DON'T LOOK NOW...
... but the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers have a top-ten football team in their division! Right here in little old La Grande!
EOU won its first three games of the year, all road games, against teams that were either ranked in the NAIA Top 25 or who had garnered some votes. The biggest win was in Helena, Montana against #1-ranked Carroll College, 42-33. And it was the first time Eastern had ever beaten a #1-ranked team in ANY sport!
The Mounties won again on Saturday, beating Montana-Western here in La Grande 45-39. Their schedule has just about all their October games being played at home.
But while they are 4-0, the Frontier Conference is always tough. I am guessing EOU will probably lose a game or two the rest of the way, but who knows... maybe not!
Chris Ware, their senior quarterback, has set all kinds of school records on offense. Running back Kevin Sampson is a top-ten NAIA athlete at his position. A solid lineup on offense and timely defense has gotten EOU off to its great start... let's see where they go from here! Coach Tim Camp has done a great job building the program into a strong one since he came on board a few years ago, and it is a "given" that he will keep the kids motivated.
And while we're on the subject of success, let's not forget the EOU Vollleyball team. While they are a decent 9-6 overall, they are 8-0 in their conference!
And with the mens' basketball team going to the national tournament the last three years, and with the womens' team winning 18 or more games each of the last three years and going to the national tournament once, La Grande has become a small-college hoops haven!
Much of the credit for the recent EOU athletic success should be given to Athletic Director Rob Cashell, who won a West Region Athletic Director of the Year award last year.
The college has grown, too... over the last twenty years or so it has doubled in size, now to an enrollment of over 4,100.