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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Janikowski to kick for Washington State


Last updated 7/1/2019 at 2:51pm

The 2018-2019 high school seniors who signed letters of intent to play college football include Dean Janikowski, who lives in Fallbrook and attended Cathedral Catholic High School.

Janikowski will be a kicker for the Washington State University team.

“I’m just excited to move on to the next level and play some football,” Janikowski said.

Janikowski was both the punter and placekicker for Cathedral Catholic. He said he expects to be the placekicker only at Washington State.

The offer from Washington State allows Janikowski to play in a Power Five conference and to stay on the West Coast.

“The PAC-12 conference was my dream conference,” he said.

Three of the other five schools Janikowski was considering are also in the PAC-12: Arizona, Arizona State and Utah. Janikowski was also considering the University of Michigan and San Diego State University.

“I really liked the location of it. I liked the atmosphere of it. It felt like home. And I love the football they play there,” Janikowski said of choosing Washington State.

Washington State is in Pullman, Washington.

“The football atmosphere is really cool,” he said.

The Holiday Bowl features a PAC-12 team against a Big Ten squad, so Janikowski might return to San Diego County if the Cougars play in the Holiday Bowl during his seasons at Washington State.

Mike Leach is Washington State's head football coach. Leach’s wife, Sharon, moved from San Bernardino to San Diego when she was in seventh grade and attended Pershing Junior High School and Patrick Henry High School before leaving San Diego to attend Brigham Young University.

“I’m excited to play for him,” Janikowski said.

Janikowski is the oldest of three children. His sister, Maegan, was a junior at Cathedral Catholic during the 2018-2019 school year and plays soccer. His brother, Zack, graduated from eighth grade this year and plans to be part of the 2019 Cathedral football program.

The lifelong Fallbrook resident attended St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School before his four years at Cathedral Catholic. He played flag football for St. Peter’s but did not play Pop Warner Football or American Youth Football.

Janikowski also played three years of varsity soccer for Cathedral Catholic. The striker in that sport has played club soccer with Temecula United for nine years.

“That’s where I get my kicking from,” he said.

The Dons won the CIF San Diego Section's Open Division championship in Janikowski’s freshman soccer season while reaching the Southern California regional playoff championship game. Soccer has separate Southern California and Northern California regional playoffs. Cathedral won the Western League championship during all three of Janikowski’s soccer seasons with the Dons.

In addition to his sports activity, Janikowski has been in Fallbrook 4-H Club for eight years.

Janikowski was both a tight end and a kicker during his freshman and sophomore years. He made the Cathedral Catholic varsity as a sophomore.

“My sophomore year I started sticking with just kicking because I knew I had a future in that,” he said.

Former San Diego Chargers placekicker John Carney now has a training camp in Carlsbad. Janikowski has worked with Carney and has also worked with Temecula native John Baron II, who was San Diego State University’s placekicker from 2016 to 2018.

As a senior Janikowski made eight of his ten field goal attempts and did not miss a point after touchdown kick.

“I had a future in it and I wanted to go to D-I. Finally signed with Washington State, my dream school,” Janikowski said. “I’m excited for it all.”

If Janikowski does not play professional football, he hopes to start his own company after he finishes college.


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