Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2004

Bobcats ink letters to play college ball

Heffley, Creed sign with Kansas JuCo powerhouses

February 12, 2004

Two of Basehor's biggest Bobcats will look to loom large on the junior college football scene next year.

Ryan Heffley and Brian Creed both signed on to play for prestigious juco teams last week. Heffley signed with Coffeyville Community College, and Creed signed with Butler County Community College.

"It's a great opportunity to go and pursue football at the college level," former BLHS football coach Paul Brown said.

Heffley, a 6-foot, 245-pound lineman, said Coffeyville coach Jeff Leiker had recruited him to play center, meaning his days as a two-way stalwart are probably over. Heffley earned first team all-league honors as a defensive lineman and second team honors as an offensive lineman.

Despite the fact that he'll have to start off-season training as soon as wrestling is over, Heffley said he was happy to have finalized his plans and to be done choosing a school.

"Obviously I'll have to train a lot harder, but I'm nothing but excited right now," Heffley said. "I'm glad that whole process is over."

Heffley said his final decision was between Garden City, Dodge City and Coffeyville. The presence of long-time friend Shane O'Neil and Brown's son Jake helped put Coffeyville over the top in the end.

Heffley will have a lot to live up to there, as Coffeyville's squads are 25-10 with two bowl victories since Leiker took over three years ago. The team's offensive line featured two superstars last year in Paul Soliai of American Samoa, who was NJCAA first team All-American, and Taylor Lewis of Olathe, who was second team.

Creed will also be trying to break into a top-notch program. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound defensive end spent most of last season tearing offensive lines apart and demolishing small quarterbacks. Now he'll try and do the same for one of the nation's best junior college teams.

Butler is one of the few teams around that can boast as good a football program as Coffeyville. Brown said that when the two teams met this past season, Butler was ranked number one and Coffeyville number two among national junior colleges.

Heffley said he was excited to try out this next challenge. He said he'd seen two Coffeyville games this year and he liked the team's style.

"It's similar to our school, and I think it will be a good fit for me," Heffley said.

Heffley's dad, Steve, said he and his wife, Pam, were blessed by Ryan's success on and off the field, and by Brown's coaching.

"We're so grateful to Paul Brown and his staff," Steve Heffley said. "They've been great coaches and great people in my son's life."

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