Coming Home To Make A Difference

By | June 3, 2015 at 11:00 pm | No comments | Columns, Feature Stories, Sports Scene

By Julie Buehler

When Jeff Webb was a La Quinta High School football player, people who watched him knew he was special. Just watch one of his catches, and you’d know he was a game-changing wide receiver.

And he was.

That’s why the San Diego State Aztecs offered him a full ride scholarship and why the Kansas City Chiefs made him one of their 2006 draft picks.

It’s a known fact that 1.7% of high school football players earn college scholarships.  .08% of high school football players are drafted into the NFL.

Webb beat those odds because he was a) a freak athlete b) worked hard and c) trained hard.

That last element he says was the biggest key to his NFL career, the fact his father invested in professional training for him before and in high school, turned the $10,000 dollar investment through those years into a $130,000 return in a college education and hundreds of thousands more in an NFL career.

Webb is thankful his parents chose to invest in him and he’s opening his own training facility, 101 Athletics, to invest in the local high school athletes.

Funny thing is Webb could have chosen to open his facility in San Diego, where high school sports are a massive part of the community. He could have opened his facility in Kansas City where his NFL connections run through the city and the BBQ joints are the best on the planet. He could have opened his facility in a number of cities, towns or communities where it would thrive, but he chose to open it in the Coachella Valley because this is where he grew up and where he wanted to give back.

There’s just something about the Coachella Valley. I’m not originally from here, but I love this community and I’ve lived here for more than a decade, carved a life and career out of the mountains and sand and am proud to proclaim the Coachella Valley as my home.

Years ago, this WASN’T the place to live.

It was often thought as Sinatra’s Playground- aka- where old people ventured to retire and expire.

But that’s changed. Dramatically.

More and more young people are coming to the valley to build their careers, dreams and families and Webb is evidence of that.

More and more vibrant, dynamic individuals have chosen to settle here and grow businesses and marquee events have chosen the Coachella Valley as the only place to find one of the highest per capita of golf courses AND Coachella AND Stage Coach and so much more.

SO much has changed in our community over the past decade I’ve lived here and in some ways Webb is entirely emblematic of that. He found success beyond the mountains, but came back to help other chasing dreams find their success.

101 Athletics boasts functional and sport-specific training for athletes of all sports and Saturday, June 6th, it will open it’s doors in Thousand Palms with former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, former Oakland Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison and more dignitaries in attendance. (You can get more information at www.101Athletics.net)

Webb has been training athletes for years after his 6 seasons in professional football and it’s a “dream come true” to be able to open his own gym in his hometown.

He told my radio show, that he trained in the summer heat, understands the subtle insults from kids boasting LA or big-city ties that are directed to athletes from “Indio” or “Palm Desert” or “Palm Springs” and the Coachella Valley and wants to bridge that gap for parents and kids alike.

It’s great to hear of the success story from La Quinta high school and even better to know Webb wants to share his experience with this incredible community.

Julie Buehler hosts the Coachella Valley’s most popular sports talk radio show, “Buehler’s Day Off” every day from 2-4 on 1010 KXPS, the valley’s all sports station. She can also be seen every morning between 6-7am on KMIR sharing the coolest stories in sports. She’s an avid gym rat, slightly sarcastic and more likely to recite Steve Young’s career passing stats than American Idol winners. Tune in M-F 2-4 pst at www.team1010.com or watch “Buehler’s Day Off” on Ustream and KMIR.com for her sports reports.

 

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