By BRIAN LESTER
Joe Knopick, E.J. Whitlow and Anthony Fields, all former University of Findlay football players, are still chasing their dream of playing football at the next level.
It certainly isn't an easy thing to do, but at the same, it's not impossible either. Other Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference players have reached the next level, including the NFL. Knopick, Whitlow and Fields wouldn't mind being the latest players to continue their careers.
They will be given a chance to move closer to that goal in April.
The UF trio will play at the OhioCollegeFootball.com Senior Bowl on April 17th at Marv Moorehead Stadium in Upper Arlington. Scouts from the NFL, CFL and UFL will attend the game.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be shown on tape delay on Sports Time Ohio.
Knopick, Whitlow and Fields, the top three tacklers for the Oilers a year ago, will play for the North team. The squad also includes former GLIAC standouts Marcus Council (Ashland) and Dustin Basch (Ashland).
Knopick is coming off a senior season in which he racked up a team-high 118 tackles. He was a leader of a UF defense that allowed 319.1 yards per game, the sixth best total in the GLIAC.
Fields, who played in the Cactus Bowl --- the NCAA Division II All-Star Game -- earlier in the year, was the second-leading tackler for the Oilers last season.
He made 73 stops and picked off 3 pases for the Oilers. He broke up 11 other passes as he anchored the UF secondary.
Whitlow was the emotional leader of the Oilers and he tallied 60 tackles during his senior season. Whitlow rang up 4.5 sacks and hurried the quarterback 7 times. He also forced 2 fumbles as the Oilers went 7-4 in 2009, their first winning season since 2004.
All three will be difficult to replace. But they will get a chance to put on their uniforms one more time in April, and with a little luck, it won't be the last time they play football.
You can find more information on the game by clicking here.