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Three Butte College football players sign to play at Division II schools

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OROVILLE, Calif. - Three Butte College football players are moving on to play at the Division II level. 

Tight End Jace Villapania will play at Colorado Mesa University. Defensive Back Joseph Sapp signed with the University of Sioux Falls and Offensive Lineman Xavier Jones is headed to Davenport University. 

There's a lot for the athletes to be excited about.

"Just playing football, getting my degree and getting to explore," Jones said. "Not a lot of people get to travel to a different state."

"It's a blessing to finally get a full ride scholarship to a school that wants me," Sapp said. "I've been putting in a lot of work and studying a lot of football during the season. It finally feels good to have it all pay off."

It certainly has paid off for all three in the 2021 season. Sapp tallied 34 tackles and an interception, Villapania had 21 receptions for 321 yards and five touchdowns and Jones was 2021 All NorCal Conference. 

"All three of those guys have earned every opportunity they've had," Head Coach Robby Snelling said. "I'm excited to see them move forward."

Villapania, Sapp and Jones were all at Butte during the Covid year in 2020. Even though they didn't play games, the athletes describe that time as a blessing in disguise. 

"I originally came here as a quarterback," Villapania said. "My first year as fullback I was more of a blocker. The Covid year helped me get better as a blocker and in the receiving game."

An extra year helped Villapania refine his position skills and prepare him for the Division II stage. He also credits the coaches and environment at Butte College for his success.

"They treat you like a man," he said. "They have your back. They want to see us succeed and they'll do anything to help prepare us to go on to the next level."

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