Douglas County football standouts, Michael Parris and Juan Carlos Serna, signed Letters of Intent Friday to attend Point University and Fort Valley State University, respectively, with both players receiving “full-ride” scholarships.
While each had offers from other local institutions, they chose to attend their schools based on the real possibility of playing their freshmen year.
Parris, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound defensive end for the Tigers, feels he has a chance to make an impact his first year.
“Coach Rocker [Point University Head Coach] says I have a great chance to start at defensive end as long as I can get my weight up while still maintaining my quickness,” says Parris.
After kicking all four years at Douglas County, Serna fully expects to be a first year starter for Fort Valley State.
“I’ll be starting next year for sure,” says a confident Serna. “I am ready to get at it, ready to go down there and work, and hopefully do some great things.”
Parris, a 6A Honorable Mention on the All-County team, was one of the better defensive lineman in the county. Parris just didn’t cause havoc for opposing quarterbacks, he was also a standout for the Tigers’ wrestling team. His prowess on the field was met with his dominance on the mat.
“Last year I was the 220-pound Regional Champion in wrestling, and this year I went to State and had a few good matches,” says Parris. “I like both sports a lot, but for the team aspect, I really like football.”
Serna, place kicker and punter for the Tigers, is arguably the best kicker in the entire county. As a three-year senior captain, Serna was named to the All-Region team for his stellar and consistent performance. Like Parris, Serna is also a two sport athlete, starring for Douglas County’s soccer team.
“I love playing two sports. Though I would say I am better at kicking, the love for soccer will always run through my veins,” says Serna.
Parris and Serna are using their passion for football as a tool to better themselves as young men. These two have turned four years of hard work, on the field and in the classroom, into an opportunity to grow as people and make all those who care about them proud.
“Both of these young men are outstanding students with very high grades … They are exceptional students, exceptional kids and they just carried that on to being exceptional football players as well,” says Douglas County Head Football Coach Jason Respert.
The future collegiate athletes have performed just as well in the classrooms as they did on the field. Parris holds a 3.7 GPA and looks to study Mechanical Engineering at Point University. Serna boasts a high GPA as well and will take up Business Management while at Fort Valley State.
The countless hours these two young men have put forth, on and off the field, has undoubtedly paid off.
“Both kids are young men that we know will be great contributors to society moving forward. We are extremely proud of these guys,” says Respert.