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Cam Morlan, Slot Receiver | Photo by Morgan Wiebold
Jakob Montesi, Quick/Outside Linebacker | Photo by Morgan Wiebold

Juniors Jakob Montesi and Cam Morlan are players on the UNW Eagles football team. You might see them on the field, but you might not know what they have gone through to get where they are now.

They both started playing football at a young age. At first, Morlan didn’t want to play football. In fact, he only ended up playing after losing a bet with his family. On the other hand, Montesi had always loved the sport; he started playing at nine.
Regarding what they love most about football, Jakob and Cam both agree they admire the brotherhood aspect of the team, saying it feels like family. “The Bible talks about how your brothers are built through adversity,” said Cam; this is what he believes creates such a great bond throughout the team. Likewise, Jakob enjoys the feeling of being connected through God. But with their love for the sport, it hasn’t always been easy for them.
One of the main obstacles Jakob faced in his college football career so far was an injury that caused him to be out most of his time here at UNW. In March 2021, Montesi tore his ACL during his lacrosse practice causing an unexpected turn in his sports career. Since Jakob has been at UNW, he has yet to play a whole season due to covid and his injury until now. In the healing stages, standing on the sidelines and wishing he could be on the field with his fellow teammates was challenging for him. He thanks God for giving him the opportunity through his knee injury to fight through the challenges and making him stay committed to football, and not letting him give up. Through this process, God allowed him to become a stronger person throughout his battles. Jakob says that being back on the field has been amazing; he strives to be the best he can be throughout all his challenges.
But Montesi wasn’t the only one with challenges involving an injury. Morlan also had struggled after his collarbone injury that happened last fall during a scrimmage against Bethel, running a crossing route while a teammate was scrambling and ran into him. Cam felt like an outcast from the team during his injury but got closer to his other teammates who also had injuries.

UNW Homecoming 2022 | Photo by Morgan Wiebold

Cam and Jakob are both from Evergreen, Colorado, and got to play on the same football team in high school. The UNW football environment and the Christ-centered atmosphere have been much more enjoyable than their high school experience. In high school, their coaches were harsh and hostile, making it hard for them to enjoy the sport without always thinking they would fail or do something wrong. In high school, they had the mindset of don’t mess up, or we’re going to get yelled at. Having that mindset just made them make more mistakes.
Montesi says it’s a blessing that the Eagle’s football team and coaches are uplifting, and they all have a solid relationship. “Being around a Christ-centered team is very freeing.” He further explains that Coach Moore tells them to “play free,” which makes him feel more empowered and that nothing is weighing him down.

UNW Homecoming 2022 | Photo by Morgan Wiebold

Cam weighs in, saying that playing at UNW makes him think, “I wanna make a play for my coaches.”
It’s easy to say that being around such amazing coaches and team members has been the most valuable part of each of their football careers, with the school football motto being “Compete with Purpose.”
When asked about goals for the season, Morlan’s goal doesn’t have anything to do with football but “To be a role model to my teammates and lead people spiritually.” He wants to be someone his teammates trust and talk to in tough times.
Jakob’s goal is to strive for success and to step on the field better than before his injury.

Throughout all the challenges that both Morlan and Montesi have faced, God has provided them with opportunities to get back on the field and prove to themselves and the people around them that you can overcome any obstacle life throws at you and become a stronger person after.

They’re both excited to see where the rest of the football season leads them and are honored to keep playing with such an amazing team. As Eagle fans, we are excited to see what Jakob and Cam have in store for the rest of the season.