ELLENBORO – Former Ritchie County teammates Kayden Procacina and Jackson Dingess will remain united after the couple agreed to play sprint football for Alderson Broaddus head coach Brad Jett.
Aside from their love of the grill, the rebels have also struggled. Dingess won six letters in both sports and Procacina, who finished fourth in the state with 152 pounds as an elder, had eight.
“I had a few chances to go to university to fight”, Said Procacina. “It was above all the situation of sprint AB football. I have been fighting since the third year and I started soccer in college.
“Most people would think that if I continued playing college sports it would be wrestling. Football, for me, was more like the route I wanted to take in wrestling. “
Dingess plans to specialize in nursing, graduate, and then work as an emergency nurse “for a little while and maybe come back and become a nurse practitioner.” We are moving into sprint football for Coach Jett.
“It was a bit unexpected because Kayden and I thought we would go to college to fight somewhere, if it’s a sport, because that’s what we’ve done well for our whole lives.” I always wanted to play football in college, but I kind of struck it out because I was too small. Soccer sprint works for me because it has a weight limit. It works really well. “
Even if Dingess’ plan was to go to college and fight, he couldn’t let go of the chance to play for the Battlers.
“I had three or four wrestling coaches talking to me at the time to come and visit their school,” Dingess added.
“I wanted to see what they could do financially. When sprint football arrived, I had to take it because I love football. “
Procacina plans to specialize in natural resource management, but it was difficult to choose a college.
“It was not an easy decision”, admitted Procacina, who said he wouldn’t mind being a slot receiver for the Battlers. “Wrestling has been part of my life since I was little, but I had a lot of support behind me to go to AB. Many wrestling coaches supported me and they thought it was the right decision for me too.
“I visited and it was the first time I was there. After the tour, it felt like it was a pretty campus. It is definitely an option. I met a lot of nice people. I met a lot of coaches and they seemed like great guys and a good environment. After the wrestling season ended, I weighed my options. I just felt like AB was the right place to be. “
Coach Jett, the longtime former head coach of South Harrison, was happy to have the two rebels on board.
“They come from a great program,” Said Jett. “We played Ritchie a few years when Kenny Wright was there and I took over for the first time. It’s a program rich in traditions. We brought the (Gabe) Ray Boy last year and it opened the door, I think. He scored the first touchdown in the history of AB.
“It’s nice to recruit children from small schools. These two kids have their heads over and focus on what they want to do. I’m proud that they’re going to school. When I was in South Harrison, each of my children graduated from high school. When they come to Alberta, they go to class and graduate. That’s what I’m looking for. “
Dingess said the meeting with Ray would be definitely exciting.
“In fact, he, I and Kayden were all very good friends his last year and our first years” he added. “We stayed in touch when he went to university.
“I spoke to Gabe and found out more about the program and what to do and what to expect. He said it was a big step forward even if the guys weren’t as big. They are much faster and you will play very good athletes. “
The last two seasons under RCHS head coach Rick Haught, the Rebels have reached the Class A playoffs.
Leaving their old playground will not be easy for both players.
“For Coach Haught, coming to take us all under his wing and really changing the program is a special feeling”, Said Procacina.
“Going from 0-10 to 2-8 and being at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to football, then my junior and senior year to become one of the best teams in the state, it was just a good feeling.”
After a 40-6 win over South Harrison in the first round of the playoffs to 10-1, the Rebels’ season ended after a tough 13-0 home loss at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium and finally three- reigning state champion Wheeling Central.
“Last year we were eliminated in the first round by Mt. See and this year we were beaten by Wheeling Central in the second round, “ added Dingess, who played linebacker and wing. “It was a big change from what we were used to when Coach Haught arrived. It was a change of culture.
“The first two years we used to lose and when Coach Haught arrived we all knew we had a chance. It rejuvenated the team and brought us back to life. The team has always been very close and it’s a brotherhood. I’m going to miss it, but I have to bring some of my brothers with me to AB. “
Contact Jay Bennett at [email protected]
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