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Six TF South football players sign with NCAA schools

Lakeland University, North Central College, and Wisconsin-Platteville are landing spots for TFS seniors

Mike Clark

LANSING, Ill. (February 3, 2023) – Several TF South seniors have wrapped up their high school football careers, but that doesn’t mean their days of being teammates are over.

The Red Wolves honored their six seniors heading onto college football at a Wednesday ceremony. Three are heading to NCAA Division III Lakeland University in Sheboygan, Wisconsin: linebacker/tight end Jacob Foster, wide receiver/linebacker Deshawn Hampton, and lineman Kenyon Peoples. Two more will be heading to reigning Division III national champ North Central College in Naperville: lineman Cortez Jones and receiver Brandon Woods. Also moving on is defensive back Jason Jones to Division III Wisconsin-Platteville.

Peoples believes having Foster and Hampton around will help make for a smoother transition to college football.

“I think it will be easier because I already have chemistry with them,” Peoples said. “Especially with us being on defense, being able to communicate. We know our playing styles and I can rely on them if I need help.”

Hampton feels the same way.

“We’re still going to have that grind with each other,” he said. “We’ve already got a good chemistry with each other.”

The three Red Wolves took a visit to Lakeland together and liked what they saw, according to Foster.

“We just all liked the atmosphere,” he said. “It felt like home. The coach, he respected us, he respected the whole TF South (group). We all just decided this is a place to call home.”

Woods felt a similar vibe at North Central, and knowing Cortez Jones will be there also only reinforced that feeling.

“It definitely is going to feel like home away from home to know that I have somebody there that’s going to make me feel comfortable,” Woods said.

He also likes the fact that North Central isn’t that far from Lansing, allowing family and friends to see him play often.

“That was one of the factors why I chose (to go) there,” Woods said. “Any home game, my family and friends want to come out and support it’ll be an easy drive for them.”

Like his TF South teammates, Jason Jones believes he’s found a college program where he’ll fit in well.

“Plateville was just heavily recruiting me and believed in my skills and my talent,” he said. “I just felt like when I went there, it felt like home.”

For the Red Wolves, the recruiting process had its ups and downs. Their sophomore season was delayed till the spring and shortened because of the pandemic, making it harder to get their names out.

“At the beginning, it was kind of hard because a lot of schools (weren’t) looking for a short, undersized (defensive) tackle,” Peoples said, jokingly. “But I made my way and got a couple offers.”

“It was very difficult,” Jason Jones said. “It was challenging but then I broke out this summer (during 7-on-7 competition).”

“It was hard, (but) I stuck with it,” Woods said. “Sometimes recruitment was slow. But I stayed with it, trusted in God. I’m more than thankful for the opportunity that I’ve gotten today.”

Marian Catholic

Marian Catholic honored several athletes who will continue their careers in college at a Wednesday ceremony. They are (from left): Peter Cavalieri, Kevin Denty, Kyle Thomas, Isabel Alvarez, and Sarah McManus. (Provided photo)

The Spartans held a signing day ceremony to honor five college-bound athletes including two NCAA Division I recruits: Northern Illinois-bound football player Kyle Thomas and Kevin Denty, who is going to Valparaiso University for baseball. Also recognized were baseball player Peter Cavalieri, who is heading to Franciscan University in Ohio; softball player Isabel Alvarez, who’s going to Trinity Christian College; and softball player Sarah McManus, who’s bound for Concordia University Ann Arbor in Michigan.


Mike Clark
Mike Clark
Mike Clark is a veteran journalist who has been covering sports in the Chicago area and beyond, from preps to pros, for more than four decades.