Craig Loper

Sports Reporter

Craig Loper
Craig Loper
Sports Reporter
Craig Loper is a graduate of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon.

During his time as a student, he pursued his passion of sports journalism as much as possible. After spending a year on the football team in 2009, he turned his focus to his education and opportunities in the sports media field. During the fall of 2011, he lived in Tucson, Arizona and interned at the CBS affiliate TV station KOLD. This was his first real experience working in a newsroom and being hands on in making a television broadcast. In his time there, he covered UA football and basketball, worked as a photographer for high school football games Friday nights and helped the weekend anchor to produce his weekend shows.

After getting his feet wet in Arizona, Craig finished his junior year of college ready for more. In the summer of 2012, he was hired as a full-time intern with Fox Sports in Los Angeles, CA. While there, he reported for Scout.com covering the nation’s top high school football prospects.

In the summer of 2013, he was hired at KMTR as a sports reporter and anchor.

A Eugene native, Craig enjoys covering the teams he grew up watching. He also feels a great connection with all of the local high schools, as he was once a student-athlete in the area himself.

In his free time, you will most likely find him in the gym lifting weights, hiking, or getting a workout in on a local trail. He is very passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and loves to talk to others about fitness and nutrition.

Recent stories by Craig Loper

Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Ellie Pascoe-Long Prep Athlete of the Week: Ellie Pascoe-Long (Video)
Ellie Pascoe-Long is a senior at Churchill High School and a level 10 gymnast for the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics.

She also signed her letter of intent with San Jose State last week and will be competing for the Spartans next year.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for Prep Athlete of the Week
Prep Athlete South Eugene soccer team sets sights on a state title South Eugene soccer team sets sights on a state title (Video)
Kirk Bassett is one of three senior captains for the South Eugene soccer team.

He's been steadily improving since his freshman year and is now the 6A Southwest Conference Player of the Year.

Unbeaten so far this season on the soccer pitch, the Axemen has its sights set high.

Bassett said the goal is to win the state title - and he's confident that if they take care of business, they can do it.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for Prep Athlete of the Week
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Griffin Jeskey Prep Athlete of the Week: Griffin Jeskey (Video)
This week’s prep athlete of the week is Griffin Jeskey, a freshman soccer player at Willamette High School with 8 goals and 6 assists.

He is on his way to breaking the scoring record as a freshman at Willamette, and he is a good student and athlete.

Willamette just moved from 5A to 6A and is competing because of the output of Griffin.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for Prep Athlete of the Week
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete Of The Week: Alex Johnston Prep Athlete Of The Week: Alex Johnston (Video)
It’s not just Alex Johnston’s size that makes him stand out on the football field. The senior’s ability to lead made him captain of the Junction City High School team for his third season.

Johnston carries those leadership skills off the field. He’s been a volunteer for groups like Habitat for Humanity and Meals On Wheels since the sixth grade.

"I love helping people and just doing whatever I can to give back, because the community has given me so much,” said Johnston. "My dad is always telling me that… you can be a good football player but it doesn't really make a difference if you don't build any character.”
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete Of The Week: Olivia Powell Prep Athlete Of The Week: Olivia Powell (Video)
Olivia Powell has been dominating the prep-level competition in the TrackTown U.S.A. during her time at Creswell High School. This season she’s looking to make her mark at the 5A level.

Powell has won six state championships – three in cross country and three in track and field. She won her first one when she was just 14 years old and a freshman at Creswell High.

"Going into it I knew that I would be up there. I had been working hard and putting in the miles and stuff and my goal was to win but after it happened I had a hard time believing it,” said Powell.
Sports Ducks, Beavers host season openers Saturday Ducks, Beavers host season openers Saturday (Video)
No matter who you root for, college football fans in Oregon have something to cheer about this weekend.

The Oregon State Beavers take on the Portland State Vikings at 1 p.m. Saturday in Reser Stadium, bringing the football fever back to Corvallis.

Eugene hometown favorites the University of Oregon Ducks have a 7 p.m. kick off at Autzen Stadium in their season opener against South Dakota.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Aaron Clift Prep Athlete of the Week: Aaron Clift (Video)
Success hasn't come without a few setbacks for Thurston High pitcher Aaron Clift.

His sophomore season, he tore his rotator cuff in his throwing arm.

