For the love of the game: West Linn's record-setting QB strikes - KPTV - FOX 12

For the love of the game: West Linn's record-setting QB strikes football for baseball at Stanford

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WEST LINN, OR (KPTV) -

You can certainly make a strong case that West Linn’s Tim Tawa was the best high school quarterback ever in Oregon. 

The Lions’ starter since sophomore year, all Tawa did was lead the state in passing yards, touchdowns and completions for a career. But the Stanford commit has another love: diamonds are forever. 

Swapping a helmet for a cap and pads for a glove, it’s here where Tawa is in his athletic wheelhouse.

“Baseball has always been the passion,” he said. “It’s just a sport I think I can go far with.”

The all-state 1st team infielder and co-player of the year in the Three Rivers League is the starting shortstop and ace pitcher for top-seeded West Linn. 

“There is rarely a sport where you get out seven times out of 10, it’s crazy … There is just something about the game. There’s just so many little details I love,” said Tawa. 

His love for the game has earned him a home run scholarship to learn at and play for Stanford University.

“One of the greatest moments of my life, I was able to accept the offer,” Tawa said. “Growing up, my parents always pushed academics and athletics at the same time and there is no better balance in the country than Stanford.”
                
The Cardinal first offered Tawa as a sophomore – his first year as starting quarterback for the Lions – but that itch to pass has passed, at least for now. 

“Really, open is not the right word. It’s closed at this point to baseball unless something drastic happens. It’s closed. It’s baseball for me,” Tawa said. 

An all-time state record holder for career yards, completions and touchdowns, Tawa tossed 55 touchdowns to one interception as the Lions roared to a perfect season, West Linn’s first-ever crown on the gridiron, but he doesn’t want to be tied to his record-setting, individual stats.

“Obviously, I am proud of what I have done and what the guys around me helped me do because it was not possible without them but I focus more on the team and what it means to the school and the community to have a state championship,” said Tawa. 

Now, it's time for a ring on the diamond.

Winners of 20 in a row, 26-and-4, WLHS is one victory away from a return to Keizer and 6A championship Saturday, a spot Tawa and the boys were at two Junes ago when his throwing error in the 7th inning of the title game with Sheldon derailed their dreams. 

“Redemption, personally and for the school,” Tawa said. “It’s been a long time since we won a state championship at West Linn for baseball.”

1982 was the last, and with the state semis on the horizon along with graduation, so too is the MLB draft, but Tawa has told scouts don’t bother – again, at least not now. 

“The school and the degree are too precious to pass up and the opportunity, it's just something I have dreamed of for a long time and I feel like giving that up for a professional dream that I could potentially have in three years is not worth it,” he said. 

Stanford’s Mark Marquess just retired after 41 seasons in Palo Alto but that won’t be changing Tawa’s decision to be with the tree. He could very well start in center field for the Cardinal next spring. 

First things first though, West Linn is chasing down its first state baseball pennant since 1982. They will host Beaverton in the semifinals on Tuesday. 

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