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August 25, 2012

Remembering Andrew Keller Of Southridge

It is never easy to do these and to say goodbye. We however never forget our Fallen Boys. On the field at Southridge he was a leader and a true team mate. On the field of battle in Afghanistan he was the same thing for his fellow Soldiers. And now he is gone. Today we remember and Honor one of the Metro League and State of Oregon's best from the Class of 2008. Andrew Keller of Southridge High School is gone.

It is our deepest wish here at NWPR that you all watch the videos below and read up on the Life of this amazing young man. I can tell you from personal experience that he was a terrific athlete and leader. For many years we watched him as a youth football and baseball player from the sidelines across the valley and Westview and we all knew who he was. He left his mark on the world.

We will keep this story and all of the information we have here at our sites where we document the passing of our young men and women from our region who have gone on to make a difference and lost their lives.

Andrew Keller is one such person and our hearts and prayers go out to his Family and all of our service people.

http://www.oregonlive.com/beaverton/index.ssf/2012/08/friends_remember_andrew_keller.htmlKeller was killed when insurgents attacked his unit in Charkh, in the southern part of Logar province in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense reported. He is the 34th soldier from Oregon to be killed in Afghanistan.

Keller was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy. He was deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Family members took a plane Friday morning to the East Coast to retrieve Keller's body and couldn't be reached for comment.

Others in the Beaverton community, however, felt the deep loss for the formerSouthridge High Schoolstudent and popular football star.

As a child, Andrew Keller grew up around the love of sports. He played in theSouthridge Youth Footballprogram, and his father, Jeff Keller, managed aMurrayhill Little Leagueteam that went to the Little League World Series in 2006.

Keller was a gifted athlete in football and enjoyed mentoring others at youth camps, said Jeff Martin, a former coach from the youth program.

Andrew_Keller-memorial-closeup.JPGView full sizeA memorial near south Beaverton honors Andrew Keller, 22, a former Southridge High School student.

On Friday, Martin stood alone at the edge of a roundabout near south Beaverton, wiping away tears that slid out from underneath his sunglasses. He stared at the American flags and a memorial of Keller's picture and a Southridge football helmet.

In the youth program up until eighth grade, Keller played as a linebacker and running back, sometimes even in pain with injuries so that he wouldn't let his team down, Martin said.

"You can't walk too far here without running into someone who knew him," Martin said. "It's really affected the community."

Keller carried his strong work ethic to the varsity football team at Southridge High, where he mostly played as an outside linebacker. During one game leading up to the championships against Jesuit High School, Keller continued to play with a torn-up shoulder so he could support his team, said Doug Dean, who at the time was a defense coordinator.

"I was just devastated with the loss of him," Dean said. "He was a tremendous young man. It was really hard to swallow."

Here is a Tribute to the Fallen Hero.

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

About the Author

Dirk is a lifelong resident of the Pacific NW; athlete and Merit scholar. He runs camps, clinics, and has been a sports writer and analyst for nearly a decade now; mostly with Rivals.com as the editor of OregonPreps and WashingtonPreps.com. Dirk is the founder of NWPR & BrainChampions.org; a charity for injured athletes suffering from Brain Trauma / Concussion. He is a father of three and married.

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