He recovered. Now a senior, Clift will pursue an opportunity next year to play at Mount Hood Community College, where he says he knew instantly it was the right fit.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for Prep Athlete of the Week
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Kendra Daniels Prep Athlete of the Week: Kendra Daniels (Photo Gallery) (Video)
Kendra Daniels has been a gymnast at Gymnastics Northwest since she was 5 years old.

Thirteen years later, Daniels recently accomplished one of the highest feats a prep gymnast can achieve: a level 10 state champion in beam, floor, vault and all around.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for Prep Athlete of the Week
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Nick Nestell Prep Athlete of the Week: Nick Nestell (Video)
The point guard on a basketball team is the floor general, the leader, and an extension of the head coach.

Sheldon High School head boys basketball coach Daniel Clark says his point guard, Nick Nestell, is no different, embodying each of those characteristics.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Jonah Saraceno Prep Athlete of the Week: Jonah Saraceno (Video)
Jonah Saraceno may not score the most points for the Marist basketball team, but for him it's not about stats.

It's about setting a good example for his underclassmen teammates and doing his best keep up the energy level each day.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Sami Osborne Prep Athlete of the Week: Sami Osborne (Video)
When Sami Osborne first stepped onto the Willamette High School campus, Wolverines assistant coach Lance Haas says she was quiet and shy.

But now Osborne is a captain of the 13-1 top-ranked Willamette girls basketball team.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Luke Wilson Prep Athlete of the Week: Luke Wilson (Video)
Luke Wilson achieved his goal of becoming a starter on the varsity basketball team at Springfield High School as a freshman.

The 15-year-old carries himself and makes plays in a way older than what his age would tell, including a key block and buzzer beating shot to finish last week's game against Thurston.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.
Prep Athlete 'It was only a matter of time before it clicked' 'It was only a matter of time before it clicked' (Video)
Marcus McGovern almost quit wrestling his sophomore year.

"He was frustrated. I was kind of frustrated as well," Sheldon High School wrestling coach Elias Soto said, "and there was really no solution except for just going through the progression and having a lack of experience."

Now the senior hopes to have a season to remember for the Irish.

"I knew I had all the potential to be a really good wrestler," McGovern said. "I just couldn't quite figure it out. Wrestling is just a tough sport, mentally and physically."

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.
Sports Ducks' RB Thomas leaves Oregon for NFL Ducks' RB Thomas leaves Oregon for NFL (Video)
Oregon’s junior running back De’Anthony Thomas issued a statement Sunday that he will be forgoing his senior season and heading to the NFL.

Thomas stepped onto the Oregon football team in 2011 and immediately dazzled duck fans with his mixture of lightning like speed and quickness. Just as quick as Thomas stepped on the field, his time in an Oregon uniform has officially come to an end.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Eli Lininger Prep Athlete of the Week: Eli Lininger (Video)
The South Eugene High School boys basketball team didn't finish where it wanted to last season.

Heading into this year, the axemen are reloaded and lead by one of the best players in 6a.

Eli Lininger is the prep athlete of the week for December 5.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Mitchell Herbert Prep Athlete of the Week: Mitchell Herbert (Video)
Sheldon High School head football coach Lane Johnson is a fan of is Irish senior wide receiver Mitchell Herbert.

Herbert also plays defense, but there's no doubt he creates a mismatch nightmare for the defense. Last week, Herbert had a highlight to remember when he took a simple screen pass 88 yards to the end zone.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week: Tel Jones Prep Athlete of the Week: Tel Jones (Photo Gallery) (Video)
It's rare to see a freshman listed on the varsity football roster, as most of them just aren't physically or mentally mature enough for the speed of the game.

Harrisburg’s quarterback Tel Jones isn't most freshman.

Jones has led his team to a 9-1 record and a second round playoff berth.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.
Prep Athlete Prep Athlete of the Week for October 31 Prep Athlete of the Week for October 31 (Video)
The Prep Athlete of the Week for October 31 is a high school senior.

She is described as the “anchor” of her team's defense over the course of the past three seasons.

In her three years on varsity, she’s helped to lead the team to three straight Midwestern League championships and back-to-back semifinal playoff appearances.

Watch KMTR NewsSource 16 Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 for Prep Athlete of the Week.