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Bill Knirck Scholarship Winner
|Year: 2013||Jalen DeVine|
If you wanted an according-to-Webster’s definition of the ideal student athlete, you might see a picture of Jalen DeVine — a three-sport standout who was critical to the success of the football, basketball and baseball teams. Oh, and by the way, he hasn’t had anything less than an A since the sixth grade.
“I might have had an A- in seventh or eighth grade,” he said. He excelled on the football field, too, after a rigorous pre-season training schedule that included daily runs — with weight belts strapped to his body — straight up Badger Mountain in Richland. His hard work paid off, as he finished third in the MCC in rushing with 1,448 yards — including three games over 200 yards — and 13 touchdowns.
“(The reward) was the performances that come with it,” he said. “You’ve got to perform your best, but when you do it right, the entire school is proud of you.”
But unless his father, former Falcons standout Dennis “Denny” DeVine, talked him into staying with football before his freshman season, Hanford would have had to go without its best running back.
“We always thought he’d further himself in basketball, but football came through,” Dennis said. “He kind of wanted to fade out in football, but I was a mean dad and told him he wasn’t going to.”
Jalen appreciates his dad’s competitiveness, which rubs off on him, though he still can’t seem to break it.
“We have a ping-pong table, and we’ve played hundreds of games. I’ve beaten him maybe twice,” Jalen said. “Another thing he taught me is (the value of) perfection. After a game, he always tells me the bad things first. I don’t know if I want compliments after a game. It only helps me.
”Football came through in another way. It’s paying his way through college in the form of a scholarship to the University of Redlands just outside of Los Angeles.
“I’m really excited to spend all summer getting ready for one thing,” DeVine said. “I am running Badger again and training with (conditioning coach) B.J. Guereca.”