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SHEPHERDSVILLE - A desire to be around football for a long time led in the short-term for Bullitt Central senior quarterback Damion Wibbels to continue his playing career at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky.
“I want to be a coach and be involved in football,” Wibbels said after the signing ceremony in the Bullitt Central library recently.
In the end, it came down to a decision between Lindsey Wilson and Campbellsville.
“About three weeks ago my dad and I talked about it and thought this was best,” Wibbels said of heading away from home. “I really liked the people there and the coaches and the players. It was a down home feeling.”
Wibbels will be given the opportunity to continue to play quarterback. Lindsey Wilson has also signed Martha Layne Collins High School quarterback Branden Cresap to the 2011 class.
Lindsay Wilson began showing an interest in Wibbels last fall and it grew into some telephone calls. The 6-2 quarterback then visited Columbia in January.
“We went through a little workout,” Wibbels said of his visit to Lindsey Wilson. “Then we talked on the phone and he (head coach Chris Oliver) said I’d be in contention to play quarterback.”
The 18-year-old son of Marqueita and Bo Wibbels came in on the ground floor of Bullitt Central’s football revival when Danny Leasor returned for his second stint as the head coach. Wibbels was a freshman who was thrown into the starting quarterback job against some stout competition. There were some growing pains, but the Cougars won eight games in both Wibbels’ sophomore and junior seasons before finishing with a 7-5 mark last year with a post-season win at home.
In fact, Wibbels’ 70 percent winning mark as a quarterback over the past four years is the best record at Bullitt Central in over 30 years. Wibbels also leaves with the school record for touchdowns in a game with three and with 18 touchdowns in one season. He also has the career rushing touchdown mark with 32.
The senior has one younger sibling, sister Meganis, 17, who also attends Bullitt Central.
Wibbels grew up in Bullitt County playing for the Lebanon Junction Jaguars. He was in that program for eight years before shifting to the Bullitt Central job.
“My uncle, Brian Wibbels, has been big in my football,” the senior said. “He was my coach at Lebanon Junction. He built a foundation for my football career now.”
Wibbels did play basketball at Bullitt Central as a freshman but then decided that he wanted to concentrate on football.
Winning 23 games over a three-year period is something that hasn’t been done at Bullitt Central since the early 1970s.
“I take a lot of pride in winning that number of games,” Wibbels said. “We did really well.”
Leasor and Wibbels will be forever linked in turning around the Bullitt Central program.
“I’ve never had a kid start as a freshman,” the coach said of the quarterback position. “We realized right off the bat that his skills were beyond his years. We threw him into the fire early against Fern Creek and Male. We told him to hang in there.
“He struggled that first year,” the coach added. “But each year he got better.”
Leasor feels Wibbels can continue to improve.
“The coaches said it was an open job,” Leasor said. “He can play at that next level. He can be very successful at a school like Lindsey Wilson. He can compete for that job. It’s up to him.”