Since James Price and Gabe Lopes watched each other’s backs on the football field for the past four years, it seemed fitting for the two Camas Papermakers to receive scholarships on the same night.
The National Football Foundation’s Clark County chapter honored 33 high school seniors for their accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and for their communities Wednesday, at Hudson’s Bay High School.
Price earned one of the two top college scholarships for $3,500. Lopes was awarded with a secondary scholarship for $2,500.
“It’s a testament to the Camas attitude,” Price said. “I was just thankful for the opportunity to be at the banquet. To win this means the world to me.”
Lopes was also humbled by the experience and the outcome.
“I didn’t really feel like I belonged up there with those guys in a tux, but it was a special night,” he said. “It was a great way to finish off my high school career, and hopefully the start to a new one in college.”
Camas defensive coordinator Dan Kielty received the John Hadley Award for his loyalty and dedication to football. Lopes and Price were proud to stand side-by-side with big checks in their hands.
“I thought [Price] absolutely earned that,” Lopes said. “He was a natural leader. He carried us on offense and defense.”
“Gabe is the epitome of a student athlete,” Price said. “You could see it in the classroom and on the field. He works hard every single day.”
The two Papermakers have at least one more high school football game on the horizon. Head coach Jon Eagle said Price and Lopes have been selected to play in an All-State all-star game in July in Spokane.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with James one more time, and meeting the other great football players,” Lopes said.
Price and Lopes are narrowing down their list of potential destinations after high school. They look forward to sitting at the table with their classmates on National College Signing Day, Feb. 4.
Both say the football program at Camas provided them with lessons and skills to use in college and life beyond football.
“I may never play football again at Camas, but I will always be a Papermaker,” Price said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my teammates, coaches and community.”
“Playing football for Camas gave me the opportunity to be surrounded by great men,” Lopes said. “It’s all about perseverance and hard work. Just coming out here and making the most of the time you have together.”