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Schwab showdown cements friendships

Football isn't only highlight during all-star bowl week


by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAN BROOD - North players (from left) Joseph Balfour of Sherwood, Mitch Lomax of Lake Oswego and Cory Hincks from Wilson celebrate after stopping a South fourth-down play in last weeks Les Schwab Bowl.The players came from different schools, won a football game and now will go in different directions.

“It was a really fun time,” Lincoln High quarterback John Williams said after helping the North all-stars beat the South 21-14 in last week’s Les Schwab Bowl at Hillsboro Stadium. “You come in as enemies, in some ways, and everyone comes out as friends.”

Williams completed 10 of 17 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown for the North, which broke a 14-14 tie when Oregon City’s Mitchell Thompson scored on a 1-yard run with 9:34 remaining.

Williams hasn’t chosen a college, but said he will happily focus on textbooks instead of playbooks.

“I’m excited to be a regular student,” he says. “I like the academic side of stuff, and I’m looking forward to that.”

• Jesuit center Doug Brenner said the highlight of bowl week for him was when the teams visited the Providence Center for Medically Fragile Children, where they cleaned equipment and interacted with patients.

“Going to the children’s hospital and making an impact on those kids’ lives was just a huge and powerful experience,” Brenner said. “This week was about so much more than just a football game.”

The morning after the game, Brenner drove to Eugene to begin preparing himself to play football for Oregon.

“I love the coaches, I love the players, I’m excited to be a Duck,” he said. “I feel blessed.”

• Central Catholic kicker Mitch Seeley made two of three field-goal attempts, hitting from 32 and 28 yards. He said it was difficult getting used to a new kicking unit, though.

“It was weird having a new holder and new snapper,” he said. “It was a little iffy at first, but I was ready for the start of the game.”

Seeley will go to Oregon State, where he plans on redshirting and hopes to then compete to be the Beavers’ punter.

“Hopefully I can get starting time within the next two years,” he said.

• The Harlem Shake is sweeping the nation, and the North made its own video one night.

“We were free-styling together,” said Cory Hincks, a North back from Wilson. “Everyone had a great time.”

n Central Catholic linebacker Beau Duronslet credited chemistry for the victory that gave the North a 32-30-4 lead in the series.

“We really bought in together,” said Duronslet, who will play for Portland State.

• Wilson linebacker Zach Wildgrube never expected to be playing in the all-star game.

“I started playing football my junior year, when I was on the JV,” he said. “I had no idea I’d even be on varsity my senior year.”

• David Douglas defensive end Samson Ebukam has signed to play for Eastern Washington. Whether he plays or redshirts may depend on how much he eats this summer.

“If I stay this weight (225 pounds), then I’ll probably have to wait,” he said. “But if I gain 15 to 20 pounds, then I could play this year.”

• Central Catholic lineman Mitch Williams called the week leading up to the Schwab Bowl “one of the best weeks of my life.” The North players “became brothers in just a six-day period. That was probably the greatest thing ever.”

Williams will enroll at NCAA Division III power Linfield.

“I’m hoping to get a few rings on my fingers,” he said. “They have a pretty good program.”