SUTHERLIN — Jadyn Vermillion lost her junior track and field season at Sutherlin High School in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, missing out on the opportunity to compete for multiple individual state titles and possibly a championship in the 4x100-meter relay.
Then the pandemic threw a curve into her three senior sports seasons (soccer, basketball and track), as the Oregon School Activities Association moved them back to the winter and spring of 2021 and shortened each season to six weeks.
The school year hasn’t been easy for prep athletes and coaches. Vermillion, though, has made the most of her time in a Sutherlin athletic uniform.
• An outstanding soccer season, with the Bulldogs advancing to the Class 3A state semifinals.
• A record-setting track season highlighted by four individual state titles and a team championship.
And a perfect regular season in basketball, which is still going. The Bulldogs hope to win a state title not sanctioned by the OSAA this weekend in Coos Bay.
“You take what you can get at this point,” Vermillion said. “Obviously all athletes would want to have a full season because of the progression you make. Getting that shortened is just taking away from how good you can be.
“But I can’t complain, we’re getting seasons. We’re all grateful to be out here and be able to play. To get our state tournaments and be able to get those trophies is all we can ask for.”
Vermillion, who graduated from Sutherlin earlier this month with a 3.9 GPA, has been selected The News-Review’s Female Prep Athlete of the Year.
“Sutherlin has made me the person I am,” said Vermillion, who transferred to Sutherlin after attending South Umpqua as a freshman. “I can’t thank all the coaches and everybody here enough for making everything so much better for me.”
The 5-foot-7 Vermillion, the daughter of Keri and Tyson Vermillion, was an All-Special District 4 first-team selection in soccer and was named the Elite Oregon Girls Player of the Year. She scored 36 goals in 11 games.
The Bulldogs shared the regular season league title with Brookings-Harbor, but defeated the Bruins in a league playoff and lost to St. Mary’s in the semis, finishing 9-2 overall.
“Jadyn is a hard worker and great leader,” Sutherlin girls soccer coach Miguel Carrillo said. “Very intelligent. Everybody follows Jadyn, she tries to help the younger kids. She’s a gifted talent, but a real nice kid all around.”
Sophomore Micah Wicks was a teammate of Vermillion’s in soccer and starts alongside her in basketball.
“It’s been great (having her as a teammate),” Wicks said. “Jadyn’s my best friend and we always talk about it in any game we play together. I tell her, ‘you’re going to kick the ball hard and going to go run and get it because you’re faster than anyone.’ It works out pretty well.”
Vermillion felt the soccer season went better than expected.
“We went into it not really knowing what we had or what was going to happen,” she said. “That was right at the start of COVID sports. We were unsure if we were going to get a tournament or what we were playing for.
“We were league champs. (Sutherlin) girls soccer hasn’t been league champs for 10 years, so that was really nice. We had a ton of freshmen who stepped up and they did a great job.”
In track, Vermillion achieved everything she wanted.
She won four individual championships in the 3A “Culmination” state meet in Harrisburg, beating the field in the 100 (12.54 seconds), 200 (25.76), long jump (17-9) and triple jump (35-11 3/4). The long jump was a personal best.
To add frosting on the cake, the Sutherlin girls won the team crown with 113 points, 10 ahead of St. Mary’s.
“It was something I’ve always wanted since I was six years old — since I started track — was my dream to be a four-time state champion,” Vermillion said. “For our team to come out on top was a dream come true.
“(The team title) was so cool. Paige Edmonson scored way more points than she was supposed to. The (4x400) relay did great (second). Erica MacDonald only had two weeks of practice and was the state champion (in the shot put). Mallory Turner was hurt all season and came away with two titles (in the 100 hurdles and high jump).”
Vermillion owns individual school records in the 100 (12.43), 200 (25.45), long jump (17-9) and triple jump (38-1/2). She ran a leg on the 4x100 relay (50.25), which won the state title and set a school record in 2019.
Vermillion was also a state champ in the long jump as a sophomore.
“Jadyn is one of the best athletes to come through Sutherlin,” head track coach Mark Wiley said. “She was awesome and a joy to coach. She’s so ultra competitive which can be difficult ... she’s so hard on herself, but that’s what makes her unique. She’s driven.
“She’s a great kid. She’s not only a great athlete, but a really good student and really mature. The other girls wanted to win state for Jadyn.”
The pandemic moved basketball season, which normally runs from December to March, to the end of the school year.
The Bulldogs were expected to be one of the top teams in the state after losing to Clatskanie in the title game last year, and they’ve delivered. They’re unbeaten in 11 games heading into the postseason, averaging 57.3 points and allowing 37.7.
Vermillion has averaged 13 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals a game over the past two seasons. She was the Far West League MVP and first-team all-state as a junior.
“Jadyn’s a kid you don’t replace and not just athletically,” Sutherlin girls basketball coach Josh Grotting said. “A tremendous leader and person. As a coach, you’re blessed to get those type of kids. She’s taught our young kids what it takes to be a successful student-athlete and person.”
The Bulldogs are motivated to finish the season strong, and have Clatskanie on their minds.
“Last year we hoped to be on top (in the state), but we’re going to see this year,” Vermillion said. “We want another shot at Clatskanie, for sure. We’ve been thinking of them since the day we lost and hope we can meet again.”
Vermillion will take her talents to Umpqua Community College in the fall and compete in basketball and track.
“I’m super excited to go to UCC and compete in two sports I love,” she said. “I just hope to get a lot better.”
Another senior who was strongly considered for Female Prep Athlete of the Year was Amy Dickover of Sutherlin.
Dickover, in her second year at Sutherlin after transferring from Douglas, received all-league honors in volleyball and softball and also competed in track. The 6-2 post has played a big role in Sutherlin’s successful basketball season, scoring a school-record 43 points against St. Mary’s.
She’ll be heading to UCC to play basketball.