Jason Link following “dream” to Cactus Shadows gridiron

By Pete Mohr | August 20, 2008

CSHS – Tell me straight, readers, when you were a 17-year old high school senior, did you have a “dream?” Jason Link, who’ll turn 18 come Oct. 29, does – and he’s following it all the way from his native Galesburg, Ill. to Cactus Shadows, where he’ll play defensive end and offensive tackle for the Falcons.

jason link“My dream is to play Division I college football,” Jason quietly stated to Sonoran News after a “gasser”-exhausting practice, Monday, Aug. 18.

As you can see in the accompanying photo, Jason will wear No. 88, a bold, but respectful, choice. Mindful that it was worn, 2004-2007, by All-State Honorable Mention and Falcon co-captain Chris Manship, now a Freshman baseball player at Kansas University.

Head Football Coach Chad DeGrenier on his unexpected (but more than welcomed) ‘move-in’, defined as an athlete moving into CCUSD from anywhere outside Maricopa County.

What’s a transfer? From within Maricopa County: “He’s a big kid (6’4”, 230 lbs.) who works hard. No question, he can help us on both sides of the ball. Same for our other ‘move-in’, Jackson Donahue, from Florida, who’ll likely see action at safety and running back.”
(Because of injury, Donahue was unavailable to be interviewed for this article.)

It wasn’t easy to forsake his senior year at Galesburg High – not to mention leaving his parents, Greg and Miriam Link. ‘‘I was getting some (recruiting) looks; but coming to Arizona and playing for Cactus Shadows presented, I decided, a potentially better opportunity to play at the D-I level,” he explained.

And so Jason Link headed west on July 23, following by some six months his godparents, Kris and Emily Kemmer, with whom he’s living in Tatum Ranch. “I love it out here,” he enthused to this writer. “My new coaches and teammates have been great!”

Best wishes, Jason, for a successful senior season. And congratulations on having the courage and decisiveness to follow your dream.

Photo caption: A BIG NUMBER TO FILL: Senior Jason Link, a late July “move-in” from Galesburg, Ill., will give his best to honor No. 88, worn by Chris Manship, CSHS ’08, in the 2004-2007 seasons. Chris will be rooting for you, Jason.
Photo by Pete Mohr