Both Birch, Curren sign with Central College Big Red

HCHS Seniors Jacob Birch and Brad Curren have signed Letters of Intent to play sports at Central College, a private university in Pella, following the conclusion of their high school days.

Birch will be playing football. During his time playing for the Cyclones, Birch was a part of back-to-back state championships, the 13th and 14th in school history, having 600 receiving yards during his senior season. Birch described the emotions of signing with Central.

“It’s just a good feeling to know you have it done,” he said. “Knowing where you want to play. It’s a relief.”

The passion for football started for Birch at a young age when he began playing during his middle school days.

“I started playing in seventh grade, not as early as some guys,” he said. “I just always liked the physicality of the game and just going out there and giving 100%.”

Todd Bladt, the head coach of the football team and a few of the assistant coaches were on hand to show their support for Birch. Birch credited them for his success that will help during his time in college.

“They’ve impacted my life in a big way,” Birch said. “I wasn’t as good of a player, but they kept pushing me and making me better.”

Some of Birch’s family members were present for the signing as well, including his mother, Tawnya Holdsworth, his grandparents, Don and Pat Holdsworth, his stepdad Troy Doonan and his sister, Chloe.

“They’ve been big supporters of me,” Birch said. “I don’t think they’ve missed any of my sporting events. Their support has been huge.”

Curren will be playing basketball. During his senior season, Curren missed nine games due to a pinky injury from football and a fracture in his right foot, but still helped the Cyclones rack up multiple wins, scoring 178 points with 37 rebounds, 41 assists, 15 steals and 1 block.

Curren described his emotions and thought process behind making the Letter of Intent official.

“I’m just excited,” Curren said. “I like playing basketball a lot, so I can’t wait to get down there and join the team.”

The passion Curren developed for basketball started at a young age and grew from there.

“I’ve been playing since kindergarten,” he said. “I like it a lot, I’ve been pretty good at it for a while and I think that’s what makes it fun and I can’t wait to play four more years of it.”

Mitch Osborn, the boys head basketball coach joined assistant coach Chad Swanson to show their support for Curren. Curren talked about his relationship with Osborn and how much help he’s received along the way.

“Coach Osborn, he’s done a lot for me,” Curren said. “I’m not from around here, but when we moved here in third grade he helped me get on the travel team which really helped me as a player to develop and it was also a lot of fun. Since third grade on, he’s been a big influence in my life and my basketball career, and he’s a great guy.”

Curren’s mom and dad, Grace and David, along with his sisters, Ally and Abby also came out to show their support. Curren expressed how grateful he is for them and the support they’ve given him.

“They give me a lot of support and always are keeping me humble,” he said. “My dad is always giving me tips along the way just to help make my game better. They come to all my games. They like watching me and it’s been a lot of fun.”



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