Pacific University’s Tyler Kailiuli and Brad Lander of George Fox University, two former Roseburg High football players, have received all-conference honors in the Division III Northwest Conference.
Kailiuli, a 6-foot, 245-pound senior offensive guard, was a first-team all-NWC selection on offense.
The Boxers of Forest Grove finished 4-4 overall and tied for fourth place with Pacific Lutheran in the conference standings at 4-3. Pacific ended its season last Saturday with a 35-7 loss to No. 8-ranked Linfield.
“It feels pretty good ... it’s a nice cherry on top,” Kailiuli said of his all-conference honor. “I got second team (all-league at Roseburg) and everyone told me I was too small (to play college football). This was the best season I had and it shows all the hard work paid off.”
Kailiuli, who’s majoring in exercise science, is scheduled to graduate in the spring. He’s looking at a career in physical therapy.
“It’s definitely been a grind,” he said of his college career. “The first two seasons I was on the scout team and basically got my butt kicked. I got in the (playing) rotation my junior year. I became a starter after a teammate got hurt, and took full advantage of it.
“I studied the playbook and worked out every day in the offseason, and came in pretty prepared. We progressed and got better each week (offensively).”
Kailiuli describes his college experience as “fantastic.”
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he said. “I love the small school atmosphere. The coaches definitely helped and showed me life lessons.”
Junior punter Ryan Carhart, a Roseburg graduate, averaged 38.2 yards on 42 punts for the Boxers. His average tied for second in the NWC.
Chris Shoffner, a senior safety from Roseburg, also was on Pacific’s roster.
Lander was a second-team wide receiver on offense. The 5-11, 180-pound senior was GFU’s leading receiver with 35 catches for 540 yards and seven touchdowns.
He concluded his college career with 140 receptions for 2,158 yards and 14 TDs. Lander caught a 42-yard scoring pass in the third quarter of last Saturday’s regular season finale, a 21-7 win over Puget Sound.
The Bruins of Newberg finished 7-3 overall and tied for second with Whitworth in the conference at 5-2.
Seniors Jake Heverly (Roseburg) and Matt Thompson (Camas Valley) also ended their college careers for George Fox. Heverly, a starting safety, made 26 tackles in seven games. Thompson, a reserve linebacker, played in seven contests and contributed mostly on special teams.
Senior quarterback Ian Kolste of Whitworth was selected the NWC’s offensive player of the year. Senior linebacker Jason Farlow of Linfield and junior linebacker Charles Riga of George Fox shared the defensive player of the year award.
Defensive lineman Cameron Chang of Lewis & Clark was the freshman of the year. Joseph Smith, who guided Linfield to the conference title, was coach of the year.