By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Regis Head Football Coach Jeff Wiltsey handed his starting quarterback a notecard that they, as football players, filled out. It felt a lot like the De La Salle movie, ‘When The Game Stands Tall’ with what was on it with the goals on the card.
Byron Bishop knew of the adversity of coming to Regis as a freshman, the adversity was there the past few years as the Rams are slowly coming back into form. Adversity struck again his Senior year with the Coronavirus.
But all-and-all, he’s still the same player with the same drive wanting to see how far he can go playing the game that he loves at the collegiate level.
“It’s a nice feeling. All the hard work I’ve put in with my personal trainer, working out in the garage by myself to doing 100 push-ups in my bedroom at night. It’s really relieving to see all of this hard work starting to pay off and it’s a really great feeling,” Bishop said.
The road to St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota wasn’t as smooth as a normal year because of the Pandemic. But once he started to have nerves and concerns, became confident as soon as he started to get nibbles from schools and coaches.
“At first it was tough, we went to this website NCSA that really helped me with the recruiting process and helped reach out to half the colleges that I did,” Bishop said. “Then it took a little bit of time. I was losing hope a little bit and then everything started to come through and it started working out. It was a lot of stress at first, but now that I’ve done this, all of this stress has been relieved and I’m thankful I’ve gone through it like I did.”
The Saints have been a solid program the past decade, last recording a losing record in 2009 and have last reached the NCAA Division-III playoffs in 2015, falling to UW-Oshkosh at the end of a five-year run of reaching the playoffs between 2011-2015.
For Bishop, who took over the starting quarterback job his sophomore year in 2018 at Regis, signed his Letter of Intent Wednesday afternoon, and as those in the gym went on for the day Bishop and offensive lineman Tyler Voltin traded a few words and were planning on meeting up. The work is not complete as Bishop looks to getting back at it and wanting to join his teammates in putting in that grind together.
“It’s really nice because you see other people wanting to put a lot of work towards their dreams and you’re not the only one,” Bishop said. “Especially as a kid when you hear the term, ‘whoever you put your friends around is how you’ll turn out to be’. If you put people around you who want to get somewhere, be successful and be good, they’ll also encourage you and they’ll help you when you’re not feeling motivated.
“They’ll help you keep driving and this year me and Tyler have gotten close. That’s really helped us keep pushing and keep striving for the best of each other. We’re always there for each other and we’ll always be there for each other. It’s been great having that atmosphere around just to help everything.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald