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CLEAR FORK - It was a call that came from the blue.

Westside's Dillon Cantrell certainly was not expecting it.

When Concord University called and offered the graduating senior a chance to walk on to the Mountain Lions football team - a call generally repeated around the country hundreds of thousands of times each spring - Cantrell was surprised.

"I asked how they heard about me," Cantrell said.

An honest question because Cantrell is a little different than most of the other recruits.

He had played a grand total of four football games, those coming his senior year, which itself was shortened by an injury at Midland Trail.

Cantrell was not a hot prospect; he didn't realize he was a prospect at all.

"They told me they were familiar with Wyoming County kids as players who won't give up when things get tough," Cantrell said.

He is also a player who possesses an athletic skill set that is, for the most part, untapped and unimpeded by bad habits.

It was his athletic prowess that caught the eye of assistant coach Brandon Fleenor.

"Dillon kind of came to us by chance, he hadn't played football," Fleenor said. "He sent me a message one day and asked if he could come down and work out with us. I noticed right off the bat he was an athletic kid. One day he was walking through the fieldhouse and he jumped up and touched the duct work. I started talking to him and kind of putting a bug in his ear about playing football. He kept saying, 'I don't know, I don't know.' The first thing I noticed when he was on the field was his athleticism, he was very fast, very quick. He catches on to stuff really quick. So we knew right off the bat he was going to be one of our better athletes."

It was that familiarity with Fleenor that brought about Cantrell's foray into football.

"I was working out with the football team and one of the coaches, Brandon Fleenor, kept asking me to play and I finally decided to give it a shot."

Westside struggled but Cantrell was one of the most athletically skilled players, one of the fastest players on the team and he started from the first game forward at outside linebacker.

He also was a prime target for Bradie Vance, who signed to play baseball at WVU Tech last month.

He caught 15 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and also had 15 tackles on defense in four games last fall.

Cantrell said his immediate goal was to make the travel team.

"The said the best way to get on the bus is to play special teams," Cantrell said.

He wasn't sure if he would end up at wide receiver or at an outside linebacker spot.

"I'd like to play wide receiver," Cantrell said. "I like to catch passes."

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