Coming off a Class 4-A state championship football season, FSHS held a press conference Wednesday, Feb. 14, as four seniors: Saul Brady, Cain Newland, Dion Pearson and Steven Starks signed letters of intent to play collegiate football for Campbellsville University. They will join Jordan Bass, a former Wildcat offensive and defensive lineman who just completed his freshman season for the Tigers.
"Thank you to the players, as they have put in a lot of hard work and we have a lot of fun memories and good times we have shared together," Wildcats Head Football Coach Doug Preston said. "Remember why you are going to college. This can be your ticket in life to ... move into other avenues as you get older. What these young men have done is amazing and now they are taking their first step in life. I am so proud and happy for you guys."
Campbellsville University is a comprehensive, Christian institution that offers non-credit technical programs, along with certificates, associates, undergraduate and graduate programs. The university is dedicated to academic excellence solidly grounded in liberal arts that fosters personal growth, integrity and professional preparation within a caring environment.
"It is really great to see our young people having the opportunity to further their academic and athletic careers," FSHS Principal Tim Schlosser said. "It is an honor to see these young athletes having the chance to play college football. These men are leaders and mentors to underclassmen and I wish them the best of luck in continuing their academic and football careers. I would like to say thank you for all the accolades that you all have brought to FSHS."
The four players were defensive starters that played an integral role in a line that allowed 142.1 yards per game, 17.2 points per game and held seven different teams scoring under 7 points in a game.
Brady, who will be majoring in sports management and marketing, played both sides of the football. On offense, he had 133 carries for 1,126 yards for 11 touchdowns; on defense, he had 46 total tackles, 30 individual with 16 assisted, and a team high of three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
"The campus was beautiful so I felt like it was the right place to be," Brady said. "It's super exciting to be at a place with a lot of familiar faces and people you know. College is nerve-wracking in general but when you have three of your closest friends and others you know that are there, it is going to feel just like home."
Newland, who is undecided in his major, primarily played in the secondary. He had 53 total tackles, 37 solo with 16 assisted, along with an interception. On offense, he had two carries for 65 yards for a touchdown.
"When I went there ... I felt very comfortable, kind of like being at home. And going there along with my teammates really helped in my decision to choose Campbellsville," Newland said. "It's a new experience but it is always good to have familiar faces there with you. I really never thought I would get this far, in terms of playing college football, and I am excited to play on that level."
Pearson, who will be majoring in sports business and management with a minor in communications, played on the defensive line and had 80 total tackles, 56 individual with 24 assisted, along with a fumble recovery.
"It was the best choice for me as they have a good football program and I really felt more at home when I visited," Pearson said. "Going to Campbellsville with my brothers mean a lot and we get to start a new chapter. I'm really excited to see what the future has in store for us. Our chemistry together on defense is good and our bond outside of football is great."
Starks, who will be majoring in physical science and therapy, also played on the defensive line. He played one season at Franklin-Simpson with 60 total tackles, 35 solo and 25 assisted.
"I was originally going to go to Georgetown but I chose Campbellsville when I found out who all was going there," Starks said. "There's a lot of alumni from here that are already go or plan to go there. Along with the four of us going together, you might as well call it Franklin-Simpson University. So it should be an easy transition for me."