirch said. “You can’t replace him and you can’t replace Junior’s strength and his rebounding ability on the inside.”

“It did give some opportunity for some other guys to get minutes and I thought they did some good things and competed well. We just fell a little short.”

Smith got things going in the opening period with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field as the Celtics trailed just 14-12 at the end of the quarter.

However, it appeared that McNary couldn’t buy a bucket in the second quarter. The Celtics settled for several contested jumpers and couldn’t get out in transition, which led to them only scoring four points in the period, causing them to fall behind 26-16 at half. 

Meithof had the only field goal of the second quarter on a put-back layup with 2:50 left in the half.

“We weren’t on top of things offensively,” Meithof said. “We moved the ball well, but we weren’t getting to the hoop.”

Kirch also added: “We were getting back on our heels in the first half and running our offense 35 feet from the basket.”

Things went from bad to worse for the Celtics as the game looked to be getting out of hand in the second half. After McNary ended the third quarter trailing 47-32, Newberg center Kyle Kruse knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to start the final period, giving his team the largest lead of the game.

It would have been easy for the Celtics to give up at this point. But they weren’t quite ready to throw in the towel. 

McNary put on a devastating full-court press on Newberg, defending with an intensity that wasn’t present for most of the game.

The suffocating defense helped create turnovers into offensive opportunities as the Celtics went on a 12-0 run thanks to a pair of triples by Meithof and a floater by Devyn Schurr. 

“We just competed hard in our press and didn’t worry about the score,” Kirch said. “A lot of them were gassed, but they didn’t stop.”

“We talked about how, at the end, we were playing as the aggressor in that situation and that mindset is what we need from the get-go.”

The 12-0 scamper by the Celtics got the lead down to single-digits at 53-44 with 3:48 left and forced Newberg head coach Mark Brown to call a timeout. 

Out of the timeout, McNary set up their press and looked they were about to get a steal before a reach-in foul was called on Schurr. 

Schurr let his emotions get the best of him after the call and was immediately whistled for a technical foul. Newberg was awarded two free throws for the personal foul, two more for the technical and was given back possession of the ball. 

It ended up being a five-point trip for Newberg, which was too much for McNary to come back from. 

McNary is currently competing in the Arby’s Holiday Classic in South Medford. They return home on Friday Jan. 4 to take on Forest Grove at 7:15 p.m. in their final non-league matchup.

McNary sweeps West Salem in dual meet

Of the Keizertimes

Early into the Mountain Valley Conference season, it’s clear that the McNary High School swim team is a force to be reckoned with.

The Celtics swept their dual meet for the second straight week with West Salem being the victim this time around. McNary’s boys squad took down the Titans by a score of 103-47 while the girls team came out on top with a 83-72 win on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Kroc Center.

McNary junior Eloisa Moreno swims the freestyle portion of the 200 individual medley in a meet from earlier this season. (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings)

Even though both victories were impressive, McNary head coach Casey Lewin was more pumped about the win for the girls — especially since they were without one of their top swimmers in Alyssa Garvey, who is currently rehabbing an injury.

“It was a big accomplishment. They were so excited to win because West (Salem) is a really strong program, especially on the girls side,” Lewin said. “We know how good West is, so to come out and get a win when we’re not at full strength was huge.”

With Garvey out of the lineup, a pair of freshmen were able to step up in her absence.

McNary’s Kaylynn Villalobos knocked off the higher-seeded Callie Luth from West Salem in the 50-yard freestyle with a winning time of 27.63. Villalobos was also victorious in the 100-backstroke  (1:09.01).

The Celtics other freshman star, Paris Boyd, won the 100-breaststroke by more than 10 seconds (1:16.21).

Both swimmers also played big roles in McNary’s victory in the 200-individual medley relay.

“It’s awesome having freshmen be so successful because they’re only going to get stronger and faster,” Casey said. “And having young talent like that helps motivate the other kids as well. They see where the bar is at and it makes everyone better.”

Alex Beard was the other individual winner for the McNary girls with her win in the 200-IM (2:22.12).

On the boys side, it would have been difficult for McNary to dominate more than they did. The Celtics won 10 of the 11 varsity races and only surrendered a defeat in the 200-free.

“It’s not just a small handful of guys that are swimming well right now. It’s a total team effort,” Lewin said about the success of the boys team.

McNary’s Kyle Hooper easily won both the 200-IM (2:10.69) and the 100-butterfly (1:00.72). Harrison Vaughn was the first-place finisher in 500-free (5:19.69) and the 100-breast (1:10.58) for the Celtics.

