Two great prep football Alumni from the State of Oregon made the news today. And both of them reflect the best of the character and concern for others that you would hope and dream that kids might get by participating in sports.
Let’s start with Myles Wade. The All American out of Central Catholic has had almost 6 years now of struggle to make it. Anyone that saw the 6’2″- 315 pound phenom play immediately knew he had what it took to make it to the NFL.
His heart and his soul were tested as he saw his scholarship to Oregon erode and his life diverted to Junior College. The death of his Mother Lori Robinson-Wade followed and was devastating to he and his family.
He pushed on and finished his Associates degree in record time and had a two year stint at Texas Tech before finishing at Portland State two seasons ago. All along the way Wade stayed after it and believed that his faith and his patience would pay off. He was a regular at camps and clinics and coached Youth football at Central Catholic and at Jefferson back in the streets that he grew up in. He has also always been active in Special Olympics supporting his little Sister Olyvia who has Downs Syndrome.
He is perhaps the most worthy guy who could have ever had the news that he got today. His agent called today to let him know he was signed today to the Seattle Seahawks. So his day is here. Now he is in the organization and will be making details to get things worked out and get his shot to get onto that field. It is conceivable he could even get a ring this year but right now he has to be so very happy.
Congrats to Myles.
Now down I-5 in Eugene there has been a story brewing that is just a really great one. John Canzano of the Oregonian did a great piece on an Oregon Duck by the name of Dane Ebanez. The kid is a scout team player. He has barely ever made the field. He has given up his body and his life to the football team and much like the infamous Rudy Ruettiger of Notre Dame he has supported his team and his team mates all the way.
Ebanez has borrowed almost $70,000 dollars in student loans to be at the University of Oregon to study and put himself in a position to be a part of the team.
And while he has been a big part of the team according to all accounts he has never made it into a Bowl Game. The Fiesta Bowl was a dream for the kid for the North Pole. Even to be there was huge. And he hoped he might get in and have a shot in his last game as a Duck after all the time and sacrifice he has put in not to mention the debt.
But as the fiesta bowl went into the final 2 and 1/2 minutes things began to look pretty bleak While Ebanez did not know it someone had a plan to make sure that he got his chance and earned the right to see his name on the list of those who played.
With just 2:30 left in the game the 5’9″-180 pound Alaskan heard his name called. It was a special teams play and he sprinted onto the field as Keanon Lowe, the All American Wide Receiver from Jesuit was hobbling off.
Apparently Keanon Lowe, who we are close to after all the years we covered him, had this planned out ahead of time. Lowe knew that his backup on special teams was Dane Ebanez. And he knew that if he had to leave the game for some reason the kid was getting his shot and walking off the field a BCS Bowl participant who played.
So Lowe had a sudden injury that incapacitated him and the rest is history. Dane Ebanez went in to the Fiesta Bowl and played against Kansas State.
This is so Keanon Lowe. And while we are sure there are probably a whole lot of other people who were in on this one Lowe is the one that made it happen.
We reached Keanon and he said he is not going to talk about it.
“It was just the right thing to do,” said Lowe.
Yes Keanon it really was.
We did push him about Ebanez and what he is like to be around.
“One of the hardest working, selfless kids I have ever met,” said Lowe.
That folks is a story worth celebrating. The Ducks were up 35-17 and the game was winding down. And as much as people want to think this game is for the Fans or the Schools or the Coaches Lowe points out something that most people have forgotten in this age of mega-million coaching salaries and Billion Dollar TV deals.
This is their game. The players. The kids like Keanon Lowe and the Dane Ebanez.
This one is one for the books and for that we thank Keanon Lowe and Dane Ebanez. The stuff legends are made of fellahs.
Hopefully that makes all of you have just a little better week. A little Chicken Soup for the Football Soul ala Oregon’s Best Alumni.
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