Photo credit: S. Carter Action Images

2019 Zillah (Wash.) defensive standouts Ethan Boisselle and Dakota Hibbs are the latest additions to the Mountaineers of Eastern Oregon.

They are apart of a growing family tree of Zillah recruits that have joined EOU. Previous signees include first team standouts Triston Cullen and Payton Whitaker.

With 2019 linebacker Brian Calhoun also considering joining the group, that makes five possible Leopards playing for EOU next year.

“Those guys [Cullen and Whitaker] were actually instrumental in getting us involved with EOU,” Boisselle said. “Tristan started to show our highlight films to the coaches.”

Both recruits got their offers this past weekend.

While they already had offers on the table from schools like CWU and Linfield, the decision quickly became easy after their official visit.

The campus environment was amongst the biggest reasons why the Zillah duo made their choice.

Hibbs cites the small town environment making him very comfortable, as it felt similar to his hometown of Zillah.

Boisselle is an avid outdoorsmen, and the mountain backdrop of La Grande, Oregon were right up his alley.

A huge part of Hibbs recruiting was finding a place that felt like family. He believes he found that and more at EOU.

“When I went on my official visit, I could feel this group was close with each other,” Hibbs said. “I felt that I could go to coach [Tim] Camp about anything.”

The plan is for both players to continue at their same respective position.

Hibbs will continue to have his hand in the dirt at defensive end, while Boisselle will continue to utilize his tackling skills at outside linebacker.

While both talents dominated at the high school level, both are also aware there’s plenty they need to improve on before they arrive on campus on August.

Boisselle will need to work hard in the weight room this off-season to build on his slim six foot frame.

As he frankly puts it, “170 pounds ain’t going to cut it.”

For Hibbs, it’s all about building on his speed. In high school, he was able to use his brute strength to overpower linemen. That simply won’t work the same in college.

Of course, it’s easy to forget that the number one purpose of college is not football, but to get a well rounded education.

Both these student athletes get it done in the classroom, sporting a 3.2 plus GPA each.

Exercise science has always been a source of fascination for HIbbs. He hopes to practice physical therapy, and also get into coaching down the line.

Boisselle is all about that farm life, and he’s going to major in agricultural science.

These two seniors have been instrumental to Zillah’s success over the years. Their four years in the program have produced 40 wins and only 9 losses.

One of their biggest games this past season was against conference rival La Salle. The contest was a fond memory for Hibbs.

“That was the best moment of my high school career ,” Hibbs said. “Because it showed what Zillah Football is all about.”

During that time there was a lot of outside noise that Zillah only won because of weak competition. Hibbs took pride in knocking out La Salle 21-7.

For Boisselle, his greatest memory didn’t even take place while he was on the field.

It was during the playoffs of his sophomore year, when Zillah beat Freeman 49-42 in triple overtime.

“I remember watching those older guys just fighting for it,” Boisselle said. “On the final play Trey [Delp] kept the keeper and scored and we were all yelling ‘Trey why’d you do that!’”

That game was what inspired Boisselle to be the player he is today.

Both these players are going to have at least four more years to continue their football journey. There’s high reason to believe they’ll maximize their potential at the next level.