Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2008

National signing day has snowy feel

With school cancelled local players make arrangements to send commitments

February 6, 2008

On a day when school was cancelled and tests were postponed, local football players realized their dreams of playing college football.

A little snow wasn't going to stop them from signing.

Ethan Douglas of Basehor-Linwood High School had wanted to be the first player to have his papers turned in to Kansas State University football coaches Wednesday morning.

At 7:05 a.m. his fax machine wasn't working and so Douglas had to go to his mothers work and sign the papers to play at K-State.

By 7:20 a.m. the papers were turned in and Douglas was officially a Wildcat. He had committed to the school last summer and will receive a scholarship to play there.

"He has been excited since that day," Basehor-Linwood coach Steve Hopkins said. "Now that it is done and faxed off it is a great moment for him. We will celebrate a little bit tomorrow (Thursday)."

K-State coaches have been solid in their commitment to Douglas throughout the recruiting process and now he will prepare for life in Manhattan.

Douglas was ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the state of Kansas by Rivals.

He was a Class 4A first team all-state selection by the Kansas Football Coaches Association and an honorable mention All-Metro selection by the Kansas City Star.

He also was named to the PrepStar All-Region team.

He earned second-team all-Kaw Valley honors in 2006 after playing both left tackle and defensive tackle.

He grew up a Kansas State fan and will now pursue a degree and playing time at the school.

Jacob Schierbaum signed with Wasburn University to play football.

He made his decision after a visit there last weekend. He also was considering Emporia State or Benedictine, but chose Washburn because he likes the direction of the program.

"The coaching staff, I felt like I connected with them really well," he said. "The entire school, the facilities, the classrooms. I know Jared Trumly and Jake Hughes. It is nice because you don't have to go through the whole process of finding someone there."

Schierbaum said it was one of the toughest decisions of his life. "Yes, it was probably one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, by far," he said. "It was also one of the more fun decisions to make.

Planning out the next five years of my life was difficult. I feel like I made a good choice."

Schierbaum expects to play defensive end or tight end in college.

He said it really doesn't matter to him what position he plays.

"I just want to play," he said. "I am sure that any athlete would tell you that."

Several other Basehor-Linwood players are also considering playing college football, but still are in the midst of making decisions.

Signing day is one they will never forget.

"Oh yeah, this is one of the highlights of their lives," he said.

Lee signs with Missouri State

A little snow wasn't going to stop members of Bonner Springs High School football team from signing to play college football.

They had worked too hard, ran too many sprints and listened to too many recruiting pitches not to sign their letters of intent on Wednesday.

Snow cancelled school and so the Bonner Springs coach and his five former players went to plan B.

Coach Lew Kasselman told the players to meet him at school on Wednesday if classes were cancelled at 9 a.m. to complete a dream that began for some when they were in fifth grade.

With that, the players trekked to Bonner Springs High School with their parents and signed to play in college.

"The bad thing is you do it during the school there are more people around, but that is the way mother nature works sometimes," Kasselman said.

L.T. Lee signed to play at Missouri State, which is a division one football program.

"We are excited about that, it is a good program and a good school for him to get an education," Kasselman said.

Tyler Jock signed to play with Butler County Community College after a successful career at running back and this year at quarterback.

Three other plays signed to play at Coffeyville, Byron Williams, Anthony Ward and KC Henson.

A further story will be in next week's Chieftain.

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