By Jim Riggs
Jamestown senior quarterback Jake Sisson has been pondering at which college to continue his football career and he made the decision on Monday night.
Flanked by his parents Kim and George, Jamestown High School senior Jake Sisson signs his letter of intent to attend Edinboro University on a football scholarship. Joining the Sissons are, standing from the left, JHS?athletic director Ben Drake, Red Raiders head football coach Tom Langworthy and JHS principal Dr. Michael McElrath.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
The Red Raiders' loss is Edinboro University's gain as Sisson has accepted a scholarship from the NCAA Division II program.
Why the Fighting Scots?
''I feel like it's the perfect fit for me,'' Sisson said. ''They have the major I want to study in (physics), they have an offensive system that I've run in Jamestown now for the past two years and the coaching staff is good. I really love the coaching staff. It's a great opportunity for me to go and showcase what I've got in Division II.''
Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy agrees.
''I'm really excited for him, I think it's a great fit,'' he said. ''It seems like of all the schools he's looked at and all the schools that pursued him, this is the best opportunity that was out there. It's a program that is stable, it has a stable coaching staff and runs a similar offense to what we do. There's a lot of different elements that make sense.''
Edinboro assured Sisson he would be calling signals.
''They said I was a quarterback,'' Sisson said. ''I've been playing quarterback since I was six years old. I wanted to know I'd get a shot at quarterback.''
But he added, ''I just wanted to know that I could play and if they asked me to be a center I would try to be the best center that they wanted.''
Obviously, Sisson is better suited for quarterback where in 2013 he completed 178-of-275 passes for a Western New York record of 3,184 yards, which ranks second in the state. He also had 33 touchdown passes for the Section 6 Class AA champion Red Raiders, who finished the season with a 10-1 record after a loss in the Far West Regionals.
Sisson also set a Section 6 game passing record with 508 yards, which is tied for fourth in the state.
And on the ground, Sisson had a team-high rushing 732 yards and 24 touchdowns.
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That is why he was not only named the Western New York Player of the Year, and winner of the Connolly Cup, but he was also named to the state Class AA first team.
''What the coaches have described is the perfect offense for my skill set - the spread offense with a read option here and there.''
Edinboro, which plays in the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference, is coming off a 5-6 season. But the Fighting Scots' fifth-year quarterback, who had started for three years, was injured in the second game and missed the remainder of the season. That quarterback will be back for a sixth season.
''They told me I'd go into camp as the backup and if I didn't make the team I'd be redshirted,'' Sisson said. ''They said after that I'll be going in as the head man for four years.''
Langworthy said, ''I really think that Jake is going to be an asset when he comes in because he's run the offense that we've had and that will really be a head start for him. To be able to make some audibles and do what he did at the line of scrimmage, I think you find that rarely in high school football. I think he'll be way ahead of the game as far as being a freshman there.''
Langworthy knows something about Erie-area Division II football because he played on the defensive line at Mercyhurst for five seasons. And he knows a bit about Edinboro.
''We did play Edinboro. It was kind of a rivalry,'' he said.
Sisson likes the idea of playing near home.
''That helps a lot, being close,'' Sisson said. ''Being only an hour and 15 minutes away, my family can always come down and watch me play. If I want to come back and watch Jamestown play on an off week, I can just travel back up and watch them play.''
Sisson also considered a few other Division II teams and plenty at the Division III level. At the Division I level, Sisson had walk-on offers from Eastern Michigan and the University at Buffalo.
''I think Jake's a diamond in the rough and I think that some school missed on him, to be honest with you,'' Langworthy said. ''The thing that held him back was just his height (6-0). There's certain things you can measure and there's certain things you can't. One of the things that you can't is Jake's desire to be a winner and his competitive nature. Division I schools are looking for those measurables. What Jake lacks in height he makes up for it with heart and passion for the game. I think Jake's going to have a big career.''