Santiago Aragon thought his football playing days were over, and he’d already turned his focus to strictly academic pursuits once he graduates from Robertson High in May.
But Bethel College, a school in North Newton, Kan., changed things by offering Aragon a football scholarship.
“I wasn’t expecting to play ball anymore,” he said Wednesday morning after a signing ceremony at Mike Marr Gym. “So it’s indescribable to have this chance. I don’t know what to say.”
“Bethel is a really good school in terms of academics,” Aragon noted, and that’s important to him as he pursues a major in biology and a minor in chemistry.
Now it turns out he’ll get to do that and also play guard or center for the Threshers, an NAIA-affiliated program with a new head coach, Marty Mathis, who hopes to turn around a team that went 0-10 this past fall.
“This is well-deserved,” said Robertson football coach Leroy Gonzalez. “He was the anchor of that senior class. We only had six seniors. He stayed all the way through, and he has the talent and the drive. It was great to coach him. We’d tell him once (how to do something) and he’d learn it.”
Coaches helped Aragon land the scholarship, and Gonzales said the college seems a good fit.
“Bethel is a good school academically, and he’s a 4.0 student,” Gonzalez said. “Their conference is really good in NAIA.”
Santiago’s mother Marilyn said she’s already researched the train schedules between Las Vegas and Kansas. She said her son had wondered aloud how he’d adjust to college life, especially since he has disciplined himself with a bedtime around 9 p.m.
Parents Marilyn and Clarence Aragon and grandmother Theresa Aragon joined RHS Principal Darlene Ulibarri and members of the RHS coaching staff for Wednesday’s ceremony, which also drew a number of fellow students.