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Jason Porter
[1989]

School: Wilson

Sports Played: Football, Wrestling, Baseball

High School Honors: 3 Football letters. 1st Team All-PIL Linebacker and Team Captain as Senior, MAC Scholar Athlete Award as Sophomore, National Football Foundation Award. 1 Wrestling letter. 3 Baseball letters. 1st Team All-PIL and All-State third baseman as Senior, MVP in State vs Metro All-Star Game as Senior, PIL Scholar Athlete Award as Senior, Old Timers Baseball Scholarship Award as Senior.

Post High School Career: Portland State University on Baseball scholarship. In 1992, Baseball America - 8th toughest K (strike-out) in Division 1 College Baseball. 1st Team third base in Pac-10 as Junior and Senior. Team Leadership Award and MVP. Played one season with the Colorado Rockies (1993). Hawaii Rainbow Classic (1993), All-Tourney Team. Football Assistant at Lakeridge High School 2 years. Youth Baseball Manager. Firefighter with TVFR (22 years).

Commentary:

First of all, I would like to thank the PIL Hall of Fame Committee and staff for making this all possible. I am truly honored and humbled to be selected to join so many great athletes and role models, many of whom were inspirational figures of my own.

I have to thank my Mother Paulette Porter for her many words of wisdom along the way. She always encouraged me to think positive and work hard teaching me that I could become anything I wanted if I worked hard enough for it. She taught me how to use mental imagery at bedtime the night before a game, thus training me to visualize success and a positive outcome before an actual competition. I believe this worked wonders for me especially when it came to hitting a baseball. As a parent and coach, I passed this along to my kids and players and I'm sure it helped them as well. My parents raised 5 kids all of whom were involved in athletics. They were extremely supportive, present and enthusiastic about it. Anyone who had the opportunity to know my Father knows exactly what I mean by enthusiastic! He may have embarrassed me at times but he always inspired and drew the attention of my teammates. My Dad was passionate, competitive, and a fierce believer in pouring every piece of your heart into your competition. He made me tough, focused and determined to achieve. My Dad died during my sophomore year in college, I missed his passion but it lived on in me. My Mom did an incredible job raising my younger 3 siblings, Sam, Raychel, and Nick Porter, despite the adversity of my Fathers premature death.

My first true inspiration and role model was my older Brother Frank. He was an incredible athlete and stand out in the community. Frank taught me everything and forced me to get outside and play. Our neighborhood corner whiffle ball games and tackle football games in the yard are legendary. Frank cared about me and along with my Mom pushed me to attend Wilson High School where he knew the baseball program was ripe for success. This was without a doubt one of the best decisions in my life. Wilson baseball was ripe for success and those who planted the seeds would prove to have an everlasting influence on the rest of my life.

The decision to attend Wilson was my first major life choice that was filled with anxiety and fear. I was leaving a community where I knew everyone to attend a school where I knew nobody. I quickly learned what a great decision this was as Wilson quickly became a place I truly loved. The staff, coaches, students, everything about that school felt right to me. My Freshman year I rode Tri-Met to and from school, it took an hour and 15 minutes each way but I learned that nothing comes easy. I knew that the experience riding that bus would teach me the value of commitment and investment, and that if I persevered the reward would be well worth it. I had to learn this the hard way but those who influenced that school choice knew it well before I did.

Wilson was truly the perfect school for me and I will always be thankful for it. I have to thank my football coaches Jerry Lyons, Jim MacDicken, Walt Looney, Doug Skille, Dave White and Mark Marchese. This group of men was incredible. I loved playing for every single one of them and thank them tremendously. Coach Lyons was truly an amazing soul who loved us and the game of football. Coach MacDicken will always have a place in my heart. He taught me that I could literally beat anyone and motivated us in ways that were masterful. His locker room pre-game defensive motivational speeches still inspire. Coach MacDicken's words to me were not just important for the fight I was about to engage in on the field but echoed within me as words to live by, words to lean on when things get tough, words to carry with you to inspire others later in life, true life lessons hidden so brilliantly in a football pre-game speech.

As good as my football experience was, my baseball experience is why I'm sitting here writing this. I was so blessed to have the coaching staff we had. My baseball coaches were all college caliber coaches. I have to thank them all, Mike Clopton, Ed Paul (SR.), Mike Wantland, John Freauf, Mike Paul, Dave White, Jon Strohmaier, Kevin Lovings. Coach Clopton assembled a great staff and ran a program that was second to none, not even Coach Gasser's at Madison!

I learned a lot about myself and how to be a good teammate under Coach Clopton. One of the many valuable things I learned from Mike was patience. Patience to be able to function in a place of discomfort, to be able to wait until it was your time. I struggled with this and Mike helped me understand the value of working hard until it was your time to shine. This was critical to my success down the road in college where similar circumstances played out. I admire Coach Clopton for many things, I learned so much about the game from him. However, I equally admire his ability to manage a program with the bigger picture in mind. Wilson baseball was not just baseball, it was an education. Coach Clopton cared about our future and made sure we learned more than just baseball. Our travel trips were lessons in geography, history, art, drugs and alcohol, etc., you name it Mike taught it. I respect him greatly for that. Mike was committed to his players and he gave us everything he had. His influence is still present at Wilson as he continues to assist in a number of ways.

Mike Wantland was our American Legion assistant at Wilson and later on an assistant to Jack Dunn at PSU. Coach Wantland was a player's coach and we loved him. He was passionate and he motivated me to push myself to the max. Mike was a huge inspiration and I thank him for his many years of dedicated coaching. Mike made the game incredibly fun and he loved his players.

My experience at Wilson landed me in the arms of Coach Jack Dunn at PSU. Coach Dunn is truly a legend, a man who has touched so many athletes, influenced the lives of countless men, women and families. He is one of the Northwest's true baseball pioneers and leaders. I really became a student of the game in the presence of Coach Dunn. He had so much to teach and share, all I could do was try to learn half of it. Not only is Jack a brilliant baseball strategist but he knows how to teach it in a way that keeps the game fun. Jack provided so much laughter and humor he made going to the park every day that much better. From "shake yourself" to "you're the Doctor", Jack had more phrases and funny expressions then you can imagine. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to play for coach Dunn. He gave me a chance and believed in me early on. He inspired me to hit to all fields and utilize the expansive right field power alley at Civic Stadium. Jack has had such an impact at so many levels on so many lives it is hard to quantify the impact he has had on the region. I know I will always cherish and appreciate his influence in my life.

Thank you so much family, coaches, teachers, and PIL Hall Of Fame staff. What an honor, what an amazing journey, and what a humbling moment in my life.

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