Gridiron goodbye: The football seniors look back on their years at Lewis & Clark

(Photo Courtesy of LC Pioneers)

By ABE FIELD

As the football season comes to a close this weekend, the football seniors took time to reflect on their time on the team over the past four (or more) seasons. They responded to a series of questions on what their yearbook quote would be, their favorite moment on the team, what NFL player they would want to play with or against (current or past), what they hope to leave behind for future athletes on the team and their current post-graduation plans.

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Josh Cena ’16

“Once you have accomplished the whip, everything else in life is easy.”

One of my favorite moments was getting a pick-six my sophomore year for 50 yards.

I would play with Bo Jackson, he is the greatest athlete of all time and part of Raider Nation, so that’s a plus!

I hope to leave behind a path of success in areas besides the gridiron.

I plan to stick around in Portland and attend a nursing school program (preferably at Oregon Health & Science University).

Alexander Fitch ’16

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” – Dalai Lama

My favorite Pioneer football memory was the homecoming game of my junior season this past year. The scoreboard did not tilt our way in the end, but everyone on the field that day played out of their minds. The energy in the air was palpable. After a rough start to the season, it seemed like big play after big play was happening in our favor. Seeing it all click after so much adversity was one of the best feelings I have had in sport.

Maybe this is the obvious choice, but if I could be around anyone, it would have to be JJ Watt. He is on track to be the greatest defensive player of all time. It also doesn’t hurt that he plays my position. His work ethic is arguably the best in the NFL and it allows him to do some amazing things on the field. Despite this, he remains incredibly humble and kind. He is the kind of person whose success is infectious, which is what makes him such a role model of mine.

Suffice to say that my pioneer football record is not what it could have been. As I exit the program, I hope that my teammates and I left a foundation that this young team can build success on. For how hard everyone on this team works, they deserve to see W’s on the scoreboard each and every week. The talent is there, it always has been. I hope that the other seniors and I have been good enough role models to allow the talent of these men to be put to good use.

Post-grad is complicated. I have every intention of going to graduate school a year or two from now. In the meantime, I hope to either get a job in film or to go play a season of rugby in Australia. I am a firm believer in the fact that life is about experiences. I am going to go have some before I lock down on a career path.

Kristian Grobecker ’16

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley

My fondest memory is walking onto the field the first day of camp and not knowing what I got myself into but being excited to start something new.

It would be Jerry Rice, because of all the things I could learn from him and how easy it would make my job with him playing as the other receiver.

I hope to leave behind the idea that while you’re in college you should try everything you’re interested in and have no regrets. So far every decision I’ve made to try something new has been an experience I’m grateful for.

I hope to start a job, move up to CEO, and make billions.

Colby Mazzuca ’16

“Take it sleazy….and I’m out” – Adam “top gun” DeMamp

My fondest memory would have to be our trip to New York. We played a great game and then got to tour the city which was so fun and then our hotel room caught on fire. It was a crazy trip.

I’d like to play with Tom Brady. He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and it’d be fun to play with that kind of athlete.

I hope to leave behind the start of a legacy. I’ve been around with the previous coaching staff and now the “New Era” with Coach Jay Locey. And however this season turns out, I want this to be the starting point of a successful history of LC football. When people look back, I want them to know that the 2015 season of LC football is where it all started.

I plan on going to grad school for engineering and then life starts for real I guess.

Deion Mock ’16

“Work hard, grow, have fun and enjoy!”

Fondest memory of LC football was the overtime game against Pacific University last year. It was homecoming, unfortunately I was unable to play due to a concussion, but in front of all the alumni and family that came to LC for the weekend, we ignored everything said about our winless team, we came together, worked as one and we fought with the, at the time, undefeated Pacific University. We lost in overtime, but we showed the conference not to underestimate us, and this has been the fight that we have shown all season this year, and I couldn’t ask for anything more from my team.

JJ Watt is a player I’d choose to play with. He is such a humble and hard working athlete that brings enthusiasm to everything he does.

I hope to leave behind an idea with the younger players of how a senior should be. How we work out, study film, work without complaint, trust in our teammates, overcome adversity, study, manage time and that they continue to exhibit this and continue this example.

Post-grad, I plan to enter the field of Software Development, hopefully in the Portland area so I can be around to witness the football program’s growth.

Billy Robles ’16

“Hahah… Get wrecked!”

This question is extremely difficult to answer because in my four years I have so many amazing memories with LC football. But the greatest of memories all include my position group, the offensive line. From my first day of training camp in 2012 the LC offensive line has treated me like family and we have made incredible memories from normal horsing around, to going to watch our favorite bands perform, through all the grueling film sessions and hard practices, and all of the incredible places we have traveled the offensive line has been there every step of the way. I would like to thank (if possible) previous LC o-lineman: Garrett Williams, Raul Milan, Patric Blaylock, Matt DeRosa, and current o-lineman: Spencer Lane, Colby Mazzuca, Kian Lutu, Maka Ah-lu, Michael Nosek, Jacob Lewis, Dakota, Luke, Login and Austin for all of these incredible memories.

I would love to play with defensive end Chris Long from the St. Louis Rams. I love the intensity and energy he plays with. The demeanor that he takes to the football field is incredible, and judging from his interviews, he seems to be a charismatic and sarcastic person which would be fun to be around.

I hope to leave behind a legacy of hard work, passion and pure love for the game, and most importantly the idea that your team is your family and thus you should care for them, love them, and want to play your best for them.

Post graduating LC I plan to attend graduate school for mechanical engineering and further pursue my passion for cars.

Lucas Rogers ’16

“This is your life, not a rehearsal.’ Somewhere there’s a score being kept, so you have an obligation to live life as well as you can, be as engaged as you can. The human condition means that we can zone out and forget what the hell we’re doing. So the secret is to have a sense of yourself, your real self, your unique self. And not just once in a while, or once a day, but all through the day, the week and life. You know what they say: ‘Ain’t no try, ain’t nothin to it but to do it.” – Bill Murray

I don’t have a specific memory. There has been many great things that have happened throughout my football career here at LC. It’s hard to chose just one memory.

Walter Payton because I love the Chicago Bears and he was the greatest. I would want to play with any present or past NFL player.

I hope to leave behind fond memories and a positive lasting impression on the younger players.

My post-grad plan is to become an Officer in the Marines.

Bruce Taft Jr. ’16

“Without confidence you are already twice beaten in the race of life”

Starting off my football career going 7-0. The atmosphere around campus was great and the social life was even better.

I would love to play against Richard Sherman honestly. I mean the guy is a beast, but the amount of competition it would be every time I line up for a snap would be worth it. Plus too, I love to talk trash when things get intense.

I hope to leave behind an attitude of “team.” It takes every man on the roster to be successful and take on a championship mentality. No one guy can do it all by himself, even if he is an All-American. I was a team guy, and I hope to pass that on to my teammates.

Post-grad right now I’m looking into either graduate school at LC or staying in Portland and finding a job.

Siosifa Tonga ’16

“If there was no darkness, there would be no stars”

My fondest memory from LC football would have to be playing Pacific University and last years homecoming game (2014). We lost but we showed a lot of heart and who we can really be as a program when we all decide to step up to the plate and play how we can.

If I could, I would love to have played with Ray Lewis. I loved his passion for the game and admired his leadership. He was aggressive and played with a purpose every game. That is what made him who he was, the reason why people feared him. He was consistent in who he wanted to be. That was being an aggressive big hitting linebacker.

All I wish to leave behind is a legacy of perseverance and passion with the program.

I am looking to work for the sheriff’s department of San Mateo County. Also, I wish to work in mental health.

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