Jessee

Southridge’s Max Jessee signed his letter of intent Thursday to continue his football career as a kicker for Franklin College. Looking on are mother Rebecca (left), father Bob (right) and brother Luke (back).

HUNTINGBURG — Max Jessee’s definitely gotten around during his young life.

The native Virginian has been to Ohio, back to Virginia, then to Dubois County playing football for Southridge his senior year.

Well, evidently, he likes Indiana enough that he’ll be spending more time in the Hoosier State, having signed his letter of intent Thursday to continue his football career as a kicker for Franklin College.

“I feel like they have a great team and they’ve done a really good job recruiting this year from some of the dudes I’ve met there, and it’s really awesome,” Jessee said.

Southridge football coach and athletic director Scott Buening spoke at Jessee’s ceremony Thursday morning, playfully chiding him about going to Franklin, given that Buening went to the rival Hanover College.

But in all seriousness, he was happy for his All-Pocket Athletic Conference Small School kicker from the 2021 season.

“I’m just glad Max found a good fit for him,” Buening said. “He’s obviously excited about going to Franklin — he knew it right away when he went there that his heart told him that was where he needed to be. And he’s going to be a great addition as a kicker, but even more so just as a young man — what he’s going to bring them. Franklin got a good one.”

The 2021 Raiders had a different season the 2020 campaign that saw them finish with a 13-1 record and a trip to semi-state. They began the season 2-3, having to adjust following the graduation of a large senior class. But they finished with a .500 record at 5-5, and Buening thought Jessee played a tremendous role on the team this past season.

“Kicking is a very sometimes underappreciated part of football,” he said. “You really don’t realize how important it is until you don’t have a kicker. And that was something when I first got here, we had some guys that tried their best in those kind of things. But we value what kickers bring very much to our program, and we’ve been fortunate — and really, Max jumps in and just joins a line of a string of really good kickers that we’ve had.”

Jessee intends to major in pre-med and appreciates being able to stay close to his parents, Rebecca and Bob. He looked at some places back home in Virginia, but he also felt the recruiting process was probably easier out here with how many colleges there are.

Max discussed when he felt the recruiting process picked up.

“Probably near the end of the season,” he said. “I started putting some of my stats out there on Twitter and stuff. A couple colleges reached out to me and got to know me, and I feel like Franklin was just the perfect fit for me and awesome atmosphere.

He shared with The Herald what he felt like he’s learned through all the places he’s been.

“I learned that it’s super-important to always have a good attitude and...I learned that to grow, you really have to just put yourself out there,” Max said. “Because without putting myself out there, I would’ve never met some of these people.”