Roldan Alcobendas, Ashton Clark, Steven Forgette, and Ashton Miller among the 80 best players of the decade at EWU
The Camas Papermakers, the Evergreen Plainsmen, and the Heritage Timberwolves are all represented on a special list announced by one of the best college football programs in the nation last week.
Eastern Washington University, which won six conference titles and had the third-most wins in the NCAA Championship Subdivision from 2010 to 2019, selected its all-decade team.
Roldan Alcobendas (Camas High School) is listed twice, as a kicker and a punter. Linemen Steven Forgette (Heritage) and Ashton Miller (Evergreen) also made the squad. So, too, did wide receiver Ashton Clark (Heritage).
“I think it’s really just a tribute to the work we put in,” Clark said. “It’s awesome to get the individual accolades. We won a lot of football games there. It’s a team sport, and it was definitely special.”
Forgette, Clark, and Miller all graduated from high school in 2009 and were teammates at EWU. They won a national title with the Eagles in the fall of 2010.
Alcobendas graduated from Camas in 2013. He played at EWU in 2014, was recovering from an injury in 2015, then shined from 2016-18, winning the Fred Mitchell Award as a senior as the top kicker at the Division 1 FCS and Division II and Division III levels.
“It’s truly an honor because you have so many high-caliber players on that list,” Alcobendas said. “It’s an honor to share that list with the many guys who paved the way for Eastern along the way.”
Eastern Washington went 97-35 in those 10 seasons, winning six Big Sky titles. The Eagles won the national title in 2010 and were runners-up in 2018.
Forgette, an offensive tackle, started 14 of the team’s 15 games during the national championship season. The only game he did not start? He came off the bench to allow a senior to start on Senior Day. He then excelled for three more seasons. Forgette ended up with two all-conference second-team honors and one All-America team
“I was pleasantly surprised by it,” Forgette said of being named to the all-decade team.
“It means I am amongst really good company,” he added. “There were a lot of good offensive linemen who came through those 10 years. To be part of that all-decade team, I was very pleased by that.”
Forgette is now a law enforcement officer with the Camas Police Department. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Brittany, and they have two children.
He said his time at Eastern was special. He said he was always around high-level, quality people. They were proud that most of the players from the national championship team came from Washington.
“The program was run by a lot of great people, the coaching staff and administration,” Forgette said. “I was around a lot of great people I still talk to today.”
Miller, a center, saw plenty of action as a reserve that championship season. He earned the starting role in 2011 but suffered a season-ending injury in September. He dominated in his final two years of college football. Miller was all-conference first team and an All-America team member.
“I think it’s a big honor,” Miller said. “We’ve had some good guys come through the program. Being mentioned alongside some of those guys is definitely an honor. It means a lot.”
Today, Miller is the director of development for Oregon State University’s foundation, helping to raise funds for student athletes. He said his studies at Eastern made this all possible.
“My time at Eastern was transformative. You look at me, Steve, and Ashton, we came in as freshmen,” Miller said. “As a whole, we saw the university transform, the football program transform. Second season, we won the championship, got the red turf. Eastern gave us the building blocks, not only on the football field but to be successful in life.”
Miller is married to Lindsey and they have two children.
Clark played three seasons as a receiver from 2011-13. He had more than 1,000 yards receiving in his first two seasons, then more than doubled that total with a stellar senior season. Clark had 83 catches for 1,233 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013.
Today, Clark is a counselor at Heritage High School. He, too, appreciates his time at Eastern.
“It honestly meant everything. I look back, and it was life-changing,” Clark said. “I got to compete at the highest level with some of those guys who are playing in the NFL. It taught me how to work, that’s for sure.”
Alcobendas is now working in Seattle, an operations manager for Maxim Healthcare Group. He had hoped for a chance to kick for an NFL team, but the opportunity never materialized. He said he went to Eastern to earn a degree and then help people, so he has now moved on with his career in health care.
He will always cherish his time with the Eagles.
“Truly a blessing to be part of that type of a program and be part of the tight-knit community that Eastern and Cheney has,” Alcobendas said. “It really felt like home to me.”
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