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Thanks for the memories

Portland players go out on high note with Les Schwab Bowl victory


by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Sione Taumoeanga Jr., from Roosevelt High, leads the North all-star team in a postgame Haka dance Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium, site of the North's 31-21 Les Schwab Bowl triumph over the South.For the nine Portland players who played in Saturday’s Les Schwab Bowl, it was an experience they will never forget.

Those players were keys and leaders as the North defeated the South 31-21 in the annual high school all-star football game at Hillsboro Stadium.

Roosevelt High defensive lineman Semise Kofe picked up some hardware for his performance in the game. The 6-2, 275-pounder took home the award for being the North’s best lineman.

“It meant a lot because I know there’s a lot of great linemen on our team, and for me to get it is a real honor,” Kofe said.

Kofe said the Les Schwab Bowl was the most fun he has ever had on the gridiron. “This was way more fun than any other high school game I’ve been in,” he said.

Next year, Kofe will be going to Portland State, and two of his Roughriders teammates who also played in the game — James Schell-Buchanan and Sione Taumoe’anga — also are headed to the Park Blocks to play football.

Taumoe’anga, a 6-2, 290-pound defensive lineman, said the Les Schwab Bowl was the most enjoyable all-star game he has ever been in.

“It was fun,” Taumoe’anga said. “I’ve been in many all-star games, but this is my favorite one.”

Schell-Buchanan, a 6-0, 185-pound receiver, said he can hardly wait to play for the Vikings with his Roosevelt teammates. “It’s going to be a blessing,” Schell-Buchanan said. “I’ve spent my entire life with these guys, and it’s going to be a blessing to go to the next level with them.”

Central Catholic High quarterback Aidan Wilder will be going to Portland State next season, too — and with his own all-star game hardware. Wilder, who began his move onto the PSU campus the day after the Les Schwab Bowl, who was chosen as the game’s Most Valuable Player.

by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Aaron Wilder, quarterback from Central Catholic High, picks up a chunk of yardage on a first-half run in Saturdays Les Schwab Bowl at Hillsboro Stadium.“I’m really looking forward to it,” Wilder said, of going to Portland State for more football. “I’ll start workouts and classes. It’s a new path and a new journey, and I know God has a plan for me. I’m excited.”

Wilder left his mark on Saturday’s game by running for two first-half touchdowns. He scored from 2 and 6 yards to cap drives of nine plays, 77 yards and five plays, 46 yards and give the North a 17-14 halftime advantage.

Wilder finished the game with 12 carries for 63 yards, second-best on the North, and he was 11 of 18 passing for 113 yards.

“It was awesome,” Wilder said. “My guys blocked. They did everything. I was just lucky enough to have the ball.”

The Les Schwab Bowl will not be the last time that two other Central Catholic graduates — Anthony Newman and Zach Davis V — play football together, either. Both are going to Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., next season.

“It’s going to be cool,” said Davis, a 5-11, 170-pound receiver. “The Central class is going to be going down to Southern Cal. It’s going to be real fun.”

Davis led all receivers in Saturday’s game with his six receptions and 84 yards receiving.

Newman was grateful for one last opportunity to play for his high school coach, Steve Pyne, who was at the helm for the North after leading the Rams to the Oregon School Activities Association Class 6A championship and an undefeated 2013 season.

by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - North defensive back James Schell-Buchanan of Roosevelt High takes flight in an attempt to tackle South wide receiver Taylor Travess in the fourth quarter at Hillsboro Stadium.“It was a blast,” Newman said. “It was the best time in football I’ve ever had. It was fun playing for Coach Pyne all season and then getting to play for him again in this bowl game. It was like another championship game for me.”

Ryan Nall, the 6-3, 235-pound running back and linebacker from Central Catholic who is bound for Oregon State, had a couple of very good plays on defense for the North and a few great runs in the first half.

Nall, who ran 11 times for 71 yards, had to sit out the second half after tweaking his right ankle. That did not make the experience any less memorable for him, though.

“Hanging out and getting to know some guys all week that I’ve played against, it was fun getting to know them,” he said. “It was just a great time. In the first half, I went on ‘D’ and tweaked my ankle a little bit in a pile. I didn’t want to risk anything, so I just stayed on the sideline, cheered my guys and got hyped whenever they made big plays.”

Nall will head to Corvallis on July 7 to start preparing for the OSU football season.

“I’m excited,” Nall said. “I can’t wait to get down there and show them what I’ve got.”

by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Bryson Dizon of David Douglas High holds off the rush from Hunter Hermansen of North Medford as the North defeats the South 31-21 in Saturdays annual Les Schwab Bowl high school all-star football game at Hillsboro Stadium.David Douglas High offensive/defensive lineman Bryson Dizon was surprised by how easily he was able to bond with his teammates as they prepared for the North-South game.

“It was a lot of fun,” Dizon said. “I bonded with a lot of people I didn’t think I would’ve.”

Next season, the 6-3, 270-pounder will be going to Western Oregon. He has big expectations

“I’m ready to make an immediate contribution, be All-American,” Dizon said.

Jaray Kindell represented Lincoln High in Saturday’s game as a defensive back. Next season, the 5-11, 185-pounder plans to play receiver for Foothill College, a two-year school in Los Altos Hills, Calif. Kindell, who starred on offense for the Portland Interscholastic League Cardinals, joked that playing defense in the Les Schwab Bowl makes him question whether he wants to only catch passes next season.

“It makes me double-think playing receiver at the next level,” Kindell said, with a smile. “But I’ll play anything, I don’t care.”