Common football stereotypes include running backs are fast, quarterbacks can throw the ball well, defenders can hit and offensive linemen are smart.
Coahulla Creek High School football coach Jared Hamlin said senior offensive lineman Storm Whitfield fits his part of that assumption perfectly.
“He does such a good job in the classroom with his grades,” Hamlin said of the 6-foot-2, 205-pound center. “He is a smart young man, and he will be successful in whatever he does. He is getting this opportunity because he has taken care of his job in the classroom, first and foremost. If you don’t do that, then don’t think about going anywhere beyond high school.”
The opportunity Whitfield is getting is a chance to play college football. One of only five seniors on the Colts’ roster this past fall, Whitfield is the first Coahulla Creek football player to commit to play college football, agreeing to play at Greensboro College in North Carolina.
“It is kind of cool being the first one and leaving a legacy,” Whitfield said. “We have a couple of other guys who you will see going places pretty soon. This whole group has done a good job of providing leadership.”
Hamlin is happy for his first college football player as well.
“It is great to see young men get an opportunity to play at the next level,” Hamlin said. “Storm is the first, and I think we have a chance for a couple of others. That is a big deal. I am really proud he got that opportunity.”
Greensboro College is an NCAA Division III school that is a member of the USA South Athletic Conference. Division III schools can’t give athletic scholarships, but Whitfield will receive academic scholarships.
Whitfield said Greensboro College was a good fit for both his athletic and academic goals, but playing in college was something he wouldn’t have dreamed of before this year.
“If you would have told me I would have been doing this four years ago, I would have laughed at you,” said Whitfield, who attended Northwest Whitfield his freshman and sophomore years. “A lot of that comes from going to the new school. Coach Hamlin knows the game and he has really helped me out.”
He also said the attitude of the coaches at Greensboro was a deciding factor in his decision. The Pride went 5-5 overall and 3-4 in conference play last season in Bill Young’s first season as coach.
“It was a lot like my decision to come to Coahulla,” Whitfield said. “They were real. They said we were going to work hard and it was all about the team. That is the way I feel like football should be played. You do what is best for the team and you work hard to make things better.”
Whitfield plans to concentrate on history in college with two distinct career paths in mind.
“I hope to study history and then go for a law degree, and maybe one day be someone who might be in politics,” he said.
“The other one would be to coach football and be a grad assistant and then teach.”