By Craig Beilfuss

MUSKEGON–Orchard View’s Jayce Allen is taking his football talents to the next level.

Allen recently signed his national letter of intent to attend Heidelberg University, located in Tiffin, Ohio.

Heidelberg University competes in the Ohio Athletic Conference, which is comprised of NCAA Division III institutions and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

While at Orchard View, Allen’s four seasons with the Cardinals have been anything but normal.

As a freshman, Allen was part of one of the best teams in Orchard View history. The Cardinals went 9-0 and on a conference title.

“Those seniors on that team have had an effect on me,” Allen said. “Some of those seniors are now coaches at Orchard View.”

As a sophomore, the Cardinals didn’t have a lot of games because of Covid. What games were played saw Allen as a starter on both sides of the ball. That year, Allen also took up baseball.

“My sophomore year was really weird as a student because of Covid and our learning was really tough,” said Allen. “My junior year did not have the start I wanted it to. Our varsity season got canceled, but we still had a JV season. I had a lot of fun playing football that year playing with a lot of young kids. My junior year of baseball was quite fun. I was able to start on varsity for it was only my second year playing baseball. I made second-team all-conference.”

Then along came his senior year and it was rather disappointing.

“My senior year of football was not the season we wanted,” Allen said, “We played six games and lost all six games. Our final three games were canceled due to injuries and not enough upperclassmen.

Allen was one of just four seniors on that team.

“I had a lot of fun memories with kids at practice teaching freshmen how to build their game,” he said. “During basketball this season, I tore my meniscus and will not be playing baseball in the spring.”

Allen played many positions including offensive tackle, guard and center. On defense, he played tackle and defensive end. At Heidelberg, he could play center and possibly guard.

Allen was an all-conference second-team selection during his sophomore season.

Then came the decision for college and Allen was taken in by everything about Heidelberg.

“I chose Heidelberg because of the culture they have there,” he said. “I was also in love with the campus and the town of Tiffin. I am also a student-athlete so I need to love the environment I am learning in. The teacher-to-student ratio is 13:1 and I will also be in a high school student teaching for 3 years of my 4 years there.
Last season, Heidelberg finished an overall record of 7-3 and 6-3 in the conference. Coach Scott Donaldson is entering his eighth season as the head coach. He has been on the football staff for 20 years.
Allen will major in secondary education while minoring in coaching. He is the son of Janet Goodwin and Jaret Allen.
He has a 3.2 grade-point-average.