Engineering champions at George Fox - KPTV - FOX 12

Engineering champions at George Fox

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Division III athletics emphasize life skills above athletic skills, and when the two come together, it's a beautiful thing. 

In Newberg, this is year three of George Fox University's return to the football field, and the Bruins are engineering greatness. 

"We said everything we do will be championship level. Everything. From tying your shoes, to buckling your belt, to brushing your teeth to your academics, to the football program, everything," said head coach Chris Casey. 

Building championship people and a championship program – 22 of the 77 original student-athletes are still on the roster for Casey at George Fox University. 

"Kids knew they weren't going to play for a year that had been really good high school football players," said Casey.  "All of a sudden you are going to train for a year and not be able to play." 

Building blocks to a revitalized program that suited up for zero games in 2013.

"Just shows the grit piece and the toughness and the mental toughness and the belief in what we were going to do here and the loyalty and all of those things that go with it," said Casey. 

One of those loyal 22 from four falls ago is third starting quarterback Grant Schroeder. 

"We've never acted like we are a startup program," said Schroeder. "We've taken our lumps but there’s been a step in the right direction every single year." 

A two-sport star in football and baseball where he won state titles in both at Santiam Christian High School, Schroeder considered Oregon State but was sold by the future prospects at George Fox. 

"That community and that support, you can't find that anywhere else," he said. "That is why Fox has been the perfect fit for me." 

Schroeder is brawny and brainy, absorbing the playbook and engineering schoolbooks.

"I enjoy making people’s lives better," he said. "I know if I am designing a structure or designing a bridge or whatever it is, that is going to benefit somebody down the road … Fox embodies that mission. We do a lot of community service-oriented type of stuff. That has fed that desire to help people in that way." 

Engineering is the largest undergraduate program at George Fox University. 

"When I was a kid I was always a Lincoln Logs and Legos type of kid," said Schroeder. "I loved building stuff." 

And it's that balancing act that so many Division III athletes do, not just at Fox but all around the Northwest Conference. 

"What's excellence? Well, my max, all out, total performance at all times. The best I can possibly do, that's excellence," said Casey. "You are in harvest when you are in football season and you are doing engineering at the same time. Does that mean you have to go to bed another later and get up an hour earlier? Well, you're in harvest right now. A guy out on the tractor right now isn't saying, 'Well, golly it's 10:00, I better get in and sleep.' It's harvest." 

George Fox has harvested a new engineering building. 

"The engineering and innovation center is a great place to meet, congregate," said Schroeder. "You'll always find students there either working together on homework, collaborating on a design project or working on the machine shop, working on their wobbler engine or working on the robot device. There are so many different ways to use that building. It is just another asset for the engineering program." 

For a kid who prefers structural engineering, Schroeder's summer internship with Anderson Construction was right on the money, helping build the new dining hall on campus.

"It was very hands-on, whether if it was working with the superintendent in the field or there was a lot of paperwork," said Schroeder. "I was engaged in all of the team discussions. The owner and the architect would come and we'd meet … It was very involved. It was a blessing to be right here on campus and also be able to work out in the summer with the guys that were here but it was a perfect fit." 

Casey said, "Grant is a guy that really embodies that. He's a guy that is a great example of somebody that can be excellent in a very strong academic discipline here and a very strong football program." 

Schroeder will finish his engineering classes in the spring and plans to return in the fall as a fifth-year senior for one more run for Coach Casey at Fox. He and the Bruins just chopped down the Loggers of Puget Sound last night 44-10, as Schroeder had five total touchdowns. 

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