EOU gains fans on trip to Portland State

August 30, 2013 10:21 am

Thursday night’s showdown between NCAA Division I Portland State University and NAIA 

Eastern Oregon University was more than just a game about football.

It was about getting the EOU name out there.

The Mountaineers showed up to play. Had a couple of miscues not happened early on for EOU, the game might have turned out completely different.

But I think the EOU players and coaches won over the Portland State fans.

Prior to the game, EOU head coach Tim Camp talked about wanting to try and get more of an Oregon flavor to his roster.

This season, there are more players on the Mountaineer roster from Oregon high schools — 16 — than there have been since Camp took over the program.

But Camp wants more.

“It’s a chance for people down in the valley to see Eastern Oregon and what we’re like,” he said. “I think that’s my main goal behind this (game). I think that as we move forward in the state of Oregon, we have to continue to have an Oregon recruiting base.”

The majority of the EOU roster is made up of players from Idaho, Washington and Eastern Oregon towns.

But there is a lack of players from Western and Southern Oregon. With only one game each season in Ashland against Southern Oregon, the Mountaineers don’t have much of a chance to show off to the rest of the state.

Thursday was that chance.

And while it ended in a lopsided loss, the Mountaineers earned a lot of respect. The stands stayed filled until the end, and EOU played hard until the final whistle.

I think it’s important for Oregon schools to recruit Oregon players. I would love to see more Oregon high schoolers choose to come to EOU and be a Mountie.

Thursday night I think Eastern Oregon football took a big step in the right direction in helping its future within the state.