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Lowell football enters race for state 2A championship, Oakridge son plays big role

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Lehi Zylstra, left, with coach Todd talk on the sidelines during a game.

By GEORGE CUSTER/for The Herald  —  At 10-0, the Lowell Red Devils are the real deal this year. They are the league champions. Oakridge son, Lehi Zylstra, is credited with being a big part of that success. Having recently received the honor of the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, Lehi is wrapping up his senior year with a bang, or should a say a hit. He’s the Red Devils’ middle linebacker on defense and runs fullback on offense. When speaking to him, you see that he’s most proud of his play at linebacker. He readily told The Herald proudly that he has 118 tackles on the season to date.

At 5’9″ and 150lbs, Lehi is fleet of foot and powerful enough to run protection for their quarterback as a fullback when on offense. He credits his coach, Pat Todd, as well as his team mates for the great year the team has enjoyed.

What lies ahead

When he has any free time from work, school, homework, sports, and chores, he enjoys fishing. Anything else? “No, pretty much fishing”, he said assuredly. He will begin wrestling as soon as football is done. Lehi says that he enjoys school at Lowell. He said he feels really connected to the teachers and staff. Lehi plans to attend Lane Community College next year for his general studies before moving on with the goal of attaining a degree in Engineering and Environmental Science. He sees his career path after college as an Environmental Engineer.

This Saturday the Red Devils take on Weston McEwen on their home turf in Lowell in the State’s 2A quarterfinals matchup. Try to get out there to cheer the team on if your looking for something to do tomorrow. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm.

Coach Pat Todd: retiring after decades teaching the sport of football and life to so many.

Coach Todd retiring after 48 years of combined teaching and playing

Pat Todd, Lowell’s High School head football coach has turned his team into a powerhouse. Todd, and his wife Vallie, both Lowell HS graduates, attended Southern Oregon State University, where he earned his degree in education. Coach Todd began his coaching career early on and eventually came back to his high school alma mater in 2007. His roster of achievements is long and colorful. It is fitting that this year be his crowning glory as he is retiring this year “from everything” as he put it. Good luck at State!

We wish the best for Lowell’s Red Devils tomorrow and also to coach Pat Todd and Vallie on their retirement.







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