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Football: Fort Lupton's Castillo signs with Hastings College

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By Steve Smith

Fort Lupton's Yadir Castillo was hoping to stay in-state for more education and, perhaps, more football.

But when no one in state made a ply for him Castillo took the best option available and signed a letter of intent to play and study at Hastings College in Nebraska.

"I didn't know where I wanted to be," Castillo said. "I took my visit and thought, 'This is it.' I really wanted to be the in-state kid. But I took my visit. I liked it out there a lot."

Castillo also wanted a change in his life.

"I wanted to experience new things. I felt comfortable when I took my visit there," he said. I was comfortable with that coaching staff. I met the coaches and saw the team work out. Everyone was pumped. I felt like that was calling me."

"It's a great opportunity," said FLHS Athletic Director Jim Roedel. "Only about 5 or 6 percent of high-school athletes get the opportunity to play in college. The school is the right size. It's a good fit for him. He's got great leadership abilities."

Hastings is about six hours away from Fort Lupton. It's also a lot bigger.

"I liked the town. It felt like home. I'm excited to be there this fall," Castillo said. "I'm ready for it. I'm excited."

Principal John Biner is in his first year with Fort Lupton.

"In sports, you're great," he said. "You're a great kid in the hall. Who you are as a person is more important."

Castillo also contacted McPherson College in Kansas.

"I wanted to be the in-state kid, but no offers came around," Castillo said. "CSU-Pueblo offered to let me walk on. I felt most comfortable in Hastings, Nebraska."

Castillo wants to study business or physical therapy.

"It's going to be new, a new chapter in my life. I'm ready for it," Castillo said. "My parents and friends will come out and see me. They've been with me all my life."

His last high-school coach, Dustin Duff, said the quarterback position gets a lot of scrutiny.

"It's harder to play quarterback," Duff said. "To get a scholarship to play at the next level is a huge accomplishment."