Paul Megilligan is looking forward to playing a few more home games.
Megilligan's Boyle County football career is over, but he is making plans to play college football in his hometown after committing to Centre College.
And he said he likes of staying and playing close to home for the next four years.
"I do like that," Megilligan said. "I've got people that have helped me and have done tremendous things for me, I've gotten a lot of support through my church and people from my school and the community that have supported me through all of this. It feels great that they can came out and watch me and hopefully enjoy that."
Megilligan also said it's a good opportunity for him both on and off the football field.
"From the group of schools I was looking at, I felt like it was a huge opportunity sitting there and that I would be dumb if I didn't take that opportunity," he said.
The Boyle defensive end said he was also considering Campbellsville, Union and Pikeville before settling on Centre. He said Boyle assistants Chris Mason and Justin Roe helped get his name out to the Centre coaches.
"They talked to them for me and opened that window for me," he said.
Megilligan said his mother, Susan, is foremost among many people who have helped him succeed, and he's glad she'll have a short drive to see him play home games at Centre.
"I know my mom would hate to miss any of my games,” he said. “I appreciate everything she's done for me and the drive she has. She's supported me tremendously and done everything she can even though it's been a little hard on her."
Megilligan has a 3.7 grade-point average and is considering a career in law. Centre does not offer athletic scholarships, but he already has some academic scholarships in hand and is pursuing even more.
"Centre's not an easy school, but I'm always up for a challenge, and I know in the long run it'll benefit me," he said.
Megilligan said he'll probably play his familiar defensive end position at Centre, but he might also give linebacker a try.
"I've heard that coach (Andy) Frye lets the freshman pick where they want to play within reason," he said.
The 5-10, 225-pound Megilligan made the Advocate's All-Area team as a junior and senior. He ranked second at Boyle in tackles last season with 132, and he was named to the all-Bluegrasspreps.com defensive team and played in the National Guard Border Bowl all-star game.
"I knew I wanted to play football in college, and I know it's different at the next level up, but I just love the game so much I feel that I need to take it on to the next level," he said.
He said he knows players at the NCAA Division III level play largely for the love of the game, and he said that suits him perfectly.
"You have to love the game," he said. "It's a game you can't play forever, and I understand that, but I'd love to play every chance I get. As long as I can play, I'll play."