SIDNEY — Blessed with speed, Cole Furgason’s high school athletic career was all about getting from one point to another as fast as possible.
These days, the 2012 Anna High School graduate’s football career has been as much about endurance as it has acceleration.
Furgason’s football journey has taken him from as far north as Michigan to as far south as Mexico. And he’s had several stops in between. Furgason — currently playing with the Florida Tarpons of the American Arena League — ultimately wants to end up in the Canadian Football League.
The grind of going from team to team and working off-the-field jobs — Furgason works for Dish Network promoting the satellite service provider — adds to the challenge.
“I love playing football but the last two or three years of playing Arena Football, it has been the most stressful thing,” Furgason said. “Financially you can’t really make it. I literally knock on doors for Dish Network because it gives me the free time to practice. But here I am playing pro Arena Football. It’s hard. Financially, it makes me want to quit almost every day. But I love the game.”
He’s not alone. Furgason — who intercepted a pass in the Tarpons’ 52-6 victory over the Peach State Cats on Saturday — is playing in Florida with a pair of former area standouts. Quarterback Chris Wallace graduated from Springfield South High School and the University of Toledo. Wide receiver Robert Redd attended Wayne High School and Bowling Green State University.
It was Wallace that helped Furgason get to Florida. Furgason contacted Wallace, who was already playing for Florida, when Furgason was looking for a team this season.
Furgason continues to chase his football dreams because he knows what it’s like not to play. During his freshman season at Saginaw Valley State in Michigan Furgason said he “severely damaged my shoulder” in a car accident. He returned to Anna to rehab.
“That’s when I kind of gave it up,” Furgason said.
Furgason continued working out and training in the Dayton area with players like former Ohio State University quarterback Braxton Miller. The speed that helped him win Division III high school state track championships in the 400-meter and 800-meter relays in 2011 caught the attention of Wallace and others when he ran a 4.41 40-yard dash.
He’s since played with the West Michigan Iron Men, Georgia Firebirds and now the Tarpons.
“In high school … I definitely thought I would be playing some pro ball whether it was here or overseas,” Furgason said. “But a couple after years after high school, because of my car accident, I thought I was done. I actually kind of quit for a little bit. It really messed me up. I had to bounce back. A couple years ago I didn’t think I’d be here. I’m doing all right.”