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Jace Eveland of Putnam is the Les Schwab Bowl’s youngest player … and maybe the game’s most dominant player

“It’s crazy going against men out here. These are grown men. I’ve already learned so much.”
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By Dan Brood 

The youngest player.

The biggest player.

The same player.

And that player is Jace Eveland.

Eveland, a Rex Putnam High School sophomore-to-be, will become the second freshman (Central Catholic’s Timmy Mitchell was the first, just a year ago) to play in the Les Schwab Bowl when he takes the field for Team Willamette in the 2022 high school football all-star contest, which will be played Saturday at Linfield University in McMinnville. 

“It’s an honor,” Eveland, an offensive tackle, said of being selected for the game following his freshman season with the Kingsmen. “I don’t know too many freshmen that have made it here, so it’s a real honor to be a part of this. It’s pretty cool.”

While Eveland might be the youngest player on the field Saturday night, he also could be one of the most imposing, standing in at 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 320 pounds.

He also appears to be holding his own — and then some — going against older, more experienced players.

“It’s been going good,” Eveland said. “It’s crazy going against men out here. These are grown men. I’ve already learned so much.”

Jace Eveland Putnam Les Schwab Bowl 2022 Dan Brood 2

He’s also fitting in with what looks to be a powerful Team Willamette group of linemen.

“Up front, we’re looking pretty good,” Eveland said with a smile.

To say that Eveland looked “pretty good” during his freshman season with Putnam might be an understatement.

“It went really well,” Eveland said. “As a team, we went 4-5, which isn’t great. But I think next year we’ll be pretty good.”

Eveland played every offensive snap for the Kingsmen as a freshman, allowing no sacks, no hurries and no tackles for loss. 

He was voted Putnam’s Lineman of the Year while also earning first-team all-Northwest Oregon Conference East honors, making him the only freshman to earn all-NWOC East accolades of any kind.

“It was pretty cool,” Eveland said. “I don’t know any freshman that made first-team all-league, so that’s pretty good. It’s definitely motivation. I’m going for first-team all-state next year. That’s a goal.”

First is Saturday’s Les Schwab Bowl, where the game’s only freshman is ready to make some noise.

“I just want to get some (pancake blocks) and do my job out there,” Eveland said. “I want to have some fun, too.”

This year’s Les Schwab Bowl, presented by Express Employment Professionals, and serving as a fundraiser for various youth charities, includes many of the top players from around the state, including underclassmen, as well as a player from southwest Washington. This is the 74th game in the series, but the first that won’t be North vs. South. Instead, players were drafted by Team Columbia head coach Steve Pyne, who led Central Catholic to the 2021 Class 6A state championship, and Team Willamette head coach Dan Lever, who guided Tualatin to the Class 6A title tilt.

Saturday’s event begins with tailgating at 2 p.m., featuring Golden Valley Brewing, Stoller Family Wine and more. Gates open at 4 p.m., with kickoff slated for 6 p.m.

Tickets for the game can be purchased online, at The game also can be streamed online, at a cost of $10, at

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