Furuheim giving football another chance

Eric Furuheim can now go down as the lone remaining player from the South Kitsap High School 1994 football state championship team who still dons a helmet and shoulder pads.

For Furuheim, a 1996 SK graduate, semi-pro football has enabled him to continue play a sport he holds dear to his heart.

His passion for the game runs so strong, he will be one of the oldest freshmen football players in the country.

Furuheim, who currently plays for the West Sound Orcas semi-pro football, will head to Huntington Beach, Calif., this fall to attend Golden West Junior College.

Golden West plays in what is known as the toughest junior college division in the country, competing against the likes of Pasadena, Saddleback, Orange Coast, Cerritos, and Riverside.

It’s also a program looking for some success.

Since 1994, the team has won just 12 games in eight years. Furuheim may be the perfect guy for a team looking for something to smile about.

Known as a comedian to friends and teammates, Furuheim’s personality is contagious on the football field. SK football coach D.J. Sigurdson was an assistant at South Kitsap during Furuheim’s prep playing days.

“He had a great sense of humor, and it was always appropriate,” Sigurdson said. “He did a mean Jim Carrey impersonation. He was a busy kid, but he always wanted to be good at football.”

Furuheim still wants to be good, and he is gearing up his 26-year-old body for two-a-days, something he hasn’t experienced in nearly nine years.

Currently, Furuheim blends in with the rest of his Orcas teammates.

“We all have jobs and we’re not paid to play,” Furuheim said.

But Furuheim said he’s willing to give up his bankteller job at Wells Fargo Bank for a chance at playing college football.

Furuheim wasn’t one of SK’s biggest stars in high school, and he’s the first to admit it.

“I sat on the bench (as a junior) when we won the state title,” he said. “I started my senior year and shared a spot with someone. I really wasn’t in my prime yet.”

Eight years later, Furuheim said his time on the field in the semi-pro circuit has re-affirmed his passion for a game he can’t let go of yet.

“I just couldn’t give it up,” he said. “Call it the Al Bundy syndrome or whatever it is. I love this game.”

Furuheim said the camaraderie with teammates is the driving force behind his decision to keep playing.

“I don’t remember a damned thing from my math class, but I can tell you what I did every day at practice and in games with the guys,” Furuheim said.

Furuheim said he realizes his age, though still relatively young, will make for tough battles with players eight years his junior.

“It will be a challenge,” he said. “I’m getting too dang old for this. At 26 years old for a true freshman...that’s starting a little late. But at least I’m there.”

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