Forney & Gibble set to play college football

By on June 29, 2016
Colin Gibble & Preston Forney

Colin Gibble & Preston Forney

Preston Forney knows that his window of time to play football isn’t a very big one.

The 2016 Warwick High School grad knows his future isn’t going to include strapping up the pads in the NFL on Sundays, so he’s looking forward to playing in college.

“I mean, you only have a certain amount of time that you’re able play football,” Forney said. “It’s not something you can play for the rest of your life. So I wanted to take advantage of that.”

The 6-foot-0, 230-pound lineman will get the opportunity to do so at Thaddeus Stevens, where he will study business and compete for the Bulldogs.

Forney is one of two Warrior football players from this year’s Class who plan to continue their career at the next level. Colin Gibble is headed to Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) school Kutztown University to play wide receiver.

Kutztown, along with PSAC rival Lock Haven and Division-Three Lebanon Valley College were also in the mix at one time for Forney. In the end, Thaddeus Stevens turned out to be the right fit.

“I was definitely happy with that choice,” he said. “Obviously, I’m going there for academics first. I really liked the school, it’s nicely-priced and it’s a level I feel that I would be able to compete at my very first year. It’s only a two-year program, and wherever I go, I would want to play. I don’t want to be on the bench, I want to be playing.”

Warwick coach Bob Locker is confident that Forney will be able to contribute for the Bulldogs.

“(Preston)’s just a tough kid,” Locker said. “He’s not huge, he’s not 6-foot-5, but he plays with a tenacity, just a real tough kid. I absolutely believe he will find his way when he gets there to be a successful player.”

While winning his second varsity letter for the Warriors last fall, Forney was a two-way starting player at offensive guard and defensive tackle, recording a second-best 72 tackle points for the team. That included nine solo stops and two sacks, while also playing some snaps at defensive end.

Hoping to play D-end at Thaddeus Stevens, Forney said that Bulldogs’ coaches will take a look at him there in the fall, at least to start. Joe Wysock is the head coach at Thaddeus Stevens.

“I think I’d be better at defensive end than defensive tackle,” he said. “I think I’m quicker at defensive end and I’d be able to contain the outside better than clogging up the middle as a tackle … In the end, the (Thaddeus Stevens coaches) are going to put me wherever I work best for the team. I fully understand that — it’s a team sport and I’ll do whatever I can to help the team.”

Prior to stepping onto the field for the Bulldogs, Forney will be working to improve his quickness.

“I have to be really fast at D-end because I know I’m not going to be the biggest or strongest,” he said, “but if I can beat guys off the ball, that doesn’t really matter then.”

“(Preston) made some nice plays and had a fumble recovery in the Tri-County All-Star Game,” Locker said, “and more than held his own against bigger people … I know he’ll work very hard to become as physically strong as possible. But he’s quick for a lineman and he’s just a tough kid.”

Gibble, too, has some good quicks which he is hoping to utilize at Kutztown University.

With Warwick last fall, he started at QB, but then transitioned to wide receiver, where he hauled in a team-best 29 receptions for 328 yards (11.3 avg) and four touchdowns. At season’s end, Gibble earned Section One Second-Team All-Star honors.

“(Colin)’s got excellent hands,” Locker said, “and that’s the one thing, it’s hard to teach somebody if they don’t have it. You can get a 4.5 kid who can’t catch. Well, that’s a waste of speed. He runs good patterns, he’s got good hands and I think he’ll absolutely work at all the intangibles and the little things that are necessary.”

Warwick assistant Zach Snyder enjoyed a successful career as a wideout/coach at KU, and he retains some contacts with the Golden Bears, which no doubt worked in the Warriors’ favor.

“We owe a thank-you to coach Snyder,” Locker said. “I’ve always been very appreciative of the fact that the Kutztown coach comes down every year to take a look at any of our kids that we think could possibly play at that level. He came down, he saw what he likes, and with hard work, I believe Colin could contribute and play PSAC football.”

That hard work was evident in the Tri-County All-Star, where Locker saw Gibble making a specific effort in stalk blocking. Gibble will be joining a KU squad that finished 7-4 overall, 5-2 in the PSAC under Jim Clements, who is entering his third season with the Golden Bears in 2016.

“He understands at the college level, that will get you on the field,” Locker said. “I speak to him sometimes, coach Snyder talks with him, and we’ve been in pretty regular contact with the receivers coach (Steve Heck) up there. And (Colin)’s aware of what it’s going to take to play at that level.”



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