Ashley, Johnson of Moses Lake performs faculty soccer in Oregon

Two senior Moses Lake High School football players, accompanied by family, coaches and school staff, signed on Friday to play at the Division III level of college.

Quarterback Everett Ashley will attend Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, while wide receiver Brandon Johnson will attend Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Ashley said it felt good to go to the next level.

“It’s a great opportunity to get outside and keep doing what I love and get a great education too,” he said.

Ashley said Pacific contacted him shortly after the season ended this spring. He visited about a month ago, he said, and was impressed with the campus and the coaching staff.

Even though he only has a season of five games, Ashley said he felt like he has been training all year long and hanging out with some of his teammates for training and practice. He said he felt he could improve in all aspects of the game.

Ashley said he is focused on achieving his goals both in the field and in the classroom.

“Academization is big for me, I want to focus on it,” he said. “I hope I can work hard enough this summer to have a chance of being one of the best guys in the lineup when it comes to quarterbacks.”

He said it felt good to have someone he’d played with or against for a long time to share this moment. Ashley said he and Johnson won’t be too far apart for the next season and will have the opportunity to spark a little rivalry when their teams meet next fall.

Johnson said he couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.

“I’m just grateful that they wanted me and just happy that I can continue to do the sport I love,” he said.

Johnson said Willamette contacted him in January and that he visited campus in early May. He said he liked the atmosphere around the program and the brotherhood that the coaching staff talked to him about.

Johnson said, like Ashley, that he believes most of his growth this year can be attributed to training with his teammates.

“I felt like we grew as a team when it wasn’t mandatory,” said Johnson. “I felt like it was a great growth for all of us to have self-discipline.”

Johnson will play in the slot receiver position at Willamette.

Being part of the Moses Lake Chiefs’ soccer program really got him going, Johnson said.

“To have so much support from everyone, to have this brotherhood that I had among the boys and the coaches, just meant a lot to be part of this program and to have that opportunity,” he said.

Casey McCarthy can be reached by email at [email protected]

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