SAT scores force Gelakoska to alter his plans for Oregon State

Quarterback Jake Gelakoska may have taken a permanent detour on his intended journey to Corvallis.

Gelakoska, a 2007 Jackson High School graduate, was forced to give up a football scholarship to Oregon State University because he failed to meet NCAA Division-I academic requirements, Carol Gelakoska, Jake’s mom, said Tuesday.

The 6-foot-3, 206-pound QB met the Division-I minimum requirement for grade-point average in his core high school classes, but his SAT score was not high enough, Carol Gelakoska said.

“It was pretty devastating,” she said, “but it’s not the end of the world.”

Now, Gelakoska is considering other options to continue his football career.

Oregon State is still interested in Gelakoska, his mom said. OSU offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf advised Gelakoska to enroll in a junior college, take a full load of classes and work on becoming academically eligible. Langsdorf estimated that Gelakoska could eventually make his way to Oregon State by spring 2009, Carol Gelakoska said.

Oregon State football coaches are out of town and currently unavailable for comment, said Beavers assistant athletic director/sports information director Steve Fenk.

In February, Gelakoska signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent with Oregon State. He was ranked the 17th-best QB in the country by Rivals.com and the fourth-best overall prospect in Washington.

Gelakoska was one of two Class of 2007 QBs from the Western Conference to receive a Pacific-10 Conference scholarship. Marshall Lobbestael of Oak Harbor High, The Herald’s 2006 All-Area Offensive Football Player of the Year, signed with Washington State University.

Statistically, Gelakoska had a less-than-stellar senior season. He followed up a junior year in which he passed for nearly 2,000 yards with 1,148 yards as a senior.

Part of the problem was a foot injury which, as it turns out, was misdiagnosed.

Originally told he had turf toe — a sprain of the big toe — Gelakoska later learned that he broke a small bone in his foot. Doctors removed the bone during a May surgery. Gelakoska is expected to make a full recovery but he won’t be 100-percent healthy until November, Carol Gelakoska said.

In the meantime, the QB will search for a new opportunity, one that his family hopes could ultimately get him to Oregon State.

For more information on NCAA eligibility standards, visit www.ncaa.org.

Jackson hires volleyball coach

Erik Champoux never has coached volleyball in the Western Conference, but he’s excited to see what he can accomplish at Jackson High. Champoux, 37, is the Timberwolves new head volleyball coach. He replaces Suzi Lillibridge.

Formerly head coach at Bellevue High, Champoux has coached select teams for 15 years. Currently, he is a coach and director for the Kirkland-based Sabotage Volleyball Bond select program, which features many players from Snohomish County high schools.

There is a lot of potential for success at Jackson, said Champoux: “They’ve got a history. It’s a big school. … It’s a program that I know I can do something with.”

Last season, Jackson advanced to the Class 4A District 1 tournament.

Jackson assistant coach Thu Ninh, a Jackson alum who has previously coached in the program, is an “amazing” teacher who will provide valuable help, Champoux said.

“She is definitely someone that I’m leaning on a lot for that transition (into the head coach position),” said Champoux, a 1989 Bellevue High grad who said he bases much of his coaching on philosophies taught by University of Washington coach Jim McLaughlin. Washington won the 2005 NCAA national championship and has advanced to three straight national semifinals.

Everett SD seeks coaches

The Everett School District needs to fill several coaching positions. Everett High has openings for an assistant football coach and an assistant volleyball coach.

Jackson High needs an assistant girls soccer coach. The district also seeks to fill several middle school coaching jobs. For more information, contact Robert Polk at 425-385-4260 or rpolk@everettsd.org.

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