By Oliver Lazenby
Six Blaine seniors made their dreams of playing college football a reality and pledged to play next year.
The student athletes are: Jalen Kortlever (Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas), Anthony Ball (University of Puget Sound in Tacoma), Jared Philips (Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma), Riley Fritsch (Pacific Lutheran University), Austin Kelstrup (College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California), and Kyle Sentkowski, who’s still undecided, looking at schools including College of the Siskiyous, University of Utah and Oregon State University. The letters the players signed were symbolic.
Blaine has never had so many football players sign letters of intent to play college football, head coach Jay Dodd said at a signing ceremony for the players on April 20 at Blaine High School. Dodd also pointed out that many other senior football players will be attending college and doing other remarkable things next year.
“We also have 20-plus other players who are doing great things,” he said.
Most of the student athletes said their college decisions were tough, and cited academics as well as coaching staff and playing style of the football teams as reasons for their choices.
Ball, Blaine High School’s all-time leading receiver, said signing with UPS felt like the payoff for a high school career of hard work at both sports and academics.
“All the work that we did all through high school, it’s finally paying off,” he said.
For most, high school athletes, signing a letter of intent to play in college is a dream come true.
“It’s always been my dream to play college football,” Fritsch said. “It’s definitely a big step in my life. I feel a little bit accomplished but I know there’s a lot more work to do.”