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Shelby County High School senior linebacker Josh Whitehouse signed a letter of intent Thursday to play football for Pikeville College, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Whitehouse was recruited as a long snapper. If he adds some weight to his 6-foot frame, he may contribute in other positions. He started as a linebacker this season, making several memorable plays.
Rockets Coach Todd Shipley said against Oldham County Whitehouse picked off two passes that turned around that game.
“He had a lot of big plays against North Hardin,” Shipley said. “He knocked down some screen passes that helped us to our 9-3 season.
“Josh really came out this year. He had an outstanding year on defense.”
Whitehouse was second on the team in quarterback pressures for an outside defensive player this season.
As a long snapper, Whitehouse said he likes the pressure and anonymity of the position.
“It’s kind of an unsaid rule for the long snapper: Nobody knows your name unless you do something wrong,” he said.
Whitehouse admits he wasn’t planning to play football in college. But when Pikeville sought him out and he went down for a visit, he changed his mind.
“I love the atmosphere down there. They all had a good bond,” Whitehouse said. “They were more than teammates. I guess it’s just that mountain hospitality.”
He was also drawn to the school’s medical program. Whitehouse would like to study pharmacology or osteopathic medicine. With a 3.7 weighted grade-point average, he has received some academic scholarships and may earn some athletic-based aid after his first semester.
He said his decision to give college football a go reflects one of the many lessons he learned from his Rocket coaches.
“Never give up. Always be looking for something bigger and better,” Whitehouse said.
He credited much of his success to his recently deceased grandmother, Wilma Whitehouse. He said thinking of her gave him the motivation to dedicate himself to his senior season.