Joe Spoores is ‘living a dream’ by playing college football


Joe Spoores, a 2007 graduate of Switzerland County High School, is living out a boyhood dream by playing college football.

Or any form of organized football, for that matter. Since Switzerland County does not have a high school football team, playing football is something that future generations of Pacer athletes hope to have access to – but Joe Spoores is living his dream now.

A freshman at Blackburn College in Illinois, Joe Spoores has been getting more and more playing time as an offensive lineman as the season continues. The Beavers are currently 1-5 on the year heading into this Saturday’s game with Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois.

“Joe always believed that he had what it took to play football in college,” father Tony Spoores said. “Coming from Switzerland County, which doesn’t have a football team, Joe played soccer throughout high school. I listened to players, coaches, referees and parents all talk about how he was built for football.”

Without any high school football experience, Joe Spoores still decided to pursue his dream as his high school career ended. Tony Spoores began sending out letters and emails to small colleges to see if there was any interest – and Blackburn College responded.

Blackburn College is an NCAA Division III college located in Carlinville, Illinois – a city in the west central portion of Illinois near St. Louis. The campus is about a six hour drive from Vevay.

The coaching staff invited Joe Spoores to visit the campus last year and attend one of their home football games; and following the visit, the coaches asked Joe Spoores if he was interested in a tryout.

He did – and he made the team.

Now an offensive lineman for the Beavers, Joe Spoores had expected to see very limited playing time as a freshman; but dad Tony Spoores said that he has been getting more and more playing time on special teams and on offense as the season hits its stride.

In addition to fulfilling his football responsibilities, Joe Spoores is also taking classes, working on a degree in education; and he is also a part of the college’s required student work program – in which all students on the campus are required to hold some campus job, with the money earned helping with tuition costs.

As he heads toward the completion of his freshman year on the football team, Joe Spoores was asked what advice he would give to younger kids in Switzerland County who share his dream.

“Follow your dreams and believe in yourself,” Joe Spoores said. “You are the only one who knows what you are capable of accomplishing.”

He also says that teens need to keep their priorities.

“Keep God first and don’t be afraid to ask for help,” he said. “I never really applied myself in high school, and that almost kept me from fulfilling this dream in college.”