Hoquiams’ Artimus Johnson to attend Linfield College to play football

Work on the field and the weight room, as well as putting in the time in the classroom, has paid off for Artimus Johnson.

The soon-to-be graduate of Hoquiam High School finished his senior year at the state 1A track &field meet with a fourth-place pole vault medal around his neck. He also has a state medal from the Mat Classic and a large pile of awards from football as well.

Now, Johnson will get a chance to extend his football career after he signed his paperwork to attend Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon this fall. Johnson will be going to the Division III private school on academic scholarships and will be aiming for a spot as a running back.

“My main reason for going to Linfield was that it has a very good business program and a very good pre-med program,” Johnson said. “Also, I will be close to my family there, too. It was family and football. Linfield has been pretty dominant in football and it is somewhere I know I have to work hard to improve myself at. I’ll play anywhere to get the opportunity, but they see me as a running back.”

Johnson’s mother, Jennifer, lives in the area and his older brother, Antoine, also attends Linfield, so this was a big deal for him.

Johnson’s senior year on the gridiron was also a big deal. The running back/linebacker finished third overall in the Washington AP All-State Football balloting in the 1A ranks as the Evergreen 1A League MVP.

Johnson finished with 2,319 yards and 24 touchdowns on 233 touches (206 rushing and 27 receptions) on offense. Defensively, he had 158 total tackles, including 76 solo, one sack, one interception, two fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.

His year was more than enough to garner interest from several schools, including Eastern and Central Washington universities. He also received interest from Lewis &Clark University, University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, as well as many others in the Northwest and beyond.

He will also play in the Earl Barden East/West All-Star Game in Moxie on June 24.

Linfield’s offense closely resemble’s Hoquiam’s pro-style offense, which Johnson said will make the transition easier. He is already working on details to improve himself before he gets onto campus.

“They are looking at my 40-yard dash, so I have to work on some of my agility and quickness,” Johnson said. “They saw how I performed on the field and that I still have more room to grow. I just need to develop more explosiveness.”

Johnson noted that he will have a pre-med major, with a minor in business, at Linfield. He wants to become a family doctor and also a personal trainer. He has plans to open his fitness center as well, taking advantage of the business end of his studies.

At Grays Harbor College, he spent his senior year taking classes. He also became certified as a nursing assistant there as well.

“I want to be able to help people who can’t help themselves,” Johnson said. “I would like to thank my coaches — Jeremy McMillan and Rick Moore — as well as the families who helped me out — the Sanchezes, the Adams, the McMillans and the Hoslers. I’m grateful for their help, as well as help from the community. That meant a lot to me.”