By Ryan Kaczmarski
Two years ago, Fairview High School quarterback Colin McNamara had many doubts about his football career. He had just transferred from Elyria Catholic, and half-way into his junior season, he was knocked out with a knee injury.
Fast forward to last Wednesday, McNamara, with his surgically repaired knee and astounding senior year stats behind him, had signed a scholarship to play football at Tiffin University.
“It was a long recruiting process, but after visiting Tiffin – I plan on being a business major – the business program there, the athletic facilities and the school as a whole really impressed me,” McNamara said. “It was such an overwhelming process, and I’m glad that I came to my decision now.
“I feel great to get this all over with and I can just be happy with my decision.”
McNamara really had the feeling of home and family when he made his campus visits.
“That was the main things that really got me committed to Tiffin,” he explained. “The community out there really resembled Fairview Park to me. It’s a smaller town, but with a great community.”
Even after his season-ending injury in 2013, McNamara had little doubt he’d come back and get some collegiate attention.
“I just had to keep telling myself that I had to keep doing whatever I can, to achieve what I want out of life,” he stated. “My dad always told me that every time I walk into a room, I need to be the hardest working guy in there.”
McNamara’s father, Kevin, knows a lot about the college recruiting process, as he has had a part in hundreds of girls getting scholarships through his TNBA basketball club teams, but being the father of the recruit makes it all that much more special.
“I’m fortunate enough that every year, 10-14 of my girls receive college scholarships, but when it’s your own, you always have that sense of pride built in,” Kevin McNamara said.
“I really like my future coach and all the people I met so far at Edinboro,” Gibbons said. “I also really like the campus and the area of Pennsylvania where Edinboro is located.
“This whole experience (of college recruiting) has made me so much more anxious and excited to attend Edinboro this fall.”
Gibbons is confident in her natural talents, but knows she will need to put in the hard work to succeed at the collegiate level.
“Over the next few months before I go to college, I am doing several workout programs to better myself, so I am fully prepared to compete,” she explained. “I’m going to continue to play with my club soccer team, and have lots of repetition and hard work during practice and workouts, so I am better prepared.”
Gibbons knows she could not have made it to this spot in her life without the support of her family, especially her father.
“He helped me and supported me every step of the way throughout the whole recruiting process,” she said. “No words can express how thankful and lucky I am for my dad’s help and support.
“Also, huge thanks to my teammates for all their support and positive attitude throughout the process as well.”
Gibbons is currently undecided on a major, but she is looking into forensic sciences, business or nursing.