Football friends stay together for college


Zoë Bonnichsen

The Lincoln football team plays against Madison last October.

Most high school athletes  dream of playing in college, and going to school with their friends. For seniors Ricky Cruz and Phil Rodgers, both parts of this dream are becoming a reality.

The two longtime friends will be attending Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, as well as playing together on the football field for the Saddleback Gauchos.

“Phil and I have been friends since sixth grade and we’ve always wanted to play college football together, we have had each other’s backs forever,” says Cruz.

Cruz played football from third through eighth grade, and then played on Lincoln’s JV team his junior year. As a senior, he got a spot on varsity, playing outside linebacker and strong safety. This year, Cruz was recruited heavily by the Saddleback coaches, and since he loved California, it seemed like a good fit.

Saddleback is home to 19 intercollegiate athletic teams that participate in some of the most competitive community college conferences in the nation, according to the school’s website. It is also known to have many football players transferring to Division 1 schools.

“I definitely plan to work as hard as I can to shape my future in the way I want it to look,” says Cruz.