By 509J Communications
Jerin Say has been leading Madras High School’s girls’ basketball team for four years now. In that time, he has quickly developed his team into a state playoff contender. Coming off the team’s 3rd place finish at the State Tournament this year, Say has another accomplishment to hang his hat on.
The Oregonian/OregonLive named him the 4A Girls Coach of the Year for guiding the White Buffalos to another Tri-Valley Conference Championship and third place finish in the state playoffs.
“I know the work I put into the season as a coach, not only to the season but before the season,” Say said. “Without those players, I can’t be the coach I am also so it isn’t about me. It’s about all of us collectively on the team and reaching goals.”
In addition to being the girls’ basketball head coach, Say is the Educational Resource Center [ERC] teacher at Madras Elementary. He is in his first-year teaching but has worked for the school district for the last six years as an educational assistant at the high school.
“This is what I do. This is what I love to do, you know, helping the kids in our community,” Say said. “I grew up here. I graduated from Madras.”
Say is a 2004 alum from Madras High School. He was a junior in high school the last time the girls’ basketball team won a state championship back in 2003.
“I talked to the girls about what the 2003 girls went through,” he said. “The leadership and the teams they face, the caliber of players they face, and what it took for them to win as well.”
He is looking forward to what the next few years have in store for him as a coach, and also for his players.
“We have a bright future. We’re looking forward to building on where we got this year,” Say said. “It’s very promising to see the work they want to continue to put into themselves, the team, the program, and the offseason to try to get back to state next year and see if we can go a little further than what we did this year.”
Sophomore Ryland Davis also earned some individual awards this year. She was named an honorable mention for The Oregonian/OreonLive’s all-state team. She earned second-team all-tournament in the state playoffs and second-team all-state from the Oregon Basketball Coaches Association.
Teammate and sophomore Sasha Esquiro was named first-team all-tournament. The Madras girls’ team also brought home the Sportsmanship Award from the state tournament this year.