EASTERN SIGNS IDAHO 5A PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Recruiting for the 2004 football season has been very good for the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineer football staff.
So far, 26 student-athletes have signed Frontier Conference Letters of Intent, including Idaho 5A Player of the Year, Mark Stopczynski.
"Mark is an exceptional running back and has a great career ahead of him here at Eastern," said assistant football coach Travis Baker.
Stopczynski led the Centennial Patriots to the state title and the program's first 12-0 record. He averaged 194 yards rushing per game and finished the season with five school records.
An addition to the Mountaineer defensive side of the ball will be sophomore transfer Cortsan Milks.Milks comes to La Grande after a successful season with Montana State University-Northern.
The Rathdrum native and Lakeside High School alumnus was second in the Frontier Conference with 13 tackles per game.
Among Washington signees is a trio of Bethel High School (Spanaway) players, led by defensive lineman Ryan Buie.
Buie was named Second Team All-South Puget Sound League as a defensive lineman at Bethel.
"He is one of the top lineman in Washington state.The combination of size, strength and athleticism will make him a great fit in our defense," said Baker.
Also coming to La Grande from Bethel will be Adam McAllister and Jesse Denny. Denny spent a year at Western Washington University.
Catching the eyes of the Mountaineer coaching staff is Rogers High School offensive lineman Justin Boschee.
"Justin has been a dominant offensive tackle at the high school level.He has great size and strength.He also seems to be very committed to achieving success in the classroom and on the field," said Baker.
Highlighting the California signees are high school senior Michael "Seth" McDaniels, and junior college transfer Christopher McSwain.
McDaniels, a linebacker out of Modesto, was named all-league as a junior and senior at Beyer High School.
"Chris is a playmaker," said Baker. "He is a big, physical linebacker that runs well.Our staff and players at Eastern took a liking to him on his visit. He will fit into our defensive package nicely."
McSwain played is high school ball at Del Mar High in San Jose before spending his last two years at Foothill Junior College.
McSwain, who was a member of Foothill's Silicon Bowl championship last season, was named the team's offensive most valuable player.
At Del Mar his senior year (2001), McSwain was named the Blossom Valley League receiver of the year.