Five Emerald Ridge High football players signed their commitments on Feb. 1, highlighted by wide receiver Andrew Boston signing with Eastern Washington University and becoming the first football player in ER’s history to sign a Division-I offer.
For months, Boston knew this day was coming, and he was proud that his decision was going to be a first for Emerald Ridge football.
“This is humbling. I always dreamed of the chance to play football in college, and to now have that opportunity is just humbling,” said Boston, wearing a blazing red EWU hat.
All those months, as he weighed one opportunity after another, Boston never acted the part of a D-I recruit, let alone one breaking new ground for the program. It was always about the team first for Boston. It was always about the “Jaguar Way.”
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“Throughout the whole process I always put the team first,” Boston said.
By signing with four other teammates — Cody O’Connell (Central Washington), Marvin Williams (Humboldt State University), Cole Elery (Benedictine University) and Kaden Flanagan (Benedictine) — this year’s Signing Day played out how Boston would have wanted it.
“I’ve only been here for one year, and I already feel like these are friends I made for life,” Williams said. “I always wanted to play in college, but to be able to know guys I played with will be there too means a lot.”
It’s a since of pride in the football community built at Emerald Ridge that led to one of the larger signing classes in the area. No matter what the outcome on the field, it was always about being there as a team and friend that led to this big day.
“We learned that life is not about the results but the journey,” Flanagan said. “That was important, because we may not have the success we wanted on the field, but we still felt like we won. We played our hearts out for this team.”
It’s like the saying that permeates the hallways of the high school: It doesn’t matter what happens on the scoreboard.
“That’s a major lesson we tried to teach the younger guys on the team,” Elery said. “If they understand and they work hard, they’ll be in this same position when they are seniors.”
“I feel like this was earned the right way,” Boston added. “I worked hard during the offseason, went to camps to put myself out there. But my team always came first. That’s the best part about this is that I played six years with some of these guys, and because of them, I get to go on and play football at Eastern Washington — for a top team in the country.”