By Husband Erin Roth
Multi-sport and multi-talented, Chandler Ross signed with the Portland State University Vikings to play football. The 2019 Portola High alumnus will set off on his big adventure on July 20. He will live in Portland, Oregon’s largest city and the 25th largest city in the United States, with a population of 650,380 in a city that covers 145 square miles. The population of Portola is 2,104 and extends over 5.4 miles. Wow. “On the way to the big city” for sure! Portland State is Oregon’s second largest school with 26,012 students. Football games are played at Hillsboro Stadium, west of downtown, where the seating capacity is 7,200. I wonder how many could sneak into Portola High School’s Bob Wise Memorial Stadium at Portola High? 500 maybe? Chandler’s Class of 2019 had 31 students.
Chandler Ross earned himself a full scholarship for a four-year education by signing to play with the Vikings. They took him for a tour and he really liked Portland. He thought it was clean, there wasn’t much traffic, and the people were “really nice.” The lure of so many cultural activities also interested him. “There’s so much to do there,” Chandler said. He was recruited from Butte College as a sophomore with three years playing ball, “which is really awesome,” Chandler said. Signing up as an offensive lineman, Chandler is 6’5” and weighs 270 pounds after three years with the Roadrunners, only playing one year due to Covid.
His grandparents, Ricky and Candy Ross of Portola, are thrilled with the opportunities Chandler has won. “We’re very proud of him,” Grandpa Ricky said. “He had a couple of offers…Western Illinois and Portland both offered him a full ride; you know that less than 2% of children are offered a full ride. Ricky said Chandler chose Portland so his family would have more opportunities to see him play. In addition to possible trips to the West Coast for home games from Portland to Hillboro, the Ross family will have the chance to see Chandler play as a Viking in San Luis Obispo when the Vikings face the Mustangs on Saturday, November 19 in Cal Poly. Oregon’s season opponents are certainly closer to California than Illinois, but it will still be a long trip to Washington, Idaho and Montana if they expect to see more than a few live matches.
Chandler has been playing for the Butte College Roadrunners since graduating from Portola High School in 2019. Chandler caught the eye with his performance on the football field as PHS Tiger and was picked for Game 42 Lion’s Annual All-Star Football. Only seniors are selected for the honors game which is played every year after graduation. “Portola football, the coaching staff and the whole school here at PHS are proud of Çahandler Ross,” said PHS Tiger head football coach Steve Heskett. “He’s a strong, talented young man with a bright future. We’re excited to see his impact at Portland State and all of his future endeavors. Chandler said he was grateful to Coach Heskett, Coach Bubba Saenz and Chris Wicks for all the advice they provided during PHS football “They definitely pushed me forward,” Chandler said.
Although Chandler stood out on the football field, he also made his mark on the Portola baseball field and scored plenty of points for the Tigers. He played football and baseball for all four years of high school and played basketball in the first and second grades. “Football is definitely my favorite,” Chandler said.
After that, the standout athlete moved down the hill to Chico to attend one of our two “local” junior colleges. Butte was a good fit for Chandler, and his experience there helped him choose Portland from his multiple offers. “The coaching staff (at Portland) is similar to Butte,” Chandler said, “and I also like that I’ll be closer to my family and they can attend some games.” And he likes it. “One of my buddies (from Butte College football) will be playing up there too,” Chandler said.
The full scholarship is more about paying for a good education for Chandler, who is majoring in business. “I plan to go home to work in Portola,” Chandler said. He wants to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. “I’m going to come from the bottom up,” Chandler said. His business degree will be something he can bring to the family business, but he outlined a career path that won’t skip any steps, not straight to management for him. “I’m going to learn the trade from my grandfather and my father,” Chandler said. His grandfather went straight into the business without college, and his father attended American Valley College for a time before beginning tutorship under his father. Chandler hopes to enter the family business with a four-year degree when it’s his turn to learn the ropes and follow in the footsteps of the Ross patriarchy. This is all pretty far away though.
There’s a whole world of new experiences awaiting the Portola graduate as he begins his four-year adventure of football and business studies in Portland. But the house won’t be too far. “I’ll take Plumas County with me,” Chandler said gratefully. “Without Plumas County, I wouldn’t be where I am.”
9/10 Washington Huskies at Seattle, WA
9/24 Montana Grizzlies in Missoula, Montana
10/1 Arizona Lumberjacks Home Game at Hillsboro Stadium
10/15 Lincoln U Oaklanders home game at Hillsboro Stadium
10/22 Idaho Vandals in Moscow, ID
10/29 Eastern Washington Eagles in Cheney, WA
05/11 Northern Colorado Bears home game at Hillsboro Stadium
11/12 Sacramento State Hornets home game at Hillsboro Stadium
11/19 CalPoly Mustangs in San Luis Obispo, CA