Friday, September 13, 2019

Lycoming Football - 2,600 Miles Because Of His Love Of Lycoming Football

2,603 miles to play football at Lycoming.
Williamsport, PA - Show me anyone who has traveled farther to get to play Lycoming Football! It hasn't happened before as far as my research has taken me. From the sunny beaches of California to the frozen tundra of Pennsylvania. (I might have stretched the truth a little, it isn't that bad in Williamsport most of the year.) But California to Pennsylvania is a long way to travel to play football and it is a very different atmosphere.

(L-R) Jr RB Jacob Fimbres and Sr RB Keith Batkowski
Photos courtesy of Lycoming Sports Information
I was a little saddened this preseason when I visited practice at David Person Field and looked for some familiar football player numbers (I know numbers to names). And I  discovered one was missing. I did find #33, our fine Montoursville running back Keith Batkowski who would be a senior this year. But what happened to Lycoming's other duo in the Warriors "One -Two Punch?" That would be #36 Jacob Fimbres, the California native. So I did some investigation and was startled  to find out what happened to him.

What I found out was that Jacob, the free spirit from Sonora High School was involved in a non-contact injury in spring practice. It was sort of a freak accident from what I heard. Furthermore, this was the third time Fimbres has had a sidelining injury. He was out all of 2017 with the same problem. That was his first year at Lycoming. Think of it, traveling all that way to play the game you love and not being able to put on those spikes. He waited another year. His character was being tested! But he stuck around and made a big contribution to our running game in 2018.

So as Lycoming faces a motivated Widener team tomorrow afternoon, my eyes will be looking at the sideline. My heart will be missing a young man that I have so much respect for. I loved watching him play. Jacob has always been quiet around me and a gentleman. And for some reason, I think highly of him.

The name Jacob is a Hebrew name which means "to supplant, circumvent, assail,  and to overreach." He has always been a fighter. That name is perfect for him. To watch him run and find holes in the line. His patience to let the blocking develop and the fearless running ability he embodied. He always overreached in his abilities. What passion he had for his position and the football program. And I hope Lycoming is not missing that fight that Fimbres demonstrated time and time again. He exemplified that "overreach" to other players on the squad a certain confidence that reflects champions.

#36 Jr RB Jacob Fimbres finding the hole at Widener
Let me ask you sophomores, juniors and seniors, "Do you remember that 'one/two punch' we had down at Widener last year?"

In that game it was Jacob Fimbres who ran the ball 23 times for 117 net yards rushing averaging and over 5 yards per carry. He ran one carry for 49 yards setting up a Warrior touchdown. He was amazing in that game. And throw in running star Keith Batkowski with his 28 carries for 101 net yards and one touchdown. Widener's hands were tied as Lycoming controlled the ball the whole game. The old adage, "You can not score if you don't have the ball" was a prime example how the running attack can be your best defense.

#36 Jr RB Jacob Fimbres for a 49 yard gain
So Jacob, you will be missed Saturday against Widener, but you will be with me in spirit. At 1:00pm, I will remember a California dreaming Warrior football player with the dyed blond hair. What a joy to watch, that fearless young man who loved the game and always gave it his all. You had just the things that rub off on teammates. You were infectious. I don't know where you are today, but I am hearing that you are still thinking about coming back to finishing what you started. I would love to see it, but would not blame you for finally giving it up and moving on. All blessings to you!

Finally, if you are a player on this years football team, why don't you think of your fellow Warrior Jacob Fimbres and win one for him. Think about his dedication for this school. Think about him leaving family and traveling over 2,600 mile to become one of you, a member of the Warrior family forever. Jacob, we miss you, we miss your hard work, we miss your handling of adversity and we hope to see you someday soon.

I have this feeling Saturdays team will be winning one for you and your dedication to the game we all love.


John Green '77

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