GOESSEL — Conner Davis went to college to play football, but at the time he was 6-0, 180 pounds dripping wet after a high school career playing eight-man football at Goessel. It did not take long for him to learn that football would not be his career.
“I went to Hutchinson Community College to play football. It was not for me. I was going against guys who were definitely D-1 athletes, and that was not for me,” Davis said. “I did not have dreams of going to the NFL.”
He has grown a lot since then — physically he bulked up to 230 pounds. And, after he stopped football he collected the first-ever criminal justice scholarship from Hutchinson Community College. That paid all his books and tuition fees. The now patrol officer for the McPherson Police Department chose his career.
“Not a lot of people want to be a cop,” Davis said Thursday, back in his hometown for the first-ever Alumni Career Day at the school. “A lot of people do not like you, and you have to have a lot of mental toughness.”
Davis was one of the most popular presenters on the day — in part because of his recency of graduation as a member of the class of 2015. There were 10 alumni presenters that day. Most came from around the state, though Missouri and California were represented on the roster.
Careers represented included bioengineering, law enforcement, sports information, counseling, computer programming, nonprofit management, exercise specialist, social work and design engineering.
In the past, the school has invited members of the community to come for a career fair — setting up tables and booths to speak with students about different career paths.
This year, however, the school alumni director invited alumni to come and give presentations throughout the day about their careers and how they found their career paths.
"It did not take long to get 10 alumni who wanted to come back and be a part of this,'' said Ilona Abrahams, alumni director. "We thought 10, for our size as a small school, was a good number for this. ... I have gone to all of them, except two, and I am excited about what they are coming back with and telling the kids. It has been fantastic."
Davis talked about graduating from Hutchinson Community College with a perfect grade point average and on the president’s list — to then be selected for the McPherson Police Department. From there it was a trip to the Police Academy for intense training, followed by field training and supervised shifts before going out on patrol.
Each milestone — graduation from college, graduation from the academy and completion of field training — he described as the best day of his life.
And, he said, it was worth it.
“I get to go to work everyday and love my job,” Davis said. “Every day, I get to do something different. Every day I go to work, I am going to learn something new.”