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|College remains hope for high school player|
|Written by R.J. Young|
|Friday, 11 March 2011 19:12|
Receiving a scholarship to play college football takes hard work, dedication and sometimes a bit of luck.
But in Tombstone High School's running back Sam Kriesel's situation, luck did not play in his favor in 2010.
College coaches all over the United States travel to cities to find high school athletes like Kriesel who they feel have enough skill to play for their university's team.
Getting recruited is almost every high school athlete's dream, but it is no easy feat.
It takes countless hours of work. Being a good player is just not enough coming from a small town.
"A pro-active approach is what is needed for a player, their family and high school coach to achieve their dream," said Bill Baker, recruiter and president of One Scouts Opinion Recruiting Service.
Last fall, Kriesel was looking to shake up the Arizona 2A Division, take his team to the playoffs, and cap off his career at Tombstone High.
Running, lifting weights and working on his skills, Sam was ready as the end of August crept closer.
Just minutes into the first game of the 2010 season against Safford High is when Kriesel's career took a turn for the worse.
He broke his right foot, which would later require season-ending surgery and a five month long recovery.
The recruiting process that had once looked very promising for him quickly disappeared.
After having more than 1,000 yards rushing his junior season, Sam received letters showing interests from multiple universities such as, Fresno State, Portland State, Northern Arizona, Oregon State and others.
"He had schools that were showing interest in him, but it all kind of died after he was injured," said Gary Kriesel, Sam's father.
This is sometimes a common thing that happens when players injure themselves. The college coaches become unsure of how the athlete will recover from the injury and do not want to take the chance.
Sam Kriesel now was faced with two very difficult endeavors that would normally discourage a young teenage athlete.
"Playing sports in a small town was not going to stop me from getting to play college ball before I got hurt and I wasn't going to let my injury get in the way either," he said.
Now seven months later, after having two plates and a screw taken out of his foot and going through rehabilitation in Sierra Vista, he now has gained his strength and mobility back showing great dedication.
"We are so proud of Sam and how he has dedicated himself to excel in everything he does," said Sam's family.
During spring he is continuing to work hard and is running on the Tombstone track team to get back to his pre-surgery ways.
While he has not yet received a scholarship to play football at the next level, he has been in contact with several schools and still hoping to receive that special opportunity.
"I have a good feeling that I am not done playing football, I will be playing at the next level," he said.