Football teammates sign with Division II schools
     2016-02-12      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Scottsbluff High School football standouts, from left, Brad Johnston, Austin Clarkson and Shane Smith signed to play football at the Division II college level. 
Three members of the Scottsbluff Bearcats football team that posted an impressive 10-2 season in 2015 are taking their skills to the Division II college level.

Classmates, parents, and staff gathered in the high school foyer the afternoon of Feb. 2 to watch as Brad Johnston signed to play running back for the Chadron State College Eagles. In addition to the running back position, Johnston starred as a defensive lineman for the Bearcats.

“The coaches at Chadron were really welcoming,” Johnston said. “I like their attitude about the program and the players really care.”

Austin Clarkson, although he might redshirt his first year, will be on the offensive line for Northwest Missouri State, which won the Division II national football championship in 2015.

“I really like the family atmosphere there,” Clarkson said.
“Going through tough practices will be easier knowing they have such a winning record and what we’re capable of doing. With good competition surrounding me, I’ll always be getting better.”

Clarkson admitted that basketball used to be his favorite sport.
During his sophomore year, he realized he was also good at football after a teammate’s injury put him into a starting position.

“I don’t have to think too much about it,” he said. “I just hit people.”

Teammate Shane Smith is headed to Wayne State, where after a redshirt year, will focus on defense for the Wildcats. “I always wanted to play college football, but I really started focusing on it my junior year,” Smith said. “I think I can help out with my size and strength. I’ll also be working on my speed and quickness.”

Head Football Coach Joe Benson said Smith didn’t get to play a lot until his senior year, but “worked his tail off and loves football.

“I think Wayne State will use him as a nose tackle, and that’s a great spot for him.”

An estimated 25 Scottsbluff seniors, both boys and girls, will be signing to play various college sports next fall.

“All of them are high character kids and that’s what I’m most proud of,” Benson said. “They’ve represented Scottsbluff High School in a professional way. All three of them are winners and we hate to see them go.”

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Morning friend!
Recently Read Sports
1328Football teammates sign with Division II schools
997Bearcats start strong, lose steam in state prelim
1180Seacat boys swim to fourth at Omaha meet
708State tourney host Gering gets swept out
818Younger Gering falls to well-stocked GINW
1217Tennis teams finish at state
1263Local teams represent well at regional Babe Ruth tournament
1132Morrill has high expectations
1568Bearcat tennis wraps up season
1706Summit run set for this Saturday
894Gering sweeps team titles at Mitchell
1048Rapid City sweeps Twilight Track Meet
691Public school sports open to all students under new bill
859Cats’ pursuit for perfection ends
1253Funds raised at the Jason Vesper Memorial Golf Tournament
748Gering golfers look to build on first-meet results
1162Marquez caps legacy in Gering Legion baseball history
889Bearcat netters look for continued, steady improvement
1268Bulldog mom initiates new scoreboard
1229Teen Voice: Take me out to the ball game
Most Read Sports 2012
4056Mitchell track off to a strong start
3941Morrill baseball back in business
3348Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3340Gering wrestling builds on experience
3231Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
3171Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2981All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2956Gering resident lives his dream
2844All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2780Raising the bar high
2775Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2752Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2743Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2696Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2640Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2632Beam to golf at Midland
2538Doing the heavy lifting
2459Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2288Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
2254Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
Most Read Sports 2011
4056Mitchell track off to a strong start
3941Morrill baseball back in business
3348Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3340Gering wrestling builds on experience
3231Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
3171Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2981All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2956Gering resident lives his dream
2844All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2780Raising the bar high
2775Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2752Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2743Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2696Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2640Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2632Beam to golf at Midland
2538Doing the heavy lifting
2459Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2288Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
2254Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
Hale Multimedia LLC
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on