Klamath Falls sports teams have more championships under their belts per capita than any other small town in America. Okay, I don’t have actual statistics to back that up, but there is no doubt that athletic success in the Klamath basin occurs on a regular basis. To make it even more impressive, some of these programs achieved back to back or 3-peat titles.
So what is the magic formula? I want to go back and look at some of the top championship teams in Klamath Falls sports, but first I want to look deeper into the athletes and coaches (I’m guessing some of you reading this right now are the very same people I’m about to describe).
There are definitely similar characteristics of athletes on championship teams, but what are they? What are the main beliefs and values of these athletes and is it really the reason they win it all? We set out to answer some of these questions. Here are some common characteristics and how they help athletes take the next level of success.
LET’S LOOK AT SOME COMMON TRAITS OF ATHLETES ON CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS
- SELF IMPROVEMENT – The athlete takes initiative on their own to do extra work whether it’s on the court/field or in the playbook. These athletes do whatever it takes to build confidence in their own time, so that when it’s time to perform, they can focus on executing their responsibilities.
- COACHABILITY – One of the greatest compliments a young athlete can receive from a coach is they are “coachable”. Being coachable is simply the transfer and efficiency of receiving coaching input and producing performance output. If you can be a player that only has to be told one time how or how not to perform a certain task, you have tremendous value.
- HUMILITY – Although this isn’t everywhere, Klamath Falls sports teams and athletes tend to have a humility to them that makes them even more likable, yet even more despised when dominated the field. “How can you be humble and win multiple state championships?” you may ask. It’s possible and if you don’t believe me, go ask the Henley baseball team (We’ll talk about them later)
- FAIL AWARE – Athletes that focus on failure are typically patient and very self aware, which could be listed as additional characteristics, but there’s more to this point. If you are an athlete that gets frustrated with failure, you’re not going to last very long. In basketball, 50% shooting percentage is good. (That’s 50% failure rate). In baseball/softball, a .400 batting average is good (That’s a 60% failure rate). Because failure is somewhat accepted in sports, the athletes that embrace it for a learning vehicle tend to notice the reasons for failure and thrive on “failing to the win” or simply learning from their mistakes.
NOW, LET’S LOOK AT SOME COMMON TRAITS OF COACHES ON CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS
This is always a fun discussion. Can a coach with little talent produce a championship team? On the other side, can a crazy talented team of athletes win a championship without a good coach? Both valid questions. Let’s dig into that with some common traits of coaches.
- SYSTEMATIC – Championship coaches have great systems, bottom line. That system can be anything from the culture of the team to the X’s and O’s of the playbook. Whatever it is, they do it every year and they have a unconditional belief in this system. Where the top coaches separate themselves is having the flexibility around their system to implement adjustments according to their personnel or team.
- PERSONABLE – Coaches that are successful are required to be likable. You don’t have to like them in the coaches box or during the games. But when the buzzer sounds or the last spike hits the floor (got a volleyball shoutout there!), that coach has a job to do. RECRUIT! If a coach can’t recruit, then that success will not be sustained. And if the coaches are jerks, then nobody is going to want to play for that program. I know there are exceptions of this, but believe me those types crash and burn.
- INSPIRING – When the bus ride is long and the energy is low, it’s the coach that gets you ready for the game. When the shot is not falling or your’re not reading the strike zone, it’s the coach that gets your head straight and back into the game. Coaches are on call to improve attitudes, deploy reserve confidence and push their team’s psyche up that hill to success.
The list continues for traits of successful coaches in the Klamath Basin, but let’s get to the championship teams already.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE CHAMPIONSHIPS IN KLAMATH FALLS SPORTS
- Oregon Tech Men’s Basketball Wins 3 National Championships (’04, ’08, ’12)
- Henley High School Boys Baseball Wins Multiple State Championships (’81, ’83, ’91, ’96, ’04, ’05, ’13, ’14, ’16)
- Mazama High School Basketball Wins 3 State Championships (’96, ’00, ’03)
- Henley High School Girls Softball Wins 2 State Championships (’89, ’17)
- Mazama High School Girls Basketball Wins State Championship (2013)
- Klamath Union High School Baseball Team Wins Multiple State Championships (’72, ’75, ’79, ’83, ’90)
- Henley High School Volleyball Wins 3 State Championships (’90, ’91, ’01)
- Henley High School Football Teams Wins State Championship (1946)
- Lost River High School Wins Multiple Football Championships (’55, ’58, ’62, ’97, ’04)
- Klamath Union High School Boys Basketball Wins 3 State Championships (’58, ’61, ’65)
- Lost River High School Wins Boys Basketball State Championship (Formerly Malin) (1956)
- Henley High School Cheerleaders Win 2 State Championships (’02, ’18)
- Mazama High School Cheerleaders Win State Championship (2005)
- Klamath Union High School Cheerleaders Win Multiple State Championships (’14, ’15’, ’16)
- Henley High School Track & Field Win Multiple State Championships (’47, ’48, ’81, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’00, ’02, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’15, ’16)
- Mazama High School Track & Field Win State Championship (1993)
- Bonanza High School Track & Field Win State Championship (2007)
- Lost River High School Track & Field Win State Championship (1980)
Now, there is no question, I have not covered every single championship, so please mention any I am missing or memories of the ones you remember in the comments. We’d love to hear your story and experience.
Thank you for reading our article on successful Klamath Falls sports teams. You may be wondering why we are writing about sports when we are a Klamath Falls real estate company. Here’s why.
Our team of real estate agents live in our community and enjoy the amenities it provides. Many of our agents have children in sports and even more support athletic teams on an annual basis. Because of this affinity to sports, it is often tied to the rapport that our agents earn with our clients. We know that sports is important to Klamath Falls and it’s residents. That’s our why. We want to share these types of articles because it’s important to our community. It’s that simple.
If there are topics you’d like us to consider, please let us know. We are not just realtors and we don’t just sell homes and list properties. Let us know in the comments or reach out to us on the contact page.