By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary senior Caleb Kiefiuk Yates’ college choice checked off every box.

Along with the opportunity to play football and a strong mechanical engineering program, George Fox University will also help Yates practice his faith.

“The football team and then the academics with engineering, those were the two big things together and the fact that it’s a Christian school,” Yates said. “I’m not outgoing with it but having that atmosphere around, I feel comfortable being in that.”

Yates, who will graduate with a 4.0 GPA, also wanted to stay close to home.

“I like going off to new places and exploring but the valley is just where I enjoy being.” he said.

Yates got into contact with George Fox early in his senior football season. One of his old teammates, Hayden Sader, is on the roster. After a couple of visits to the campus in Newberg, Yates knew that’s where he wanted to go, too.

“After I had seen whaat all they had to offer, they were my No. 1 and I knew that’s where I was going,” said Yates.

McNary head varsity coach Jeff Auvinen first got to know Yates as the coach of the freshmen team. He was on the field for every play at defensive end and tight end.

“I would like 150 kids like him every year,” Auvinen said. “He doesn’t say much. He leads by his actions. He’s a hard worker. We are going to miss him.”

Yates was primarily on the offensive line as a junior and then moved to defensive end, where he’ll play in college, this past season.

“He would anchor one end no matter the set,” said Auvinen,. “He was solid wherever we had him. He can do everything.”

McNary offensive coordinator Brad Emmert also highlighted Yates’ leadership.

“He never complained,” Emmert said. “He’s consistent in everything he does and we’re always looking for people like that.”