Pursuing a professional football dream, Bahamian youngster Dondre Rigby has taken his talents all the way to Germany.
In his first game in the German Football League (GFL) with the Lübeck Cougars under-19 squad, Rigby, 18, threw for two touchdowns and passed for another in a 27-21 loss to the Hamburg Huskies.
Rigby passed for 102 yards in total and had two interceptions, but nearly led his team on a game-winning drive in the final moments. Rigby said he’s grateful for the opportunity and is looking forward to their next game, which will be on the road against the Dresden Monarchs on Sunday.
“To me, it wasn’t the best stats, but I’m thankful for the opportunity. To be here is a blessing from God, having had four high school opportunities turned down in the U.S. Not having film for coaches to take a look at me was a big part of it,” said Rigby.”I was working 10 hours per day and training everyday just to try and get noticed. I messaged over 50 colleges with no reply, but now with this opportunity, coaches can see how I look.”
At 5’9”, Rigby is a bit undersized for the quarterback position, but he uses his legs to his advantage and is usually precise with his passes. The Bahamian flame thrower got the call-up to play after Cougars’ quarterback Noel Schröder seriously injured his knee.
In December, Rigby took part in a two-day quarterback camp in San Diego, California, which was sponsored by Quarterback Magazine – a magazine in the United States dedicated to supporting quarterbacks. Still, Rigby said he had to fund his trip to camp and cover everything by himself.
On the first day of the camp, Rigby was hand-picked for special coaching. He was told that he stood out above the rest, so was isolated so that coaches could take a closer look at him and evaluate his abilities. He said he received guidance and training on a more personal level. At the end of the first day, Rigby won the accuracy competition, and on the second day, he won the deep ball competition.
After being passed over for high school and collegiate opportunities in the United States, Rigby got the call-up to join the Cougars in the GFL Juniors. He had his coming-out party on Sunday.
“It was about 40 degrees and pouring rain, and we ran the ball a lot so that’s why the stats are not the best, but in the next game, you will really see a difference,” said Rigby from Germany yesterday. “I will be an ambassador to not just football athletes but to all athletes in the 242. I want to be the greatest and I won’t quit until I achieve that. I will bring change to The Bahamas,” he added.
Rigby and the Cougars will make the six-hour road trip to Dresden, Germany, this weekend to play the Monarchs. The Bahamian signal caller is looking to lead the Cougars to what he hopes will be a progressive season in the youth Bundesliga in Germany.
“Of course it takes some time to find the right match, but the team and coaches are great,” said Rigby. “I want to play football later in college in the U.S., and my big dream is to have a NFL (National Football League) career,” he added.
Rigby said he will continue to work toward his professional football dream and will to look to represent The Bahamas on a much larger scale in the future.
Jump Line – Rigby said he will continue to work toward his professional football dream