By Ray Hamill — Breck Bishop is getting ready for the next chapter in his life and a move that will will take him 2,000 miles from home.
On Thursday afternoon, the Fortuna senior linebacker signed a letter of intent to play football for Grinnell College, a Division-III program in Iowa.
And he’s excited about the challenges ahead and believes the move will be a good one for him, not just from a football standpoint but also for his own personal growth.
“It’s a bit daunting, but I feel it’s really good for people at this age to live on their own,” he said. “It allows you to learn more about yourself, so I think it’s going to be a really good opportunity for me to branch out.”
Bishop has the confidence and football talents to succeed.
He has been a force for the Huskies since breaking into the starting lineup as a sophomore, earning an all-league selection this past fall.
“He’s physical,” Fortuna head coach Mike Benbow. “He’s worked really hard in the weight room and really hard running hills and he’s really made himself into a physical specimen, and we really appreciated his work ethic.”
Bishop, who signed his letter in front of friends, teammates and family at Fortuna High, admits Grinnell wasn’t his first choice, but it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with the idea.
Last summer he was looking at a number of schools in that area, when the Grinnell coaches reached out to him.
“It was a college I hadn’t even heard of,” he said. “I was looking at a bunch of campuses and talking to these different schools, and out of nowhere they emailed me.
“And one of the coaches called me and we talked for 30 minutes and that was what initially sparked my interest.”
Bishop still wasn’t completely sold on the school, but while visiting some campuses in the area during the summer, his mother suggested they should check out Grinnell as well, and he was quickly sold when they did.
“I was amazed with the place,” he said. “I loved the players and the coaches I met.”
The Pioneers are in a rebuilding mode after the program was cancelled in 2019 only to be brought back in 2021 under new head coach Brent Barnes, and they will feature a young lineup this fall.
Barnes liked what he saw from Bishop after watching film of him play.
“He said he really enjoyed my presence on the field at linebacker,” Bishop said. “They have a very linebacker-heavy defense, and my role will be to go and try and make plays.”
The Husky senior will be a busy student athlete.
Grinnell is a small liberal arts school with about 1,700 students, and Bishop, who is a 4.6 GPA student, intends on pursuing a double major of Engineering and Computer Science.
But he’s definitely looking forward to the challenge.
“It really is exciting,” he said. “I’m excited to see what improvements I can make.”
He also is expected to see plenty of playing time immediately on a young team and hopes to grow with the program and become a leader.
As for his time at Fortuna, Bishop says he learned a lot from the senior players when he first joined the team, and that he did his best to lead the way for the younger players when he was a junior and senior.
“I will definitely remember the bond we all shared,” he said. “We were able to make a lot of memories together.”
Football wasn’t the only sport the multi-talented Bishop competed in at Fortuna.
He also wrestled for three years, as well as competing in the shot put, the discus and the sprints in track and field.
After suffering a season-ending ankle injury late in the football season, Bishop unfortunately had to sit out wrestling this winter, but he is expecting to compete in track and field this spring.
And after graduation, it will be on to the next chapter and a whole new challenge.
“I want to get there and I want to have fun,” he said. “Whether we win or lose, I want to say my time at Grinnell was worth it.”