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Schwab: Platteville pipeline extends to Geneva football

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 5:34 a.m. CDT
Caption
Geneva’s Colin Griffin (48) will play football at Wisconsin-Platteville next season along with teammate Nathan Balettie.

Colin Griffin gathered his short-term courage in the name of long-term happiness.

Griffin dreaded having to let the Wisconsin-Whitewater football coaching staff know about his change of plans after initially committing to Whitewater – especially since the maneuver led him to Whitewater’s fierce rival, Wisconsin-Platteville.

But that’s what the Geneva senior linebacker decided, and now he’ll aim to make that switch hurt Whitewater all the more on the football field.

“It was really tough because you grow bonds with the coaches from talking to them for months, and just having to notify them, and especially when you commit somewhere, it’s even worse. … I felt terrible doing it but I just needed to go where my heart was set, and that’s Platteville,” Griffin said.

Griffin will join a large contingent of area players on the Pioneers’ roster, including fellow Geneva senior Nathan Balettie, a defensive lineman. Four Kaneland products are also expected to be on next year’s Platteville roster, including current Knights seniors Blake Bradford and Zach Theis.

Like Balettie, Griffin will become a second-generation college football player. Griffin’s father, Tim, was a middle linebacker at Northern Illinois, where he was a college teammate of Vikings coach Rob Wicinski.

Griffin said a second visit from Pioneers coach Mike Emendorfer helped demonstrate how badly he was wanted, contributing to his change of heart last month.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Griffin considers the conference both Platteville and Whitewater compete in – the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athlethic Conference – to be the equivalent of the SEC for Division III. He thinks he’ll fit in nicely.

“I think I have skills that can help out the team a lot,” Griffin said. “Just noticing the size when I went up there, I think in a year or two, I’ll be pretty golden with my personal size compared to the players right now.”

Griffin decided to skip lacrosse this spring to focus on football training. Factoring into his considerations was his substantial high school injury history – a broken leg as a junior and torn thumb ligaments as a senior slowed his progress as a Viking.

“I’ve already had enough injuries,” Griffin said.

Griffin recently added an unconventional weight-training episode to his spring regimen.

Thursday, he was part of a large contingent of Geneva football players that chipped in with manual labor to help combat flooding along the Fox River near the Herrington Inn & Spa in downtown Geneva.

“It was awesome,” Griffin said. “It just felt good helping out the town like that, seeing the rest of the town, even neighboring towns were out there. I’ll mark that off the bucket list – sandbagging.”

East’s Sciarrino commits:St. Charles East defensive back Anthony Sciarrino made a college football commitment Saturday, choosing DePauw (Ind.).

Sciarrino, who also plays baseball for the Saints, picked DePauw over Carthage (Wis.) and Elmhurst.

He expects to play strong safety and potentially help on the punt return unit in college.

• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or jschwab@shawmedia.com.

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