Colton Pettijohn likes the physicality of football.
That mentality served him well the past two seasons as a starting linebacker at North Sand Mountain.
“I like coming down hill and hitting people,” said Pettijohn, who had 190 tackles the past two seasons and 213 during his high school career.
That mentality should continue to serve him well at the collegiate level, where he will play at Ferrum College (Virginia). Pettijohn signed with the school on Thursday.
Ferrum found Pettijohn after finding his online highlight film. Coaches invited to attend a game last November and he visited the campus again in January.
“I liked the school a lot,” said Pettijohn, adding that the Panthers’ style of play fits him. “They’ll come get you (on defense). I like that.”
Ferrum College, an NCAA Division III school, plays in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and finished 5-5 last season.
At NSM, Pettijohn was a Class 2A All-Region 8 selection this past season after recording 82 tackles, including five for a loss, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. During his first season as a starter, Pettijohn posted 108 tackles (eight for a loss), one fumble recovery and one caused fumble.
Pettijohn also saw time at running back during his senior season, rushing for 337 yards and four touchdowns on 42 carries. He also had one catch, a 55-yard touchdown.
“He’s been working hard for four years. All that work paid off,” said NSM head coach Keith Kirby. “It’s good for him, his family and for our program.”
Pettijohn, who plans to major in animal sciences at Ferrum, said he enjoyed his time playing at NSM.
“It’s been good,” Pettijohn said. “A lot of memories. I’m going to miss it.”