by Canaan Freeman | Sports Editor
For every athlete when stepping foot on the field their dream is to play in the collegiate level. Most athletes will see their dreams slip between their fingers but a few will be able to see this dream through and have the opportunity to continue playing the sport they love. Devlin Gilligan and JC Rast have been two of the more lucky athletes getting to move on into college. Most people who are not going through this process think its so easy and fun but what they don’t know is the stress that comes along with it.
“Everyone thinks that being recruited is one of the most fun and interesting things to d,o and don’t get me wrong it is. But along with the great benefits, what a lot of people don’t see is the stress that comes with this process. For me I have had trouble deciding on whether I want to continue playing football at the next level for a smaller school or would I rather use my academic success to get a better education.” senior Devlin Gilligan said
As for JC Rast, his Recruiting ride has been a little less stressful and more of that looked forward to fantasy of being recruited.
“I have decided to go to the Air Force academy to play football, and the reason for this is because I liked the campus setting as well as the benefits that I would get from going there,” senior JC Rast said
Football is arguably the most famous and known sport in the nation, and for high school kids playing as long as possible would be the goal.
“Regardless of my love for football its hard for me to come to realization of making a high caliber decision such as recruiting. I have worked really hard to get where I am today with my grades and this is making my decision that much harder knowing I could go just about anywhere for school,” Gilligan said
Becoming a collegiate athlete definitely takes hard work and dedication but also staying level headed and being smart about the decisions that will come in the near future.
“Its been one of the greatest experiences for him as well as for me, seeing my son go through this journey and follow his dreams is has been such a special thing. Our family has really supported Devlin throughout his entire life but especially over this last up and down year,” Devlins mother, Kathy Gilligan, said
From a standpoint of someone other than the athletes, the parents are affected by their kids decisions.
“Throughout the season Devlin was unsure about what the future would look like but he really wanted to play football and offers were extremely limited until recently. With these two offers from West Point and Air Force we really had to talk as a family and again support Devlin in whatever he decided was best,” Kathy said
For both athletes the only setback is that they will have to serve for a full four years after their senior year of college which made the decision that much harder.“I knew coming into the season my heart was still in the game of football and no matter what I wanted to play. Like I said it was a tough choice to go play at a school not in D 1 or get a better education but finally in recent february I was blessed enough to receive an offer I just could not turn down. I visited West Point as well as Air force and they both wanted be to play football.” Gilligan said
In the end all athletes who have this unique ability and athleticism will have to go through the struggles and stresses that come with recruiting.
“Now I faced another extremely tough and stressful decision but deep down I knew whatever I chose I would be happy. Eventually I came to conclusion that the best option would be to play at Air Force. I really enjoyed the campus in colorado springs and one of the biggest factor was that two of my good friends that I played with at johnson will also be going there.” Gilligan said