Its been a while since the JCHS football program was able to claim a college signee from their ranks, but considering the sheer athletic talent of this years group of graduating seniors, it was no surprise when two members of the Longhorns team announced their intentions to carry their football careers to the next level.
Its been a long time, said Head Coach Mike Atwood. This year we actually had two. Chase Kleine and River Cazire both signed letters of intent to go play football at other schools, and they will get some football money to go to that school. Its a good thing; its a good thing for this program as a whole.
Kleine made his decision earlier in the year while Cazire just recently signed his formal documents at the annual maroon and white spring training game at the high school. With some of the best stats in the conference for receiving, Cazire had an opportunity to play with several schools, but when bigger programs like the University of the Cumberlands started seeking him out, the choice became clear.
The University of the Cumberlands came and talked to me and Chase both, said Cazire. Its in Williamsburg, Kentucky and Ive been to the campus twice. I just liked the environment, the way the people were. Its a nice school, quiet. I can get my work done and just go play football. I have to give props to Chase Kleine because he actually signed with Kentucky Christian and we play in the same division, so I will be seeing him on the field November 9th. I cant wait.
When asked what he thought about Cazires choice, Coach Atwood also seemed to think it was the right decision, He probably could have gone to a couple other small schools, Atwood said, but Kentucky was the best fit for him. He did what he had to do, he scored what he needed to score on the ACT and that says something. Theyve got a pretty good team up there. I believe theyve finished in the top 10 in the nation for their division and theyve got a real good football team. Hes not going to be able to walk right in and play probably but if he hangs in there I think hell be able help.
Although Cazire became an integral part of the team this season and has become a big piece of the Johnson County family, it is also easy to forget that he is actually a relatively new face to the school, transferring in from Morganton, North Carolina in his junior year. With that in mind, it is truly amazing what Cazire accomplished in a single season.
He came in here about midway through our junior season and didnt get eligible until about the last two games, said Atwood. We saw even then that he could be a special player for us, but he has really overcome a lot to get to where he is at. Hes really done well. He could have just come in here and really not done anything, but he fit right in. The boys like him, he liked being up here, his grandparents have done a great job with him and I think he is really going to do well. You can tell he didnt grow up here, but I believe thats a good thing. He fits in well with everybody.
Cazire actually developed his love of football when he was younger in North Carolina, and played some there in his early high school career. Yet, Cazire is just as quick to point out the many strong memories he has made in Mountain City. I love this place, the senior said. Its a small town, quiet, the football support is amazing. You could be having the worst season and people would still be there. Just the fan support, I love it. In North Carolina all I did was play football. I just played basketball and baseball to stay in shape. I just love playing football. Ever since my step Dad first taught me about it, I have been addicted and just wanted to better my game any way I can. Its a game that you can get mad and hit somebody and not get in trouble for it. Its just an easy way to relieve anger and stress. During the week stuff happens, you get mad and go to football practice and let it all out.
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