OAKLAND — Wil Powell is going to join the Pioneers of Lewis & Clark College.

The Oakland High School senior running back/linebacker recently announced his decision to play football at the NCAA Division III school in Portland.

Powell, a 5-foot-9, 200-pounder, chose Lewis & Clark over Pacific University and George Fox University.

“I felt drawn to Lewis & Clark. Their coaching staff felt really genuine,” Powell said. “Coach (Jay) Locey seemed genuinely interested — not only about my play on the field, but my life in general. I felt a good connection with the coaching staff.”

Powell had a strong senior season for the Oakers, who finished 8-3 overall and lost to eventual state runner-up Kennedy in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A playoffs.

“Two years ago (2018) we had a lot of young guys and a rough season (2-7 overall),” Powell said. “Last year was a story about redemption, bringing the program back to where it should be. I’m proud of that.”

Powell rushed for 725 yards and six touchdowns last season. Defensively, he made 128 tackles and three sacks. He was selected the Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season in Special District 3 and made second-team all-state.

He’s an alternate for the 68th annual East-West Shrine All-Star Football Game on Aug. 1 in Baker City.

“Any time you’re the captain and leader of the team and get it turned around, you’re doing something right,” Oakland football coach Ben Lane said. “Wil was a good leader. I think he put a lot of pressure on himself, but it paid off at the end. He gets a chance to play at the next level and I don’t think he could ask for a better situation.”

Powell is a three-sport athlete at Oakland, also competing in wrestling and track and field. He’s a 4-point student.

Powell expects to be a defensive player for Lewis & Clark, but is open to playing offense if asked.

“I just enjoy football, love playing the game,” he said.

Locey, a former Oregon State University safety, is entering his sixth year as head coach of the Pioneers.

Lewis & Clark finished 4-5 overall and 3-4 in Northwest Conference play in 2019.

Tom Eggers can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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Sports Editor

Tom Eggers is the sports editor for The News-Review. He can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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