Betancourt hopes to continue kicking at UNA
Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.
Russellville High School’s Jose Betancourt has enjoyed the time he’s spent in high school, especially the time he’s spent on the football field.
The 18-year-old kicker has attended Russellville City Schools his entire life and started playing football for the Golden Tigers when he was in the seventh grade.
“One of the things I’ve always loved about Russellville is the tradition we have here,” Betancourt said. “Everyone is so supportive of the football team and there’s a lot of school spirit so that something I’ve really enjoyed.”
Betancourt’s hard work over the course of his high school career paid off and he was able to break the school record for most points scored by a kicker.
“Going out there on Friday nights and playing for the crowd was great,” he said.
Since football was such a big part of his high school experience, it’s no surprise that one of Betancourt’s favorite high school memories was tied to football.
“I’ll never forget getting to play for the state championship game at Bryant-Denny Stadium,” he said. “I’m an Alabama fan so that was a great experience.”
In addition to football, Betancourt has been actively involved in several clubs and organizations like Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Science Club, Spanish Club, Chemistry Club and Art Club.
He was also a member of Franklin County Junior Leadership, which is a group of 11th grade students from schools across the county who participate in several community service projects.
“I really enjoyed Junior Leadership because I liked helping out in my community,” he said. “I also liked getting to meet kids from other schools because it was a good chance to meet new people.”
As his time in high school draws to a close, Betancourt said he would miss seeing his friends on a daily basis and many of the teachers at RHS.
“That’s another great thing about Russellville is that the teachers are all friendly and you get a chance to get to know them,” he said.
Even though there are things he will miss, Betancourt said he’s looking forward to the new experiences of college and meeting even more new people there.
“College will be a nice change because I’ll have a little more freedom and I won’t have to be in class all day long,” he said.
Betancourt said he plans to attend the University of North Alabama and he hopes to be able to walk on with the school’s football team.
“I enjoyed football so much in high school and it’s just something I would love to keep doing,” he said. “I think it would be a great experience.”
Betancourt said UNA was the best fit for him because it was far enough from home but not too far away in case he wanted to come back home to visit his family, which includes his parents, Jose and Maria Betancourt; his older brother, Luis; and his younger siblings, Jesus and Victoria.
While in college, Betancourt said he planned to study accounting.
“I’ve taken the accounting classes in high school and I liked them,” he said. “I think it’s something I’ll enjoy having a career in.”
Once he graduates from college, Betancourt said he wouldn’t mind coming back to Franklin County to settle down and start his career.
“This is just a calm and peaceful area and it’s a good place to grow up,” he said. “And most of my family is here.”
Betancourt said high school has been a good experience for him and the best advice he could give to someone who was just starting his or her time in high school is to make good decisions.
“And don’t waste your time,” he said, “especially with things like taking the ACT or applying to college.”