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Keystone’s Brown, Gillen to play college football

John Brown signs his paperwork in accepting a scholarship from SUNY Maritime as his mother, Keri Brown, looks on.

John Brown signs his paperwork in accepting a scholarship from SUNY Maritime as his mother, Keri Brown, looks on.


BY CLIFF SMELLEY

Regional News/Sports Editor

Two Keystone Heights High School senior football players accepted scholarships, signing their paperwork during a May 16 ceremony at the KHHS cafeteria.

John Brown, a linebacker, will attend State University of New York Maritime College, a Division III school in the Bronx, while Chris Gillen, who is also a linebacker, will attend the University of Saint Mary, a NAIA school in Leavenworth, Kan.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity and the chance to play college football,” Gillen said. “My older brother didn’t have the chance. It feels good to be the first person in my family to actually go to college for a sport.”

The opportunities fulfill lifelong dreams for both players, who have played together since seventh grade.

“I’m excited,” Brown said. “I can’t wait to go play some college ball. It’s been a dream since I was a little kid.”

Brown may be undersized to play linebacker at the next level, but said he is more than willing to move to another position.

“If I’m on the field, I’m happy,” he said.

Gillen looks forward to that moment when he is on the field as a college player.

“It’s going to be a unique experience,” he said. “There won’t be another feeling like it.”

Chris Gillen, seated between parents Sylvia and Clint Gillen, signs his paperwork in accepting a scholarship from the University of Saint Mary.

Chris Gillen, seated between parents Sylvia and Clint Gillen, signs his paperwork in accepting a scholarship from the University of Saint Mary.

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