Friday, January 26, 2001
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Posted on: Friday, January 26, 2001

St. Louis star commits to Washington

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

For 18 years, Joseph Lobendahn’s parents worked hard to give him such simple luxuries as a private-school education.

Lobendahn, a St. Louis School senior, rewarded them yesterday by accepting a full football scholarship from the University of Washington. He will sign Feb. 7, the first day of the NCAA signing period.

"We’re not rich people," Lobendahn said of his father, a bus driver, and his mother, who works at the state capitol. "My family worked hard to send me to (St. Louis). Since I was young, I always wanted to go away to college. Now I have a scholarship, and everything will be paid for. It’s a dream come true."

In return, Washington welcomes one of the state’s top high school linebackers. Lobendahn was named to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu all-star team three times and The Advertiser all-state team twice. He was the ILH’s defensive player of the year in 2000.

Last season, the 6-foot, 225-pound Lobendahn had four sacks and 24 quarterback hurries. He knocked down seven passes, forced four fumbles and recovered seven others. He intercepted two passes.

In his three-year varsity career, he also blocked five punts and an extra-point kick, and scored three defensive touchdowns.

Lobendahn drew interest from across the country before accepting recruiting trips to Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Southern California and Hawaii.

Lobendahn said he preferred Washington’s academic program and the coaching staff (he was recruited by Tom Williams, a former UH defensive coordinator).

He said several family members live in Washington.

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