Senior gets fifth year of eligibility from PIAA, will suit up for senior season

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Bowie Island will be back in 2016.

After waiting six weeks since submitting a waiver, Central York defensive back Jordan Bowie received word from the PIAA last week that he would be granted a fifth year of athletic eligibility.

His path to this point was certainly a unique one.

The York city native attended William Penn and moved to Florida, then to Central during his freshman year. As a result of moving multiple times, he only received half (3.5) of the necessary seven credits to advance a grade at Central, so he was forced to retake his academic freshman season, while already having used one of his athletic eligibility seasons. That was fine until this season when his athletic eligibility seemed to be up just before his senior year.

Bowie talked to his guidance counselor, who told athletic director Marty Trimmer that a waiver would need to be submitted to the PIAA.

Then the wait began.

“I was really nervous, all I did was think about it,” said Bowie who recorded 21 tackles and three pass deflections last season. “I waited a month and two weeks to finally get the answer.”

In the meantime, Bowie’s classmates and teammates, who playfully nicknamed him ‘Bowie Island’ years ago for his knack of putting wide receivers on an 'island,' took to social media to campaign on his behalf. The hashtag #LetBowiePlay was born and tweeted more than 50 times by students at Central and football players around the YAIAA.

“I was humbled to see all the people doing it,” Bowie said. “And it made me want to play even more so I can play for everybody who did it, I’ll never forget it.”

Trimmer was standing outside of practice on Thursday waiting to deliver the good news.

“He was just standing there and he shook my hand,” Bowie recalled. “He told me they accepted it (waiver) and gave me a big hug.”

Bowie is anxious to get back on the field where he'll be expected to help lead a young defensive unit. The Panthers lose their top two leaders in sacks and four of their top eight tacklers from last season.

"We are very excited for Jordan to receive another year of eligibility from the District 3 committee," Trimmer said. "He has overcome some very challenging hardships and we are happy that he will be able to play football with his classmates his senior year."

Head coach Josh Oswalt was excited to hear his defensive back would be on the field again.

"After hearing of his situation, I am happy that he was given another chance," Oswalt said. "In my short time here, I have witnessed great drive and work ethic in Jordan. He has a ton of potential and could be a strong leader for us this year. I'm glad he is able to be on the field using his leadership as opposed to being on the sidelines. Whatever the PIAA officials decided, I had a plan for Jordan. I'm sure he will compete for a spot on the field."

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