PHS football: Kenan Conner

Philomath's Kenan Conner.

BRAD FUQUA

Back in August when I really needed to find a story idea for my sports section, I wrote about Philomath High's new football coaches. In particular, I interviewed offensive line coach Jeremy Burrows and defensive coordinator Mike Waters.

I never actually met Waters until the night of the season opener at Junction City. When I interviewed him for the story, he was on an out-of-state family trip. Anyway, he's one of those guys that's had a lot of experiences in the game at different levels. He has a special love for the small colleges. In fact, one of the things that he likes to do is connect high-schoolers with small colleges and expose parents to that world.

Waters told me that a lot of these schools will have recruiting meetings. The parents are invited to check out the program, campus tours can be arranged, they might even get lunch (although that depends on the level and the rules).

"If I see a prospect that could play at the next level, I talk to him and his parents and get them into the system," Waters said. "You won't find me at an Oregon State game. On Saturday, if I'm not watching film, I'm at a DIII game or with my guys up at Western Oregon."

The Division I schools are going to find their recruits. It's the smaller colleges that can use a little help. Waters enjoys it all. And as he told me, "I'm about playing and getting an education."

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