From Division III to Living Your Dreams

Good Morning Sports Fans!

For those looking for my thoughts on yesterday’s Browns game, I did put up another post during the fourth quarter of the game. I was pretty blunt in my column but after seeing how poorly they played, it felt like there was no other way of putting it.

Last night when watching Sunday Night Football on NBC, I couldn’t help but smile whenever Colts Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon caught the football. For those of you who may not be aware of Garcon’s background, he played Division III college football at powerhouse Mount Union and eventually used that experience to get an NFL tryout. It’s not common for Division III football players to make it to the NFL but Garcon proves that it’s not impossible.

Whenever Otterbein played Mount Union, it was very apparent that the Purple Raiders were a top notch team with some of the best talent a coach could get. Garcon was no exception. The couple times I saw Garcon play against Otterbein, his speed, agility and ability to run routes made him stand out and there was no doubt he had talent. The stories range as to how he ended up at Mount Union but the fact that he got to play versus sitting on a bench at a Division I powerhouse gave him the exposure he needed to reach his dreams of making the NFL. Garcon proved once again that if you have the talent, scouts will find you no matter where you are playing.

During my time at Otterbein (which is a Division III school), I definitely had my share of watching the sports teams play there. Most people out there have described Division III sports as being “crappy” and “mediocre” but I don’t think those people really understood why the athletes were playing in the first place.

Due to the fact Division III schools really can’t offer scholarships, many of the athletes simply play for the love of the game and the opportunity to be apart of a team again. There were years in which Otterbein’s football team struggled, however, I can’t name a single player I came across on that team who did not want to be there. Everyone on that team was committed, wanted to play and was grateful for the opportunity to continue their careers beyond high school. I can say the same for all of the other sports teams on Otterbein’s campus as well.

When I covered Otterbein Women’s Basketball, all of the girls on the team were grateful to have the opportunity to continue their careers and be apart of a team again. All of the girls on the team were very passionate about the game and were thrilled to go out and play every week. Everytime I would run into the players on campus or before a game, a smile usually was on one of their faces and they enjoyed a friendly conversation back and forth. They really enjoyed playing the game and talked to anyone would was willing to come watch.

As far as Otterbein goes, there have been other athletes who have gone on to play professionally overseas or with other leagues in the United States. Jeff Gibbs and Tyler Ousley both have had success playing professional basketball in Europe and former Otterbein quarterback Matt D’Orazio had championship success in the Arena Football League with both Chicago and Philadelphia. Former Otterbein baseball player Dan Remenowsky was patient during his Otterbein career, worked hard to get his fastball and control up to where it needed to be and was rewarded with a free agent contract from Chicago White Sox. These stories prove that with hard work, nothing is impossible.

Until next time, keep it real and have a good one!

Jeff

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~ by jeffrsabo on September 28, 2009.

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