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Where are they now'

Steve Boyea

Medford High School, 1981

There's little doubt that sports, especially football, played a hand in Steve Boyea's career choice.

He's an orthopedic hand surgeon.

Boyea was a standout football player and wrestler for Medford High who went on to play on two national championship football teams at Linfield and dabbled in playing and coaching while in the military. He saw his share of injuries, some of which were his own.

It just fascinated me, says Boyea, who moved to Asotin, Wash., three years ago with his wife of 17 years. They have a 3-year-old son, Aaron, and Steve works in an orthopedic group in Lewiston, Idaho.

I really enjoy it, says Boyea. When you work in orthopedics, you work with a lot of athletes and a lot of healthy people who just kind of bang themselves up.

— Boyea has been there, done that. And, although it's been a few years since he strapped on the gear, his football days in Medford and beyond are some of his best memories.

At 6-foot, 210 pounds, Boyea was a defensive lineman who came into his own as a senior under Fred Spiegelberg. Boyea was chosen Southern Oregon Conference defensive player of the year in 1980, helping the Black Tornado reach the state championship game, where it lost to Beaverton, 7-6.

Football, that was everything back then, says Boyea, who also was the district 191-pound wrestling champ and a baseball player. With 'Spieg' and all the tradition, it was the place to be. It was one of the best times I had.

A victory that stands out was the state semifinal win over Lakeridge, when Medford appeared to be at a disadvantage but tore them a new one, says Boyea, recalling the 28-7 triumph. The Black Tornado was 12-2 that season, allowing a touchdown or less 10 times and posting three shutouts.

We had an exceptional team, says Boyea. We didn't have a whole lot of individual stars. There wasn't one running back who did everything, and we weren't huge in size. But we played exceptionally well as a team. We had a lot of very good players.

Following his all-state season and participation in the Shrine All-Star Game, Boyea moved on to Linfield, where he was a three-year starter under Ad Rutschman and enjoyed national titles in 1982 and '84.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, he attended Oregon Health and Sciences University, then enlisted in the Army, in which he served a dozen years. Most of his residency was done at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. It was there he also continued to play football ' he rates military ball about junior-college level ' before I finally decided I was getting too dang old to keep doing this.

He finished his service at William Beaumont Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, then moved to Eastern Washington to settle into civilian life and enjoy the dry weather and abundant outdoor opportunities.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail