Jordan Gillen has been playing football since the fourth grade.
Well, third grade if you count flag football," he said.
Dillon Lammon has been playing football since the fourth grade, too.
Gillen started in Farmington.
Lammon started in Durango, a product of the local Youth American Football League scene.
Gillen starred in three sports at Durango High School: a starting quarterback on the Demons' varsity football team
since his sophomore year, a prominent guard on the varsity basketball team and a starting pitcher on the varsity
Lammon, too, played basketball, but it was his exploits on the gridiron that garnered attention all across the Rocky
Mountain Athletic Conference.
Together, they endured the radical ebb and flow of the DHS football program the last four years, and, together, they
are willing to risk a similar evolution at Fort Lewis College. The sixth-year teammates, together, sitting side-by-side
in freshman football coach Rob Coddington's classroom, signed National Letter of Intents to play four more years -
together - at the Division II college up the hill.
I just wanted to go there," Gillen said. I wanted to stay home. My family can still watch me play."
Family is important, especially to a Gillen in Durango. Jordan Gillen, a senior, was a fourth-generation football
Gillen at DHS. His dad played, his uncle played, his great uncle played, his grandfather played, and his great
grandfather all played football for DHS.
I've always wanted to play college sports," Gillen said. Pretty much any sport; I play three."
Football, however, is his legacy.
Too small to go under center in college, Gillen, listed at 5-10 and 160 pounds on the Demons' 2009 roster, likely is
projected as a free safety. He'll join Bayfield High School senior Taylor Swanemyr next year in the FLC secondary.
I really like coach (Cesar Rivas-Sandoval)," Gillen said of the Skyhawks' freshly minted interim head coach. The way
he explained things he's going to turn things around up there. He reminded me a lot of coach (Greg) Wyatt. They have
the same ideas, same coaching philosophy."
And, hopefully, the same result.
Rivas-Sandoval, the defensive coordinator a year ago at FLC, inherits a program that has won five games the last four
Wyatt, the defensive backs coach two years ago at Brophy College Prep in Phoenix, inherited a program that went winless
in 2008 and hadn't reached the postseason since 2001. Wyatt, in the surprise story of the fall sports scene, turned the
Demons into an eight-win playoff team in a very short time.
It shows we had the talent, we just needed the coach," Lammon said.
Gillen to Lammon was the most popular combination through the air last season. The quarterback looked for his tight end
35 times last season, the most targets on the Demons' offense.
Gillen completed 55 of 115 attempts last season for 595 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He also carried
the ball 88 times for 337 yards and six touchdowns.
Lammon, at 6-0, 195, is projected as a slotback (running back/fullback) and outside linebacker in college. He caught 16
passes for 149 yards and a team-tying (Gus Barnes) three touchdowns. His long was 25 yards, and his average was 9.3
yards per catch.
Together, their individual accolades, and more importantly, the team's success, started turning heads.
That helped out a lot," Lammon said.
Absolutely," said Wyatt, the SWL co-coach of the year. It's hard to get recognition when you're at the bottom of the
standings. The work that they put in during the offseason paid off. All of the seniors. Everybody. That gave them a
little more notice."
Gillen chose between FLC and Western State.
Lammon had interest from pretty much all the RMAC schools," he said.
I want to help out the program," Lammon said of his hometown college. The new coach, I really trust what he is
Rivas-Sandoval is mining homegrown talent - Gillen, Lammon, Swanemyr, and Wyatt said seniors Chase Cushing and Bob
Lovett are under consideration as well.
I think it's great they chose to stay home. It's a great opportunity to get some playing time right away," Wyatt said
of Gillen and Lammon. These two young men are great character kids: They work hard; they do the right thing. When you
have those kinds of qualities, you can help any football program."
Wyatt had an answer for the too small to play college" question, too.
Size, to me, is somewhat relative," he said. These guys were two of the hardest hitters on our team. I have no
doubts they'll hold their own. They'll put weight on. Once their focus is solely on football, their bodies will
Gillen, the son of DeRon and Jill Gillen, a player used to having his hands on the ball with every snap, had no
problems relinquishing the reins of an offense: I just want to play," he said.
Lammon, the son of Crystal Lammon, is putting his childhood dream into focus: It didn't really come into reality I
didn't start thinking college football until I got a little more playing time," he said. This is something I've wanted
ever since I was little since the fourth grade."