Fort Scott lands Baldwin pair
Joel Kesinger and Jake Pittenger have been a package since preschool. Monday, the pair signed with Fort Scott Community College to play football and stepped to another level together.
The Baldwin High School seniors have gone through it all as a tandem baseball, softball, mostly football and lots and lots of weightlifting. That's why when it came time to decide on a college, they remained a package. Both had separate offers to Dodge City (Pittenger) and Butler County (Kesinger), but Fort Scott wanted them both.
"I think we'll have fun living together," said Kesinger.
"It makes it a lot easier to go somewhere with someone you know," added Pittenger.
The big guys (Kesinger is 6-foot-3, 260 pounds and Pittenger is 5-11, 230) are headed for the line at Fort Scott, where they'll make the transition from Bulldogs to Greyhounds. Before then, they'll spend plenty of time in the weight room, something that's been a mainstay for them through most of their high school days and paid off with the scholarship offers.
They'll head to Fort Scott in June and promise they'll be ready.
"It's an all-year process," said Pittenger of the weight program the pair has followed. "After our junior year, we started lifting the day after football season was over."
"We went to all the camps, conditioning programs and lifted lots of weights," said Kesinger.
Did it all pay off?
"I think so," said Kesinger.
Not only did it mean a chance to play football in college which Kesinger said was his dream since "little league days" and Pittenger indicated he'd had the same dream since his freshman year but it paid off for their senior season at BHS. This year's team went 4-5, which was more victories than the Bulldogs had experienced for years.
"It made us feel like we had a winning season," said Kesinger.
But even though they put in lots of hard work, they both said they'd do it differently if they could.
"If I did it again, I'd work even harder," said Kesinger.
"If I could go back and start over from my freshman year, I'd work harder, too," said Pittenger.
And that's what they intend to do now as they start that next level, as freshmen, but this time in college. If you're looking for them, check the weight room.