(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) As students wrap up their high school careers and look to continue them into college, but it can be tough to find the best fit.
A former athlete is working to make that transition easier.
Wes Simmons' college football career had everything you could ask for: back-to-back national championships in 1998 and 1999 with Northwest Missouri State.
But tragedy hit Simmons in prior to that first title run.
"In the Spring of 1998, my older brother Jason was killed in a head-on car crash."
Simmons couldn't believe his ears when he first got the call from his father.
The family atmosphere at Northwest surrounded Simmons in his time of need, and helped him to work through the situation.
"To have a group of people that surrounded me and supported me through that was critical," Simmons said thinking back on it. "I would have been one of those kids that was gone if that support system wasn't there, and I would have missed out on a lot of great opportunities."
That's what he wants today's student-athletes to find.
The former Bearcat works for Dynamite Sports, and holds seminars called "Guiding the College-Bound Athlete" at local high schools.
"Part of my message is that when life happens and you're away at school, it's important that you've done the homework to find the right environment with coaches who care, with athletes that are on the same journey that can support you through, not only in the hard times that hopefully don't come but probably will, but then that will sustain you going forward in your career and your life."
Along with finding the right fit for students, he also let's athlete's know how to sort through NCAA and NAIA regulations.
"They see what it really takes, and know the guidelines of the process that they go through in terms of recruiting, and in terms of getting into school," Central Athletic Director Neal Hook said.
"To me, it's worthwhile to help parents and athletes understand that side of it so that they can create a plan to achieve their goals," Simmons said.
It's just a small service from a man who found out just how important it is to find that right fit.
To contact Simmons about bringing the seminar to your school, you can e-mail him at email@example.com, or visit the website dynamitesports.com.
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