How many of you have a great home life like the one in the Andy Griffith show or Happy Days?
How many have two good parents?
How many have One good parent?
A stable Home maybe?
A Hot Meal once a day?
Or even a steady meal and pillow and blanket to huddle under at night?
Most of you can answer yes to 1 or 2 of those questions.
Very few can answer yes to them all. If you can then God Bless you because your in a shrinking minority.
But what if on most of days the answer to all of those questions was "No"?
What would you do then to survive? Would you live with friends and sleep on a different couch every night?
Would you run away from bad situations in search of better things?
Maybe move 600 miles or more to find your Mom and live with her and try your best to make a go of it even it if meant loosing a town you loved and people you cared about?
And would you do it knowing it was going to cost you a scholarship and a chance to play college football?
If you said "Yes" to those last few questions then your a lot like Michal Amsel of Chelan, Washington.
Well he was from Chelan.
But he left earlier this year and went to Sacramento, California to be with his Mom. And after seeing the hell that the public schools were there he had to leave and come back to the only safe harbor he knew.
Back at Chelan as the school year started Michael Amsel was ready to play football as the Star Quarterback of the Chelan Mt. Goats. And after a 2011 Season where he posted2,946 yards of total offense and 29 Touchdownsthe freakish athlete had schools looking close. He was excited and ready to give his school and community every ounce of himself.
But some of the Forces within the Caribou Trail Athletic Association District 6 were turned against him regarding his transfer out of Chelan to California and then back.
Michael lost a 6-0 Vote with schools in his League sending representatives to consider the matter. They all decided he was not going to play football and terrorize the fields of Eastern Washington this season.
"That was upsetting. I understood what the issue was. It was merely a technicality. So I went and told them my story. All the gritty details as to why I had to come back here. It was the only place I could have a chance to succeed academically and truly that situation was very unsafe for me," he said with the maturity of a middle age man.
Not satisfied that he was treated fairly in the "NO PLAY" vote he pushed on to the WIAA in Renton, Washington.
That took several weeks to conclude and was nerve racking. But in the end Michael prevailed. The WIAA hearings officer found in his favor. And after 7 weeks of standing by and watching his Goats get worked over and end up 0-4 in League he was fired up. He walked back onto the field last Friday and took the start at QB against OMAK.
"I have to say it felt amazing. To be back out there with the guys was just so great. To know that I stood up for myself and faced down the issue and won was even better. This game was a statement for us. For me too," said the 3.3 student who has advocated for himself through some pretty bad home life that is not something he chose not to get into very much. "I have to make up for lost time."
Now you could say that no matter how good he is that he was going to be rusty in his first game. But if you did you say that you would be wrong.
The speedy kid (6'0"-185 pounds) went off. He ran the ball 8 times and scored 4 TD's. He had 145 yards or 18 yards per attempt.
Through he air he had another 130 yards and two more TD's on 8 for 11 passing with no Picks. That is a 154 QB rating.
Total for the Night he was near perfect racking up 275 yards and 6 TD's on just 19 touches of the football. And then he walked off the field with about 1.5 Quarters left to play.
Chelan 67-Omak 6.
Is he a player? Yes. Oh yes he is.
The kid has a 33.5 inch vertical and a 4.60 laser 40 time. That is a 4.4 stop watch. And he has not been able to do any serious training on a regular basis until just recently. All total he has all the signs of a great college football player who has a very high ceiling.
"I trained him at our QB clinics in he off season," said Cole Morgan former Ballard HS, WSU, and CWU QB. "Michael has great skills and while he has a lot to work on he displayed an abnormally high ability to take specific instruction and immediately adopt it into his skill set. It was truly remarkable to watch as we worked together. And I am really glad he is getting even a few games this season. He certainly is an impressive kid and an intriguing prospect."
Sleeper Pick? Big time.
Now back in Chelan he has found a home with Head Wrestling Coach Jay McGuffin and his family. That has been an amazing thing for Michael. And while Amsel is classified as an "Independent" by the Courts he is discussing with the new family having them become his legal Guardians.
"That would be really nice," he said. "Things have been going really well and this stability is something I have not been used to. It's great actually."
He will be a star on the hoops team and on the Track at Chelan as soon as FB season ends.
Editors Note: Mystical Connection Made-
In a really almost other-worldly twist Michael let me know that he has always had these Un-official God Parents who have stayed in touch. And would you believe that here at the end of a long day writing my last story it somehow finds a connection to my fist one.
That first story was :Is Thomas Tyner Running Away from Oregon
This last story:Michael Amsel Returns With Purpose And Fire
"We met each other when we were really young," said Amsel. "Thomas and I that is."
Wait what? Because about 400 miles and 6 mountain ranges not to mention the Columbia separate these two madly gifted kids.
How did Amsel meet Tyner?
"My God Parents are his Aunt and Uncle," said Michael. "Ed and Evelyn Tyner."
And that folks is a sign. Because anything related to the Tyner Family in Oregon is usually amazing. And these stories both came in today unplanned. No connections known. And would you look at my Titles? Only know did I see the irony.
Back to Amsel. College. Still a chance for him?
Well only two more games and maybe a bonus Play In Game. But no playoffs this year. Him being banned by the District 6 group saw to that.
He knew he needed to produce film and stats and show his skill. And he did that big time last Friday and we see a whole lot more of that coming in the next two or three games. So he has enough time to get Film.
And maybe just maybe he makes it through.
He is a Big Sky level player. Of that we are certain.
But he is more likely to get a a partial scholarship to Central Washington, Simon Fraser or Western Oregon. All great schools.
"At this point I went and watched CWU play last week. That offense they run is perfect for my skills. I loved the campus and I have no ego nor am I thinking I need to go bigger. Would I like to play for EWU? Yes. But CWU is a perfect fit. So I will be speaking to the Coaches and seeing if they have any interest in me," he said thoughtfully. "If they do and we can work out a financial package I think I am going to be ecstatic."
Would he have to be a QB? No. He said he would love a chance and if you look at Cole Morgan's high praise he will probably get it. Amsel also plays slot, WR, and a mean Safety.
OnlyJake Gall(Cle-Elum HS -PSU Commit) andMoe Roberts(Cashemere HS) have the type of skill set Amsel does in this region. So that is some pretty amazing company.
"I am blessed right now and going to really enjoy these next few weeks. I just wish I would have been able to help the Team more. But it just was not in the cards I guess," he concluded. "No matter what though it sure feels great to be out there and it sure is great to be back home."
Well said Michael.
We have given him the task of getting us weekly film and because we are pulling for this under dog kid we will be posting his film once a week. More and more college coaches are checking is with us weekly. And that means more eyeballs on all these stories and film.
We had over 4,000 Unique visitors today at NWPR and ANOTHER 10,000 AT WashingtonPreps.com and that is eyeballs on all of this.
So Coaches here is a guy. Hungry and Ready. Best wishes to you all.
Here to is Week 7 Film- Game One Highlights for Michael Amsel of 2012.
About the AuthorDirk Knudsen
Dirk is a lifelong resident of the Pacific NW; athlete and Merit scholar. He runs camps, clinics, and has been a sports writer and analyst for nearly a decade now; mostly with Rivals.com as the editor of OregonPreps and WashingtonPreps.com. Dirk is the founder of NWPR & BrainChampions.org; a charity for injured athletes suffering from Brain Trauma / Concussion. He is a father of three and married.
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