Two teammates from the Pitman High School football program will be moving on to the collegiate level to continue their football careers.
Jason Foglia and Donovan Bravo have both decided to attend Sterling College in Kansas on athletic scholarships to compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics also known as the NAIA.
“It was a very difficult decision to go to Kansas, but it was a lot easier once Donovan told me he was going to commit there,” said Foglia. “It's good to have a friend going with me to college so far from home.”
“I chose Sterling mainly due to the fact that I would be privileged to continue playing football with one of my teammates and close friends ,” said Bravo. “Since I started playing football, I have always known that it was a passion and would love the opportunity to pursue it into my college years.”
Both Pride members come off an interesting and rewarding year.
The Pride made the playoffs with a 7-2 regular season record and 3-2 in the Central California Conference but was eliminated in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division I Section playoffs to Napa, 14-39.
Although the team was done, both Foglia and Bravo were not. The process was long and enduring for both recent Pitman graduates but with the help of family, friends and their coaches they eventually surpassed all the hurdles and will be heading off to Kansas by the first week of August.
“The process was long but necessary to make sure that the college I was choosing to attend was the right fit academically and athletically,” Bravo said. “Although other scholarships were presented, Sterling was the best fit for me at this time.”
Foglia chose to become the first member of his family to accept a scholarship to play football and Bravo could not pass up an opportunity to continue playing the game he loved with a great friend and teammate.
“After my last high school game, I knew that I couldn't let this be the last time I got to suit up,” Bravo said. “With the help of my friend Jason, we both dedicated ourselves and pushed ourselves to make sure we got to continue our football career and thanks to Sterling we are able to do that together.”
“Sterling College was the only college that was going to be giving me a scholarship and my other option was MJC, but deciding on where to go was very difficult,” said Foglia. “It’s such a blessing to be able to continue football after high school. I can't imagine not playing anymore.”
Foglia was an honorable mention his junior year, and was an All-Conference selection this past season as a senior.
“I'm really looking forward to begin playing college football. It’s going to be a lot of fun to play at the next level,” said Foglia. “All the hard work I have put in at Pitman has paid off and I couldn't be happier that I get to continue to play the game for another four years.”
Foglia will be playing outside linebacker or strong safety and Bravo has yet to be determined.
“Competition has always driven me to excel. Knowing that there are people better than me is what makes me strive to improve my skills and abilities,” Bravo added. “Academically I want to meet my expectations. Athletically I want to start as a freshman and help the team to a great and hopefully memorable season.”
Foglia is scheduled to compete in this year's Rotary's All-Star game, which is set for June 26. The duo must report to Sterling on Aug. 8.