The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


After missing the 2023 season, Cassidy Bolong-Banks makes a comeback statement with a Division 1 offer

Banks is currently creating an amazing comeback story with free college being the end goal
Kathy Hahn
Striving for greatness: Junior Cassidy Bolong-Banks runs the ball downfield during an LSHS playoff game while senior Esteban Sedano (34) blocks for him.

Junior Cassidy Bolong-Banks earned his first full-ride division 1 offer from Montana State University, a powerhouse football team in Bozeman, Montana. They are always a top contender in the Big Sky League, winning their most recent league title in 2022.

This level of interest has been nothing short of special for Banks. Especially for a kid who missed out on the whole 2023 season due to some personal reasons. Dealing with school transfers, attending Garfield High School for a couple of weeks, Cascade, and then back to Lake Stevens. It was not an ideal year for a student-athlete trying to get a hold of their college career.
Banks decided it was time for him to earn what he believed he deserved. He wanted what he had been dreaming of for years since he was a kid.
Banks grew up playing football. The dream for him had always been to play football at the highest level possible.
“I was about 10 years old when I started playing football for the Northwest Cougars, I was so excited to finally be able to play the sport I grew up watching as a little kid,” Banks said.
He joined the FSP 7v7 program, where they travel all around the country, playing some of the best training academies in the nation in 7v7 football games. Although it’s not fully padded, and full contact (no tackling). Banks showed the scouts what he had to offer, being a lockdown DB, bringing the energy and the technique that all college programs need, which is what caught the eye of Montana State’s running back coach, Sam Mix.
“The process was long, I’ve been in communication but the offer came after they watched me work out at FSP,” Banks said.
It took weeks for the offer to be given to Banks, but the whole MSU coaching staff decided Banks was the kid they wanted.
For the people who don’t know how Division 1 offers work, the positional coaches meet with the head coaches and the recruiting coordinators decide who to give the scholarships to. It’s not one coach who decides to give a kid free college. So for Banks, he had a good section of the coaching staff say, “Yes, let’s try to pick him up”.
“I was happy that somebody believed in me enough to give me an opportunity. It felt like the hard work I had put in day in and day out, was being recognized, I was so happy it’s indescribable,” Banks exclaimed.

“I had a great relationship with them previous to the offer, Coach Sam Mix, he has always been my guy,” Banks said.

Ford Sports Performance (FSP) is an athletic training group that provides the best training in the PNW. They also help student-athletes with recruiting due to the many connections they have. They have built credibility over the years training people such as NFL players Bobby Wagner (All-Pro 6x), Buddha Baker, (All-Pro 3x), and Myles Jack.

“I have some interest from Idaho, Montana State, and Eastern also,” Banks mentioned.

Junior Jayshon Limar who also currently holds 7 D1 offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State, trains at FSP consistently.

Tracy Ford is the CEO of FSP, he played a key role in Cassidy’s recruitment, connecting him with the college coaches to try and help him get his name out there in the recruiting world.
“Tracy Ford, you know what they’re doing down in Bellevue. They get the best players there. They train together, they motivate each other. So I’d say that their training has helped me a lot and just Tracy’s connections can kind of get you out there a little bit, especially with Brandon Huffman (National recruiting editor for 247sports),” Limar said.
“I feel like Cassidy is a very shifty player. You know, he’s a speedy guy. He can play almost any position on the field. He’s not as, but, he comes with the mentality that he’s the best player on the field. And that’s what makes him a very great player in my mind,” Limar also added.

Banks has the aspiration to be one of the best football players in the state. Even While missing his entire junior season due to personal issues, he has stayed consistent throughout the whole thing. Training to perform better physically, and perfecting his technical skills.

“I was a little surprised since he didn’t play. He’s been working for it a lot but last year, he didn’t play, so I was kind of surprised to see he got the offer, but I’m very happy for him. You know, he used to be one of my closest buds and you know, I’m just glad that he’s finally getting to live out the dream,” Limar said.

Cassidy Helped Lake reach a state title in ‘22. The sky can only go higher for Banks, it is exciting to see what he will do in the future.

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