Palisade teammates set to play against each other as rivals
The Palisade High School library was packed Wednesday afternoon — not just with students studying, but with six Palisade football players signing letters of intent to play college football.
Zach Adair, Matt Young, Jake Edmiston and Steaphen Isaac signed with Mesa State College, and their teammates Aaron Wagler and Jake Appling will become rivals at Western State College.
“It is a great group of kids,” Palisade coach John Arledge said. “They have done everything we have asked of them and they are just great people.”
Here’s a look at the Bulldogs and what they had to say about their choices:
Why Western State? “The surroundings and the area. They recruited me pretty hard, so it felt like it was the right place to go.”
What position? Defensive line or linebacker
What is this day like? “I didn’t really want to go to college until this year, but now I am going and it is exciting.”
What major? Petroleum geology or geology.
What is it like to have five other teammates signing with you? “It would have been great if we could have all gone to the same school, but we will get see them again.”
What are your expectations? “If I can play, great, and if I redshirt, that’s fine, too. You have to take your knocks all through life. You come into football as a sixth grader and you are scared of the middle schoolers. You come in as a freshman and you are scared of the seniors. You go into college and it is the seniors again. If you can compete, go for it; if not, wait your turn and pay your dues.”
Coach Arledge’s take: “Tough. He is hard and tough but his loyalty is ingrained forever.”
Why Western State? “When we went there I had a lot of fun and I really liked the coaches.”
What position? Receiver and free safety.
What is this day like? “It is cool to be here with the rest of the guys.”
What major? Education.
What is it like to have five other teammates signing with you? “It will be fun our junior and senior years to be playing against each other.”
What are your expectations? “I want to play and start, but I will probably redshirt the first year.”
Coach Arledge’s take: “A kid that will probably change the most physically. He will fill out and I think will be a helluva receiver or defensive back.”
Why Mesa State? “I have always watched Mesa and it fits what Palisade football is all about.”
What position? Outside linebacker and maybe receiver.
What is this day like? “It came fast. Four years flew by fast. It is exciting, but kind of hard to believe.”
What major? Education and try to be a coach.
What is it like to have five other teammates signing with you? “It is cool because this is always fun, to have your teammates with you.”
What are your expectations? “Just try and get a spot and earn respect.”
Coach Arledge’s take: “Size. He is going to be a huge man someday. He has unbelievable strength and is truly a dedicated kid and there is nothing weak about his character.”
Why Mesa State? “I am used to the community and I went to Western and didn’t feel like I could connect up there.”
What position? Receiver.
What is this day like? “This is amazing. It’s crazy that high school is already done.”
What major? Education.
What is it like to have five other teammates signing with you? “It is nice that even though high school is over we still get to go play.”
What are your expectations? “To finish out college and get to play.”
Coach Arledge’s take: “Probably the most underrated kid of the group. Really hard worker and a wonderful person.”
Why Mesa State? “I really liked their facilities and I know the coaching staff has a great reputation.”
What position? Linebacker.
What is this day like? “High school football has been a great experience, but we are all not done with football. We are excited to move on and play against each other.”
What major? Education.
What is it like to have five other teammates signing with you? “It is really nice, especially since we are all in the same conference. Four of us will get to play with each other against Aaron and Jake.”
What are your expectations? “We will see what happens. We will go out and play like we have been taught.”
Coach Arledge’s take: “Smartest kid of all the group. Just tough, he is what you want your kid to grow up to be.”
Why Mesa State? “I like the environment there and like the coaches.”
What position? Corner or running back.
What is this day like? “It is fulfilling a big goal for all of us.”
What major? Math/education
What is it like to have five other teammates signing with you? “It is really good because we all worked hard together.”
What are your expectations? “I expect to play hard and make plays.”
Coach Arledge’s take: “Zach Adair has great explosive speed and is pound for pound the strongest kid we have. He squatted 495 pounds. For a kid that weighs 165 pounds, that is just impressive.”