Jake May and Keaton Scavone each had their Lebanon High School football tenures come to an end during last month’s playoffs, but the duo was afforded one extra postseason contest thanks to season-long efforts based beyond dominating both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Being standouts on and off the field allowed both Mid-Willamette Conference all-league linemen to represent the Warriors’ one final time as May and Scavone were selected to Team Oregon’s first ever Academic All-American team.
The program’s goal is to promote character, academics and athletics, while showcasing exceptional student-athletes in front of scouts and coaches. The Lebanon class of 2013 candidates took advantage by manning the trenches in the inaugural Academic All-American Bowl at Lewis & Clark College.
Team Hawaii, the AAAP’s flagship squad, came back from a 14-13 first-half deficit to beat the hosts 27-25 at Griswold Stadium in Portland on Dec. 15. May said the Hawaiians displayed their months of preparation together compared to the one week his fellow Oregon teammates practiced.
Scavone, an All-MWC First Team offensive guard, said his biggest challenge of that week came from an unexpected switch to center.
“I’ve been the (LHS) backup center for two years so I’ve always known what to do, but it was weird actually playing there,” Scavone said. “(Hawaii) was tougher than anyone I’ve faced, and the competition definitely gave me a good feel as to what is going to be at the next level.”
Scavone, who also played inside at defensive tackle, has yet to choose where that next level will be, but it will likely be at a school with strong business and football programs.
Scavone has another decision to make before the spring: A fourth year of Warriors baseball or competing with May on the LHS track and field team.
Now 10 months since claiming third place at 220 pounds in the MWC district wrestling championships, Scavone said he had to sacrifice his senior season on the mat in order to “keep training and working toward” his goal of playing college football.
May also had to sacrifice a winter sport so he could make the best decision regarding his education and athletic future.
“I just need to focus on football for next year, and get bigger and build strength,” said the 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive tackle and former power forward.
“It wouldn’t be fair to the (LHS basketball coaches) for me to visit colleges in the winter and miss a lot of games.”
May has already been accepted to Oregon State University, and he hopes to walk on to the football team next season if he doesn’t elect to join Scavone at Linfield, Lewis & Clark or another small Oregon college to concentrate on chemistry and engineering.
The three-sport Scholar Athlete award-winner’s decision to make football his primary focus began last June when he was invited to the four-day Harvard Crimson Football Camp, in Boston.
It was the first of three football camps May attended in 2012. He then joined Scavone later last summer at the Trench Camp — a linemen-only clinic hosted by Northwest and NFL legends Stan Brock, Gary Zimmerman and Steve Emtman.
Scavone believes the Trench Camp allowed him to pick up some new techniques and tools to succeed at the next level and on both sides of the ball.
“Wherever I can play at the next level is where I’m going to be,” Scavone said.
While concentrating mostly on his offensive line skills, May says each camp has offered something unique to add to his experience with the LHS football coaches.
“Every camp you go to, they teach you new tricks,” May said. “Every coach has different ways of doing things and ways to use and test your skills in different situations.”
For Scavone and May, that test comes next fall.