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Game Changer

June 17, 2016


Every Lewis & Clark student-athlete has a story—but few span as many years as that of Carl “C.J.” Appleton ’17.

A gifted football player at Portland’s Central Catholic High School, C.J. put his pursuit of athletic excellence on hold when he dropped out of college after a difficult first year. It wasn’t until he was nearly 30 years old that he enrolled at Lewis & Clark, where he has played tight end on the football team and starting forward on the men’s basketball team. His success hasn’t been limited to the field: he juggles two jobs while earning a 3.54 GPA in his major, sociology and anthropology.

On June 11, C.J. was recognized for his achievements when he was named one of only five recipients of the national Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award. Granted by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics, the award celebrates student-athletes who have faced overwhelming odds to succeed academically, athletically, and personally. C.J. is the first Northwest Conference student-athlete to receive the honor in its 25-year history.

“The fact that [Lewis & Clark Coordinator of Student-Athlete Support] Kayleigh McCauley thought I would be a good candidate for the award is very humbling,” C.J. said. “I appreciate her and Lewis & Clark for supporting me on my journey.”

C.J. will compete for the Pio football team again this fall. Following graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in counseling from Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, with the goal of helping young adults overcome addiction and realize their own potential to succeed.

C.J. isn’t the only Pioneer student-athlete to be recognized this spring. Here’s a rundown of other achievements and awards:


Athletics Admissions Chronicle Magazine profile: C.J. Appleton

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