Along with Hooper and Vaughn, Jabez Rhoades also won a pair of events in this meet. Rhoades finished first in the 50-free (24.95) and the 100-free (57.74) and swam some of the best times of his career.

“I just came out and swam fast,” Rhoades said. “That was the fastest I’ve ever swam in a race that wasn’t at districts.”

Jackson McCarthy rounded out McNary’s individual victories with his first-place finish in the 100-back.

Lady Celts notch first victory

Of the Keizertimes

After losing their first two games at home by double-figures, the McNary High School girls basketball team finally found their stride on the road.

Leah Doutt and Abigail Hawley led the Lady Celts with 11 points apiece as McNary notched their first win of the season at Madison on Tuesday, Dec. 11, beating the Senators 43-38.

“It was a fun game to win and a fun atmosphere to play in,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “We needed that (victory).”

Doutt and Hawley each knocked down a 3-pointer in the final minute of the opening quarter to give McNary the early 18-10 advantage.

The Celtics went through a cold streak in the second period, shooting just 2-of-17 from the field. However, McNary’s ability to limit Madison on the glass helped them retain the lead at 23-18 going into the break.

Rebounding had been a huge issue for the Celtics to begin the season, but McNary won the battle on the boards 34-31 and created numerous second-chance opportunities by grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.

“We are doing a better job on the boards,” Doran said. “Size-wise, Madison was just a better matchup for us.”

Even though they only clung to a 31-29 advantage to end the third quarter, the Celtics started to pull away in the final period after going on a 10-3 run.

Madison made it a one possession game late in the contest, but Doutt put the game on ice by sinking a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining.

Doutt, who missed the previous game due to illness, made a big difference for the Celtics in her return to the lineup as the starting point guard. The Celtics turned the ball over 25 times in their loss against Westview in Doutt’s absence. However, McNary only gave the ball away six times versus Madison.

“When your point guard is back, you’re just able to handle (defensive) pressure better,” Doran said.

McNary fell to Central Catholic last Friday by a score of 64-48, dropping their record to 1-3 on the season. The Lady Celts will travel to Southern Oregon tonight to take on North Medford at 7 p.m. and then play against South Medford at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.


McNary wins home opener to remain unbeaten

Of the Keizertimes

Boston Smith led the Celtics with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting as the McNary boys basketball squad moved to 4-0 on the season with their 74-61 victory over Mountainside on Tuesday night in their first home game.

“We’re still getting used to playing with one another a little bit, but I thought that we made some important plays at important moments,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said.

Nate Meithof was also in double-figures with 15 points — 11 of which came in the first quarter. Griffin Oliveira had 13 points and knocked down a pair of shots beyond the arc while Alfredo Villareal added 12 points.

Both squads played at a break-neck pace to begin the game as it seemed like the ball barely touched the floor in the opening quarter.

Meithof was incredibly aggressive early on, which worked to the Celtics advantage. The sophomore guard scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first three minutes of the game, including an impressive three-point play where he split a double-team on his way to a nice finish off the glass.

“I was just playing my game,” Meithof said. “We had really good ball movement and I was able to dribble-drive and get to the hoop.”

Despite Meithof’s scoring flurry, Mountainside still held a 15-10 advantage midway through the first quarter. But a pair of buckets by Villareal and a layup from Smith helped McNary go on top 21-19 at the end of the period.

After Mountainside came back to take the lead momentarily, McNary responded by going on an 11-2 run and forced Mountainside head coach Dustin Hewitt to burn a timeout with his team trailing 32-26.

McNary was much more intentional about slowing the ball down in the second quarter with the goal of getting Smith more involved in the offense on the low block. The plan was executed effectively as the senior center finished with eight points in the quarter.

“We were a bit nervous with it being our home opener. But we shook it off and did a better job of getting into out offense and executing,” Smith said. “I was able to adapt how they were double-teaming me and got down low.”

McNary was able to extend the lead to nine before the break at 45-36 thanks to a transition layup by Oliveira.

After a first half full of explosive offense, McNary went stone cold to begin the third quarter. Smith finished one at the rim in the Celtics first possession of the period, but a five-minute scoring drought allowed Mountainside to cut the lead to 47-42 with less than three minutes remaining in the quarter.

But a midrange jumper from Oliveira and a three-point play from Smith got the Celtics advantage back up to double-figures. The Celtics eventually took a 57-44 lead to the final period after Smith hit a nifty floater right before the buzzer sounded.

“I thought Boston did a good job of not allowing the double-team to frustrate him,” Kirch said. “He’s been posting up really smart. When the ball moves, he holds his position and it allows us to get him the ball inside.”

“(Smith) has been a really good leader for us and this was by far his best overall game.”

A big key that allowed McNary to pull away in the second half was their intensity on the defensive end. The Celtics allowed just two points over a seven-minute stretch and did a much better job of closing out to shooters and not allowing second-chance opportunities.

“I just thought our concentration was a little bit better defensively in the second half,” Kirch said. “That was certainly the difference in us extending the lead.”

McNary led by as many as 20 after a baseline 3-pointer from Riley Flores made it 70-50 late in the fourth quarter. Mountainside rallied back to make the score a little more respectable, but Smith put an exclamation point on the game in the final moments with a monster two-handed jam that sent the student section into a frenzy.

“It felt good to play at home. This was a good confidence booster for our team,” Boston said.

McNary will compete in the Newberg Boys Basketball Tournament this weekend, with their first game coming Friday at 6 p.m. against David Douglas.

Smith carries Celts to victory

Star center pours in 24 points in McNary’s win over Westview


Of the Keizertimes

With a relatively inexperienced roster, the McNary boys basketball squad needed someone to step up for them in their first game of the season.

Boston Smith was the one who answered the call.

The 6-foot-7 inch senior post had a game-high 24 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the field as McNary took down Madison 71-61 in their season opener on Friday, Dec. 7.

“It was definitely an ugly first game where things didn’t always go as planned, but I was really proud of our guys and how they made the adjustments that they needed to,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said. “Boston was really dominant for us on the inside.”

Nate Meithof was also double-figures with 15 points in his first varsity game.

Madison was able to keep the game close in the first half in large part due to key Celtic players getting in foul trouble. Smith and senior wing Griffin Oliveira each picked up a pair of fouls in the opening quarter and had to sit for the remainder of the first half.

But McNary was able to weather the storm and score 23 points in the second period to take a 36-34 lead into halftime.

The Celtics still clung to a two-point lead as the game entered the fourth quarter.

That is when Smith asserted his dominance.

Smith completely took over the game in the paint and scored 14 of his 24 points in the final period, allowing McNary to pull away for the 10-point win.

“We really struggled to get the ball inside to (Smith) early on due to a lot of unforced turnovers in transition. But we slowed the ball down quite a bit in the fourth quarter and got Boston the ball down low,” Kirch said.

“Boston did a really good job of getting in the post and taking advantage of his height difference.”

McNary returns to the hardwood on Saturday for an away contest against Hillsboro at 3 p.m. The Celtics play their home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Mountainside.

Lady Celts can’t hang with Westview

Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s girls basketball squad was able to be competitive in the early stages, but turnovers and poor shooting kept them from staying close.

The Lady Celts turned the ball over 22 times in the contest and shot under 20 percent (6-of-32) from the field in the second half in their 75-43 loss to Westview on Friday, Dec. 7 at McNary High School.

“We need to cut down on the turnovers and start valuing every possession,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “We did not do a good job taking care of the basketball and when that started to go wrong, everything just went downhill from there.”

Abigail Hawley was the only McNary player in double-figures with 12 points.

After falling behind to start the contest, Hawley knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 6-6 early in the opening period.

Mackenzie Proctor then got in on the action with a triple of her own, as well as a tough lay-up to give McNary the 14-11 lead.

“We knew that we could run on them and get ourselves into open space,” McNary guard Sabella Alfaro said. “One of the advantages of our team is that we’re quicker than a lot of teams.”

But late in the quarter,  Westview put on a full-court press that the Celtics weren’t prepared for.

McNary’s starting point guard Leah Doutt was forced to miss the game due to illness, and Westview took advantage by swarming the Celtics with intense defensive pressure in the backcourt. McNary turned the ball over on four straight possessions, which allowed the Wildcats to go on a 9-0 run and take a 20-14 lead.

Without their best ball-handler, the Celtics greatly struggled to get into their half-court offense for the majority of the game.

“With Leah out, we had some players in positions they’re not used to,” Doran said. “Leah usually runs our press-break, so we were asking a lot of kids to step up tonight.”
Transition buckets by Isabella Walker and Rebekah Grimmer gave McNary the momentum to begin the second period, but three straight triples from Westview’s Nicole Flennaugh put the Wildcats up by double-digits.

Flennaugh torched the Celtics for a game-high 30 points.

“(Flennaugh) is a really good player and we didn’t do a good enough job communicating on screens to be able to get a hand in her face,” Alfaro said.

After going to the locker room trailing 41-27, Alfaro and Kennedy Buss each got easy hoops in the opening minute of the second half to cut the lead to 10. But a 20-7 run by Westview made it impossible for the Celtics catch up.

