By Pat Jenkins
Two Graham-Kapowsin High School football stars – one a running back with a nose for the end zone, the other a sure-footed kicker – will remain teammates when they move to the college level.
Teague James, who was an all-state performer last fall, and Nate Harden have signed letters of intent with Eastern Oregon University.
A third G-K football standout, offensive lineman Luke Asbjornsen, also is a recent college signee. He committed to Central Washington University.
The three Eagles were members of the 2013 team that won the first league championship in football in Graham-Kapowsin’s history and reached the state playoffs.
James was arguably the most publicized member of the South Puget Sound League South 4A champs and, for that matter, the past two seasons for G-K. The running back regularly rushed for well over 100 yards and two or more touchdowns per game in leading the league in touchdowns as a junior and a senior. He was a second-team pick for the Associated Press 4A All-State honors.
Going with James to Eastern Oregon this fall will be Harden, a dependable extra-point and field goal kicker. Eastern Oregon recruited him to do its placekicking and punting.
They’re among 22 student-athletes in the 2014 recruiting class of Tim Camp, coach of the NAIA university in La Grande.
“I’m really excited about this class for a lot of reasons,” Camp said. “If these young men can come in here and continue what they have done in high school, it should be a real special class. This class is very talented, probably one of the most talented we’ve brought in here.”
James is among 10 skill players, as Eastern Oregon refers to running backs and wide receivers.
Asbjornsen was a second-team All-SPSL offensive lineman last fall. He also played defensive end for Graham-Kapowsin, but Central Washington plans to use him only on the offensive line. The Wildcats list him at 6 foot 4 and 260 pounds.
He’s among 25 recruits for 2014 who are the first to sign with Central Washington since Ian Shoemaker became the head coach in December. Asbjornsen is the first recruit by Shoemaker from his old home. Shoemaker grew up in Graham.
The Wildcats compete in the NCAA Division II.