All-Stater Chafin signs as preferred walk-on for WVU
SPRING VALLEY — At one point in time, playing outside as a child was something Owen Chafin couldn’t do, but the Spring Valley High School running back worked through medical issues that prevented him from playing and his effort paid off Wednesday when he signed his letter of commitment with West Virginia University’s football program.
Asthma and amniotic fluid in his lungs prevented Chafin from having stuffed animals as a child, but with medication he was able to pursue his passion for sports.
As a youngster, Chafin would watch WVU football games with his grandfather, Lewis Green, who played defensive tackle for the Mountaineers in the late 1960s and early 1970s and got his own athletic career started on the basketball court.
Chafin then tried soccer and eventually got to play football.
“I just thank God for the ability to play football,” Chafin told students and staff, his father, brother and grandfather gathered in the auditorium at Spring Valley for the signing.
“I’d also like to thank my second family, the football team, for always pushing me,” Chafin said. “I’m blessed with the coaches who’ve taught me the value of reward, self-discipline and the benefit of hard work.”
Playing for Spring Valley and the coaches there made Chafin’s opportunity to walk on to WVU’s team possible. He began his football career at South Point High School and transferred to Spring Valley into a vastly “different environment,” he said.
″ D on’t get me wrong, South Point could be one of the best schools in Ohio, but it wasn’t very professional there,” he said. “Here it’s completely different.”
Chafin worked his way up the Spring Valley depth chart of running backs until he was the featured back as a senior. He finished the season as a Class AAA all-state second-team offense utility selection.
The work Chafin put in to reach that level prepared him for WVU, where he hopes eventually to receive a scholarship.
“He’s driven,” Chafin’s father, Jason Arthur said. “It’s a phenomenal opportunity and he’ll work as hard as needed.”
Chafin is competing on Spring Valley’s swim team and will run track for the Timberwolves in the spring.