PIKEVILLE, Ky. - Josh Sammons has had a roller coaster ride as far as his college football career.
But the Matewan, W.Va. native continues to progress after a change of schools and a knee injury.
He started out at Marshall University as a walk-on, but then transferred to the University of Pikeville after the coaching change for the Thundering Herd.
“Going to Marshall University out of high school was my dream and I pursued that dream, but after my first year there we had a coaching change and things just didn’t seem to work out the way I wanted them to,” Sammons said. “I soon received a call from Pikeville and Coach David Jones, who was the defensive backs coach at the time. That got me excited from the get go, as I always looked up to him growing up. So I made the decision to transfer to Pikeville and get back on the field.”
Jones, a Red Jacket native, started his career at Matewan Middle School and High School, before transferring to Belfry. When Sammons went to Marshall, he was a quarterback. He had been both a signal caller and defensive back while in high school at Matewan.
“Changing from quarterback to defensive back was something that I had to get used to. But, overall, defensive back was always my favorite position throughout high school,” Sammons added. “But, yes it took some getting used to because the speed of the game was much faster than what I was used to in high school.”
“In the middle of my sophomore year, I tore my ACL and had to have surgery and rehab over the next year,” Sammons said of his knee injury. “I wasn’t fully recovered for my junior year and saw very few snaps on the field that year. It was tough sitting on the sideline and not being on the field - because since I was a little boy, I was right out there in the mix of everything.”
“But I knew that it was for the best and I’m happy to be back out there for my last year of football,” Sammons said.
Sammons has been playing football most of his life.
“I started playing tackle football at the age of 5-years old and fell in love with the game. I was playing with all the big boys that I always looked up to. Like my brother Shawn, Josh Holt, David Jones and others. Growing up and playing football at Matewan was something I will always cherish. Some of my best memories are those on that field. Having a family like the one I have is another aspect that I love. They travel to every game I have and they are my number one fans,” Sammons continued.
“Playing at Matewan and being one of the last teams to come out of the school is a special feeling to have. Playing for Coach (Yogi) Kinder and coming close to playing in a state championship game is something that will never leave my memory.”
Sammons has seen considerable action this season for the Bears. He has several tackles and one interception to his credit.
“Playing at UPike this year is great. We’re starting off good and hope to keep it up throughout the remainder of the season,” he said. “Yes I’ve had an interception so far this year and hope to have many more by the end of the season. Our new Defensive Coordinator coach Brian Williams is a mastermind when it comes to defense. He knows everything there is to know about every position and wants us to get after it every play, which is what I love about the new defense.”
Sammons is already way ahead of the scale on graduating.
“I’m studying English and will finish up and have my BS in English in December or at the end of this semester,” Sammons concluded. “I plan on teaching while at the same time pursuing my Master’s degree in Business Administration. I would love to help out and begin my coaching career with Coach Kinder at Mingo Central and the rest of the football staff up on the hill as soon as I graduate. Hopefully I will become a head coach one day.”
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)