In this posting, Jim writes about the lack of opportunities for graduated high school players to continue their gridiron dream. In the final paragraph, he talks about some of the players that he has worked with at Mariner High School that have found a way to continue to chase this dream. The Northwest Junior College Football League (NWJCFL) has provided this opportunity for them and others. Here's a list that Coach Dennis provided of a few who have earned the chance to keep playing after playing in the NWJCFL:
"Here are the players that have moved on, either on scholarship or as walk on players.
Bobby Barnes DB/KR (2011) made the Central Washington Wildcats as a walk on after the 2011 season and has been on the roster the past two seasons. He is entering his junior year eligibility wise in 2014 but is a senior academically.
Achilles Wynn WR (2011, 2012) made the Idaho Vandals as a walk on and will be eligible to play in the 2014 season.
Julian Willis RB (2011, 2012) made the Idaho State Bengals as a walk on and will be eligible to play in the 2014 season.
Preston Landon CB (2012, 2013) has been offered a scholarship by Malone University (Ohio), Lincoln (Pennsylvania) and Kentucky Christian.
Ryan Lacoste WR (2013) was offered and accepted a scholarship from Mayville State (North Dakota).
Steven Allen Jr CB (2013, 2014) has been offered a scholarship by Chadron State (Nebraska) for the 2015 season and will return for his second season with the Red Raiders.
Jermaine Jackson WR (2013, 2014) has been offered a scholarship by Clark-Atlanta University but is planning on returning to the Red Raiders in 2014 to work on getting some Division 1 looks."
Yes, Little Johnny, it’s true. In another place and time, strong and healthy young lads who had used their High school football eligibility and had graduated, could enroll in a local community college and turn out for that college’s football team. In their infinite wisdom, the powers that controlled C.C. athletics in the state at the time might have engaged in a conversation that went something like this:
Faculty Spokesperson: Most of you know me only as being the head of the English Department, but I was quite an impressive young athlete in my formative years on my middle-school bowling team. Bowling, now there is an athletic endeavor. When your team is relying on you to win the game in the last frame by picking up a near-impossible 7-10 split, then you know how to perform under pressure. And, you don’t have to have a big stadium to play in. I bet those stadiums cost ten to fifteen thousand dollars apiece. And, what about all that equipment the players use just to play the game. I bet it costs forty to fifty dollars just to pay for the uniform for one of the kids. That’s just one kid, and you must have twenty or thirty kids on a team. Do you realize how many books we can bring into our library for that kind of money?
I am obviously using figures that have nothing to do with reality, and I chose to use someone from an English department to illustrate a point for a couple of reasons: The first of those reasons is that I taught English in public schools for thirty-seven years. The second reason is that I have heard people in department meetings make the same type of inane comparisons. All forms of athletics are not the same. Every year hundreds of millions of people world-wide gather in front of TV sets to watch American football being played at the highest possible level in the Super Bowl. These hundreds of millions of people seem to instinctively understand that football is a singular game. It does not really compare to any other. Virtually every hit on a football field generates enough force to kill both of the participants if they were not wearing the requisite helmets, padding, and uniforms. Those hits are the very reason that thousands of young men play the game of football. They learn to hit and get hit and then get back up and do it again. And, that is exactly what a young guy learns from this game that no other game can teach.