Not just athletes, but scholars

Rodland, Jones win scholarships from Snohomish County Football

By AARON COE

Herald Writer

EVERETT — A lot of young men excel on the football field, but the athletes honored at Wednesday night at the Snohomish County Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet do much more than play the game.

Four athletes were chosen out of the 40 applicants from 20 area schools. All 40 are outstanding football players, students, leaders and citizens. The four winners were given college scholarships at the Everett Golf &amp Country Club.

Everett’s Brian Jones and Snohomish’s Josh Rodland won $1,000 Snohomish County Hall of Fame awards.

Jones developed a reputation as one of the best lineman in the area. The 6-foot, 235-pound senior carries a 3.84 grade-point average, and does everything he can to help those in need.

"I guess it comes from being competitive," said Jones, who helped his first period class collect 5,000 cans of food during the fall. "I’m afraid if I stop, I’ll fall behind all the good people around me."

Jones is a volunteer DARE speaker with the Everett Police Department and serves as a mentor for local elementary kids.

Rodland, an Herald All-Area First Team quarterback, led Snohomish to a 9-1 record and the Western Conference 4A championship.

Rodland won’t be found goofing around on Friday nights after the game. He’s got to be ready to teach kids flag football from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday mornings.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior went on a religious mission to Mexico during the past summer, where he worked on a church and spent time at an orphanage.

"I had no idea how much of an impact I was having on the children until the last day when we were all saying goodbye," wrote Rodland in his application. "A boy that I had befriended that week cried and cried and would not let go of me. I will never forget the look in his eyes."

Rodland said he was shocked when he learned he had won a scholarship.

"There are some amazing people in this room," said Rodland, whose brother Eric won the award in 1998. "To say I’m among the elite of this group, I don’t know how that’s possible."

Rodland’s teammate, Joe Plucker, and Cascade’s Jeff Pugmire were presented $500 scholarships from the Snohomish County Football Officials Association.

Anyone who plays baseball at Pilchuck Park in Snohomish has Pugmire to thank.

Pugmire, a running back/safety for the Bruins, turned a park that was in near shambles into a field of dreams. New dugouts, outfield fences and a new backstop were built as a part of Pugmire’s Eagle Scout project. Pugmire has a 3.99 GPA, and hopes to play baseball on scholarship.

"I wasn’t expecting this at all," Pugmire said. "I just thought I’d come here for some dinner and to shoot the breeze. I’m shocked."

Plucker surprised even his own coaches and teammates by averaging 12 yards per carry as a running back to lead the team with 738 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also one of the Wesco 4A’s most feared defensive ends. Plucker has a 3.95 GPA and an outstanding 1420 SAT score.

Plucker volunteers for Children’s Hospital and is a Greater Everett Red Cross Christmas volunteer.

The young men in the room, Plucker says, actually have somewhat selfish motives for the things they do that don’t show up in box scores or school transcripts.

"You get a good feeling when you help out," Plucker said. "It’s easy to just think about yourself, but you get so much out of helping others that it makes you feel better about yourself."

Guest speaker Nesby Glasgow, who played 14 years in the NFL, including a stint with the Seahawks, delivered a message that several young men at the event said they would not soon forget.

"The same things that got you here, are the things that will lead you in the future," said Glasgow, who played in the 1978 Rose Bowl for the University of Washington and currently works for the Seahawks.

They can all run, and they can all take the hits and the ups and downs of high school football. The 40 football players honored Wednesday night also appear to have limitless futures.

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