Sergio Hernandez was known in the Southern Athletic League for the past three years as Delhi High's hard-hitting middle linebacker. He was a core component of the 2014 Hawks squad that made the playoffs for only the third time in school history. After Monday, however, Hernandez will also be remembered as the first football player in school history to receive an athletic scholarship with the singing of his letter of intent to play Division III football for Illinois College.
“I did have other coaches talking to me, but this was the only school that reached out and offered a scholarship,” Hernandez said. “The defensive coordinator said he saw I had a passion for football and that he saw I was a person with a lot of ambition and that's what he wanted on his team.”
Despite having no playing experience before his freshman year at Delhi, Hernandez was able to not only learn the game but develop into a competitive player. After being moved up to varsity as a sophomore, Hernandez became an anchor for Delhi's defense in his junior and senior seasons.
“It opened my eyes once I was able to play varsity my sophomore year,” Hernandez said. “I had to put in a lot of extra work.”
Hernandez' scholarship of $64,000 will cover his tuition costs for roughly two years as he aims to aid a Blueboys team that finished 7-3 overall and 5-1 in the Midwest Conference last season.
“I'm going to have to work for the job just like with any other football team,” Hernandez said.
If Hernandez can make the Illinois College roster for the 2015 season he will see his first action on the road against Aurora University on Sept. 5.