Yelm Graduate Finding His Way on Central Washington University Football Team

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 8/11/22

After graduating from Yelm High School in 2021, Slade Edwards committed to play football and continue his education at Central Washington University.

At Yelm, Edwards served as a huge piece to the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Yelm Graduate Finding His Way on Central Washington University Football Team

Posted

After graduating from Yelm High School in 2021, Slade Edwards committed to play football and continue his education at Central Washington University.

At Yelm, Edwards served as a huge piece to the offensive line when the Tornados went 6-0 during the 2021 spring “COVID season.”

Now, he’s finding his way as a Wildcat.

Edwards committed to Central Washington University on Jan. 29, 2021, just several months before his senior season took place. At Yelm High School, Edwards played both guard and tackle on the offensive line, but at CWU, he’s found a home at the center position.

As he prepared to head off to CWU, Edwards found himself nervous like every other high school graduate leaving for college athletics. But after a year of being in the program, Edwards has found himself in a good groove.

“After meeting my teammates and making new friends, it grew to be pretty fun,” Edwards said in an interview with Nisqually Valley News. “I’m really liking it here.”

The Wildcats have started their camp season, which many college football players describe as a “grind.” Camp began Aug. 7. Prior to the start of practices, Edwards said he hoped to continue building the momentum he started during spring ball.

“I’m pretty excited for camp to get here, and I think I’m going to do well. I had a good spring ball as a backup, and the coaches liked that,” Edwards added. “I hope to continue improving over the course of fall camp, and start preparing for good competition in our new league this fall.”

Central Washington’s football program is joining the Lone Star Conference. The conference consists of Angelo State, Eastern New Mexico, Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Kingsville, UT Permian Basin, West Texas A&M and Western New Mexico. The schools set to join the conference are Central Washington University, Simon Fraser University and Western Oregon University.

Central Washington University’s first football game of the 2022 season will take place on Sept. 2, when they take on the top ranked Division Two team in the country, Ferris State. The team will head to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for their non-conference season opener.



Edwards said that leading into fall camp, the team is looking really good. He said that there’s been emergence of leaders on both sides of the ball this off-season, and that they keep the team “energized” and “positive” when their backs are against the wall.

He added that there’s a lot of experience in the offensive line room, and that they’re looking really good up front. While Edwards isn’t a starter on the line, he’ll serve as a good depth piece at center. Edwards said the offensive line room already has a lot of depth as it is.

Edwards, like ex-Tornado and current Cal Berkeley offensive lineman Dylan Jemtegaard, credits a big aspect of his playing style to the Yelm football program.

“I bring a lot of passion to football, on the field and in the weight room,” Edwards said. “I feel that I learned how to be passionate about football and how to have fun with it while I was at Yelm High School.”

As far as education goes, Edwards is still undeclared with his major, although he’s considering mechanical engineering technology.

“Weirdly enough, I think college has been a little easier than high school. I know it’s going to get harder, but it’s been a smooth experience so far,” Edwards said. “School has been good, I just completed my freshman year. My lowest grade was a B+ in calculus, and what can you do about that? Other than that class, I maintained a 4.0 GPA for the other quarters.”

Edwards credited six hours of mandatory study hall per week to his strong grades. He said that while the mandatory study hall can be annoying at times, it’s extremely beneficial to his studies.

Along the journey for each collegiate athlete, they have a coach or a mentor deserving of thanks. In Edwards’ case, he wanted to give a huge thank you to Yelm High School’s Head Football Coach Jason Ronquillo.

“I want to thank Coach Ronquillo. He’s been a great role model in teaching me how to be a leader, and how to have fun in competition,” Edwards said. “He pushed us all, from top to bottom, to be the best we could be growing up. I want to thank him for always pushing me to be better.”

During his time at Yelm High School, Edwards built quite the athletic resume. In Edwards’ three seasons as a Tornado, the team had a record of 21-8. He served as a team captain during his senior season, and was also named First Team All-South Sound Conference. He lettered in both track and wrestling, and saw a third place finish in regionals as a wrestler.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here