“We have to stop the bleeding when a team goes on a run,” Doran. “That has been one of the themes of our first two games.”

McNary will travel to Central Catholic tonight for a 7 p.m. contest.

Mat men perform well at Springfield Tourney

Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School wrestling team sent 11 athletes to the podium and finished in third place as a squad in the 24-team Springfield Invitational on Saturday, Dec 8.
With their first conference meet right around their corner, head coach Jason Ebbs is impressed with how his young squad is progressing.
“It was a pleasant surprise to see how much success we had,” Ebbs said. “Overall, I’m really happy with how we are developing and improving. We’re getting some good experience for our young kids.”
Of all the Celtic wrestlers, Anthony Garcia-Reyes was the most impressive.
The junior went 5-0 for the tournament and won all of his matches either by pin or major decision and was crowned the tournament champion in the 220-pound division.
“It felt really good to win,” Garcia-Reyes said. “I feel like all the work and conditioning I’ve been putting in was put to the test and I was able to step up to the challenge.”
It was first time Garcia-Reyes had placed first at a tournament in his career.
“In the years that he’s been wrestling, that’s the first time that I’ve seen (Garcia-Reyes) string together five really good matches in a row,” Ebbs said. “Everything that happened in those matches was controlled and determined by him.”
Grady Burrows (120 lbs.) and Garrett Wampler (182) each took third in their respective weight classes after ending the day with a record of 4-1. Eoan Sharabarin (113) Matthew Mehlhoff (160) and Ryan Bamford (182) finished in sixth place while Noah Gatchet (120) took seventh.
After losing his first match, Gilbert Parra (145) came back to win his next two before falling in the consolation championship.
McNary also got big contributions from a trio of freshmen.
Jordan Orr (106) won three out of his four matches to take sixth place. Estaban Victoria (138) also placed sixth while Layne Runyan (220) took seventh.
“It’s huge for our freshmen to win some matches and have success early in the season,” Ebbs said. “The sooner we can get those guys to climb that ladder, the sooner we can get them to set future goals for themselves.”
McNary will compete in the Liberty Invitational Tournament at Liberty High School in Hillsboro on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Their first Mountain Valley Conference dual meet will take place at Sprague High School on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

A Very McNary Holiday features potpourri of disciplines


Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School theatre teacher Tom Cavanaugh is used to organizing shows around the holidays. But he’s never done one like this before.

For the first time ever, McNary is bringing together all of the performing arts — band, choir, orchestra, theatre and jazz band — for a show called A Very McNary Holiday.

There will be three shows from December 13th to December 15th with each performance starting at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at McNary. Tickers will cost $5 apiece.

Cavanaugh, who is the point person for putting this show together, is excited to show people how diverse and talented these kids are.

“Our hope is to give the audience a little bit of a taste of all the different (performing) departments we have here at McNary,” Cavanaugh said.

As a school, McNary takes their performing arts very seriously, so getting the entire department all together in one place makes for quite the special occasion.

“It is nice to see the performing arts department working together to put on a quality performance,” McNary choir teacher Andy Thomas said. “I think (the audience) will enjoy the variety of music.”

“Since it is the first year of the event, the kids don’t really know what to expect. So I think they are interested to see how the program works out.”

In-between musical performances, the theatre crew will put on four different short plays from different classical Christmas movies.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Elf and The Grinch will be the first three plays that will be featured while the fourth skit will be a mash-up that dives into multiple Christmas specials.

Trying to compact a full-length feature film into a greatly condensed version with limited cast members can be difficult. For instance, McNary student Madelyn Hurst will be playing three different roles in Elf.

“There are quite a bit of different things happening at once,” Hurst said. “It’s basically just the movie happening in about seven minutes on stage.”

Hurst isn’t the only one with a lot her plate.

Connor McCormack will be singing several holiday songs with the McNary choir. He we also be playing the lead in The Grinch.

“We’ve only had three weeks to prepare this show. It’s been stressful, but it’s also been a lot of fun,” McCormack said. “Working with the underclassmen has been great. All the theatre students know about the high bar that we set for ourselves.”

One of the more interesting parts of this show is that is completely student-led from the theatre portion. Cavanaugh gives them pointers on how to clean stuff up, but the vast majority of running the plays successfully is put on the kids.

“It’s been pretty unique with the students directing and writing our own shows,” theatre student Jacob Fritts said. “We have been scheduling our own rehearsals and doing our costumes, too.”

Even though a performance like this hasn’t been done before, Cavanaugh is confident in the kids ability to put on an entertaining show.

“The show is coming together great. It’s funny and it’s appropriate for the whole family,” Cavanaugh said. “We just want to give people a night of the holidays.”