Adams looks to perform in prime time at LSB

<p>Hermiston’s Bobby Adams, Class 5A all-state second team running back and Les Schwab Bowl selection.</p>

At this point last year, Hermiston’s Bobby Adams was lifting weights, preparing for his final football season in Dawg purple and gold. Now, he’s gearing up for the final high school game of his life, the Les Schwab Bowl.

Oregon’s large-school all-star football game is made up of Class 6A and 5A talent from across Oregon, and will be played at 6 p.m. tonight at Hillsboro Stadium.

Adams was selected to play in the bowl game after his stellar senior season packing the pigskin for the Dawgs, in which he ran for an eye-popping 2,058 yards and earned a second-team Class 5A all-state selection.

Along with his South team teammates, Adams has been working through two-a-day practices at Pacific University in Forest Grove since Monday and said there’s one distinct difference between this game and the ones he played in the fall.

“Everyone is bigger, on both sides of the ball,” he said. “The offensive line guys are the best in Oregon and I’m looking forward to running behind them.”

When a star-studded event is put together, the best players from every corner of the state are assembled. When Adams got to Pacific to check-in, he said he wasn’t so sure about being able to come in and play with the size and skill of his teammates.

“Coming in, to be honest, it was very intimidating,” he said. “I lost a little bit of confidence, but once we got going and I showed them what I could do, I gained it back and it’s been great. I worked my butt off and I feel like I deserve to be here.”

At 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, it doesn’t take a bodybuilder to out-size Adams, but he’s not a slouch when it comes to tests of strength for a guy his size. He can bench 200 pounds, squat 425 and power clean 225.

Adams said his roommate, Eagle Point HS grad and University on Montana-bound defensive end Tyrone Holmes, is 6-3, 235 pounds — and every single bit of it.

“He’s huge,” Adams said. “I just haven’t seen guys that big, and everyone is like that here.”

With South coach Steve Turner’s offense, formerly of Mountain View and coach of the 2011 state title team that knocked off Sherwood, 14-13, Adams said he and Thurston’s Trevor Westover have taken the bulk of the carries in practice, along with Mountain View’s Dimitri Dillard.

The learning in sports never stops, and Adams said he’s been able to soak in the offense Turner runs. Adams, according to his recruiting profile on the website Hudl, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds.

Even with Adams’ big year in the books, he said that he didn’t think he would be in a game such as the Les Schwab Bowl. Whether it was modesty or knowing that sometimes players east of the Cascade Mountains are forgotten, when Adams found out about the opportunity he tried his best to stay in shape for it.

“I ran and lifted weights to prepare for it,” he said. “My legs feel surprisingly good, and I’m just a little sore from all the hitting we do.”

The South team, Adams said, really gets their licks in during defensive drills. He said they have been hitting more and more each day in full-pad practices and that the North team hasn’t even practiced in full pads.

“We’ve got that edge over them, I think,” Adams said. “We’ve been looking pretty good for it being the summer time.”

One thing Adams said he enjoyed was trading helmet decals with the other players. As tradition in most all-star games like the LSB, players usually have a menagerie of stickers adorning their domes as if they want every part of it covered with something.

As for the atmosphere on the field, Adams said it’s high-intensity and his team is focused on winning.

“This is completely different,” he said. “Practices are varsity-on-varsity, all the time. It makes you tougher and everyone is playing to showcase their ability, so they are ready to go.”

Adams hasn’t taken “too many big shots” during practice and has been able to stay fresh, he said, and is hungry to put one in the win column for the South team. Adams isn’t the type of guy to predict the outcome, but he knows what it will take to come out on top in his final high school game — desire.

“It’s just going to come down to who wants it more,” he said.

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