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Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

Former 'Hound teammates going to Super Bowl together

Friday, January 27, 2012

(Tribune file photo)
Just three short years ago two Fort Scott Community College teammates were enjoying an incredible run playing Saturdays at Frary Field, helping to qualify the Greyhounds for the Heart of Texas Bowl, which FSCC won with a victory over Blinn. Now Pro-Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul and NFL rookie Jacquian Williams find themselves headed to Super Bowl XLVI, which will be held in Indianapolis February 5.

While at FSCC, Pierre-Paul and Williams made a huge impact on the football program. Starting in 2006, FSCC's football program began a turnaround from a team that had not won a single game in two years, to a record of 38-10 over the next four seasons. Williams was a part of that success in 2007 and 2008 and Pierre-Paul joined him for the 2008 season.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (No. 9, top photo) and linebacker Jacquian Williams (No. 2, bottom photo) were All-Jayhawk Conference and All-American players for Fort Scott Community College in 2008, the year in which the Greyhounds defeated Blinn in the Heart of Texas Bowl. They were teammates at the University of South Florida in 2009 and are once again teammates for the New York Giants, who will face the New England Partiots in Super Bowl XLVI at Indianapolis on February 5.
(FSCC photo)
From humble beginnings at FSCC, a place where the football team sometimes shares facilities with the rodeo team, to now preparing to play on the largest sports stage in the world, these two players' rise has been tremendous.

It is no surprise to Greyhound fans or coaches that Pierre-Paul and Williams have reached this kind of success.

"To be able to come to Fort Scott away from your family and the environment that you are used to living in and be able to become All-American Football players as well as college graduates was the beginning for Jacquian and Jason," former FSCC head coach Jeff Sims said. "They know the sky is the limit for them. I wouldn't put limitations on those two men once they set their sights on something. They are battle tested and will come out on top in whatever they choose to pursue."

During Williams' time at FSCC he received First Team All-American, First Team All-Jayhawy Conference, and KJCCC Player of the Week honors in 2008. In his only season here, Pierre-Paul earned Second Team All-1American, FirstTeam All-Conference, and KJCCC Player of the Week honors.

Both players graduated from FSCC in the spring of 2009 and signed to play at the University of South Florida. The two would once again find themselves teammates when the New York Giants drafted Jacquian Williams in the sixth round in 2011. Pierre-Paul had been drafted just one-year prior with the Giants first-round pick, going 15th overall in the 2010 NFL draft.

During his rookie season, Williams has had to step up and play when the Giants were plagued with injuries. He took advantage of the opportunity and worked relentlessly to better himself as a player. Williams certainly surprised a few people in his rookie year and continued to thrill audiences during the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. In overtime, Williams stripped the ball on a punt return, which helped the Giants get great field position that lead to the game winning field goal.

Pierre-Paul has also been outstanding in this, his second year in the NFL. He made his first Pro Bowl team and finished the regular season fourth in sacks with 16.5.

Super Bowl XLVI will be about more than parties, commercials, and football for Greyhound fans. This year's game will be about two former FSCC players, being proud of what they have accomplished and remembering where they started.

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