Belpre’s Gavyn Freeland headed to Muskies

File Photo Belpre’s Gavyn Freeland, left, gets ready to snap the ball during a high school football game last season.

BELPRE– Being able to play football and live in a college town that reminds him of Belpre, it’s going to be best of both worlds for Gavyn Freeland.

He will continue his education and football career at Muskingum University, a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference in Division III.

During his junior year as a Golden Eagle, Freeland got into contact with head coach Erik Ieuter, who was entering his first year at Muskingum. The pair have been in contact ever since.

“Coach Ieuter has been welcoming. He’s been checking up on me,” Freeland said. “That really stood out. I really wanted to play there. They use the term ‘juiced.’ I feel that I’m one with a lot of juice and I’m excited to bring it.”

Freeland’s main recruiting coordinator has been assistant coach Chris Collins.

Division VI special mention all-district in his senior year, Freeland was Belpre’s starting center and outside linebacker for two years and long snapper for three years.

Freeland primarily will be long snapping for the Fighting Muskies, but he also will give them depth at outside linebacker.

Freeland took additional visits to Denison University and Marietta College. He noted that while both had fantastic facilities, he felt Marietta was too close to home and it wouldn’t be a place that would work for out for him.

“I just didn’t feel it was a place that I wanted to go,” Freeland said.

“Denison and Muskingum was the only place I was looking into playing football at.”

While Denison could offer more off-campus activities, Muskingum stood out.

“When I first walked on the campus, it’s a beautiful campus and everyone was so welcoming,” Freeland said.

“I kind of wanted to have the college experience of living on my own away from home. It’s about an hour away so if I missing home, it’s only a drive away.”

Interested in a career involving sports, Freeland was thinking about being a coach, but the more he thought, the more he realized he wanted more than just being a coach.

Always a planner and organizer, being an athletic director filled Freeland’s needs.

During his junior year, Tonya Davis of Building Bridges to Careers visited Belpre High School.

Freeland asked Davis for any help possible and it snowballed from there.

“Tonya really helps more with nursing students or the gas and oil field,” Freeland said,

“I just kind of asked her if I could shadow an AD,” Freeland said. “She said she would look into that. I gave her my number and got that setup.”

Thanks to Davis, Freeland was able to get the first-hand experience, shadowing Marietta College’s AD Larry Hiser.

Freeland hopes to be able to shadow Ohio University’s AD in the future.

“Since I’ve shadowed at a D-III level, I’m trying to shadow at the next level. Seeing a bigger school field and see what I like better,” Freeland said.

Freeland is now at Washington State Community College, while working around his lifeguard duties at the Camden Clark Health and Wellness Center.

“Jennifer Miller, our guidance counselor, has helped me this year. I wanted that high school football experience, where you would wear your jersey on Friday,” Freeland said.

Like many other seniors at this point, Freeland is counting down the days for high school to finally be over.

“Since that is over, I want college to start and I’m getting ‘senioritis’ pretty bad,” he said.