Good Morning! With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.
I remember it well. I was broadcasting high school football for Lakes Region Radio. I was calling the Whitehall at Lake George game. As I recall it was a key game in the title race. It was the first time I saw Jeff Higgins of Lake George play. As I look back on the game now, Higgins could have been the first player to receive the now popular Swiss Army Knife moniker. This kid did everything for Tim Donnelly, the legendary Warrior's coach at the time and himself a CRFHOH inductee.
Saturday evening Higgins will be one of 16 former local players to be inducted into the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame. Higgins is no starnger to being recognized for his talent. He is also a member of the Glens Falls Greennjackets Hall of Fame. He will be one of the few members in the hall from an Adirondack League school.
The induction ceremony for the Class of 2021 is Saturday, 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Albany The Desmond Hotel on Albany Shaker Road in Colonie.
Higgins started games at quarterback, running back and wide receiver and was an all-star defensive back. He was all the Lake George kick returner, where he went over 1,000 career yards.
After high school Higgins went to Division III National Semifinalist Ithaca College, where he was a two-time All-American kick returner, Special Teams player of the year and the school’s all-time leading wide receiver at the time of graduation.
Higgins played for the Greenjackets from 1997-1999. In 1997 as a rookie, he was the team’s and
league’s MVP totaling over 1,000 kick return yards, 26 touchdowns and over 160 yards a game as a first team All-League wide receiver/kick returner. In 1998-99, he earned the same awards and in 1999
he was the league and team’s MVP.
As a professional, Jeff had stints in the AFL with the Florida Bobcats and numerous teams in the AF2 (2000-2005), closing out his career here, at home in Albany in 2005.
While in Macon (2001), he was the team’s Ford Tough Player of the Year nominee, playing four games with a completely torn rotator cuff while being amongst the top in statistical categories for forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, and kick return yards/average, helping the team advance to the Conference Championship.
In the AF2, he amassed 17 total Offensive, