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VIDEO: Three Lake Forest Football Players Begin Next Chapter of Lives

On national signing day, three senior Scouts celebrate their college decision with teammates, coaches and family.

 

Whenever a cake is involved, it usually means there's a party going on. 

At Lake Forest High School's West Campus, the party on Feb. 1 was for three teammates who together shared a North Suburban Conference championship, but will soon forge new lives in different parts of the country. 

Scouts wide receiver Bo Dever is off to Michigan. Running back Owen Williams is taking his talents to Dayton (Ohio) and linebacker Nick Keefe will pack plenty of board shorts before he moves to California to play for the University of San Diego. He is expected to play safety for a program that won its conference championship in 2011.

In front of a three dozen teammates, coaches and parents, they cut off pieces of cake -- with blue and gold frosting - -and explained why they chose each college.

Said Dever: "I’ve been a Michigan fan my whole life, and most of you guys who know me know that most everything in my closet is mostly Michigan or Lake Forest. So when the opportunity came I couldn't pass it up. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else."

Said Williams: "I was choosing between Dayton and Drake. Once I went to Dayton, I loved the campus, loved the program, loved everything about it. My family loved it to so it was an easy decision for me."

Said Keefe: "I chose between Dayton and San Diego. I was born in California. I still feel like I live there. I like the warm weather and I think I would like to play aganst Owen for once than playing with him."

Keefe is referring to how Dayton and San Diego are in the National Football Subdivison's (1-AA) Pioneer League, and are scheduled to play each other this fall.

Williams versus Keefe. Let the hype begin.

Dever joins a Michigan team experiencing a revival under head coach Brady Hoke. This year's recruiting class is ranked No. 4 by Scout.com and No. 6 by Rivals.com. Dever is expected to make an immediate impact on special teams, and with only six returning wide receivers, could see action on offense in 2012.  

Williams could also see plenty of playing time his freshman year. The Flyers return two senior running backs, a position Williams has no plans to relinquish in college. 

"They definitely are going to have me play (running back)," said Williams. "They say I'll have an important role. It a pretty good situation."

The choice of Dayton was truly a family affair for Williams, whose parents, Hugh and Sam, are happy for their son and just as happy the process is over.

"I didn't know anything going in, it was new for us," said Hugh Williams. "Coach (Chuck Spagnoli) was the biggest factor in the whole thing. And this town was great for Owen. He had a lot of people helping him get into schools."

Said Sam Williams: "All the coaches played for Dayton. Their sons played for Dayton. They want him to succeed in school first. He's not going to be a number. I felt really comfortable."

Having three athletes go on to college -- and possibly more -- is significant for the Scouts as "you want your program filled with kids who want to go on to the next level," said Spagnoli. 

"The best part is they are going to places they want to be," Spagnoli added. "The younger guys see the success they've had. Hopefully they build on it."

One of the more accomplished senior classes in recent Lake Forest history (15-7 varsity record, 2011 conference championship, two playoff wins), the seniors leave behind a legacy of winning, . As they polished off their celebratory cake with friends and family, that competitive chemistry was revealed one more time, laying the groundwork for a future rivalry.

"San Diego won conference last year. Dayton won six games so we’ll let facts speak for themselves," said Keefe. 

Said Williams: "I know I’ll juke Nick a few times; he won’t touch me."

They may be opponents beginning next season, but these Scouts will be teammates for life.

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