For two Elizabeth Cardinal athletes, their careers in football did not end in November — they will continue for another four years at the …
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For two Elizabeth Cardinal athletes, their careers in football
did not end in November — they will continue for another four years
at the collegiate level.
On April 23 at Elizabeth High School, Luke Dillavou and Ethan
McKinney signed their letters of intent with McPherson College in
McPherson, Kan., as their former coaches, teammates and families
watched in support.
The athletes agreed that because of the size of the school —
only 480 students — each will actually get some playing time early
in their careers.
“We both have a better shot playing faster than at other
schools,” Dillavou said.
McKinney also has a couple other reasons McPherson was the
“My home town is only about 50 miles away and my best friend
from grade school is also signed back there and he’s going to play
football there too,” he said.
McPherson College is part of the National Association of
Intercollegiate Athletics. Dillavou, who signed as an outside
linebacker and McKinney as quarterback, will be facing other
colleges such as Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., the
University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan., and Kansas Wesleyan
University in Salina ,Kan.
Dillavou said he is most excited to see what it is like to play
with new people on a new team as well as the competition.
“It is definitely a step up in college from high school and I’m
ready for something new and challenging,” he said.
McKinney said high school has become repetitive and he is geared
up for a change.
“I’m just excited for something new,” he said. “High school has
been a blast, but it’s time to move on.”
For some athletes preparing to compete at the college level, the
thought can be a little nerve-wracking, but not for the former
Cardinals. Neither McKinney nor Dillavou said they are nervous for
“I’m not nervous a whole lot I guess,” Dillavou said. “I’m just
more excited than I am nervous.”
“I’m excited to go,” McKinney said.
The athletes plan to work out and spend time in the weight room
at least five times a week before the season starts in august.
McKinney said it is important to spend a lot of their time working
out before and during the season because the players will be a lot
bigger and faster in college.
“I just hope at this time next year I will come back and look a
lot different,” he said. “Hopefully a few more pounds of
As they leave Elizabeth and travel over 400 miles to McPherson
College, each athlete will take some advice they learned from their
high school football coaches.
“I have learned to just work hard all the time because even if
you work hard no one can take that away from you,” Dillavou
“Always work hard at everything that you are doing whether it’s
the weight room or class or on the field,” McKinney said. “Just
give it all you got.”
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