Seniors on the Pattonville football team played their final high school game in the conference championship loss against Chaminade. For a lot of seniors, that may have been the last football game they will ever play, but at least three of the seniors will for sure have that opportunity again on the college level.

Joshua Jackson, Jordan Wilkes and Nicholas Preston are among the number of football players that picked out the college that was right for them to continue their playing careers.

“It was a long process in picking out the right college but it was well worth it,” Nicholas Preston said.

Preston will be attending Missouri Southern in the fall playing linebacker and he is very excited about it.

“I can’t wait to start my career in college and hit the next stage of my life.”

Wilkes will attending Missouri State University as a middle linebacker.

“I really want to start as a a freshman and start my college football career off early.”

There are great benefits with going to college and playing a sport, but it was a long process for Joshua Jackson.

“I had to sit down and have multiple meetings with the coaches and administration to make sure that I met the requirements,” Jackson said. “In the end, this was the right school for me.”

Jackson will be attending Truman State University as a cornerback next year.

“I can’t believe that I’m almost done with this whole process,” Jackson said. “I just want to thank the coaching staff on making it an easier process.”

Coach Steve Smith and the entire coaching staff helps the athletes put their film together in a way that they know colleges will be interested. They also help with contacting back and forth with the college coaches to convince the schools to offer the student-athletes a scholarship.

Jackson sent out a lot of his film to coaches with the help of the coaching staff so that they can find interest in him.

“I’m glad that I was able to put together some good film from this year and be able to send it out to coaches because they may not have found me without that film,” Jackson said.

Nicholas Preston received some extra help from his coaches.

“Coach Bryant and Coach Lewis did their best in finding me and putting me into the right college,” Preston said.

College coaches usually call high school coaches to see what players they should be interested in. Then head coach Steve Smith gives them a list of athletes and then they come check them out personally. But playing ability isn’t the only thing that matters.

“The main thing is either the hit or miss, which is the grades. If you met the requirements then they will invite you to the school to do a visit and then they usually offer you from there, but if your grades aren’t there then they will say good luck and wish we could have had you,” Smith said. “For most schools, you have to have a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher and the ACT score depends on the college.

Athletes that have talent in football can be good enough to go on scholarship, but hurt themselves when they haven’t been on their schoolwork.

“It’s important to do your school work,” Smith said. “If you do that, then we as coaches will handle the rest as far as getting you offers and schools looking at you.”

Student-athletes at Pattonville that signed during National Signing Day:

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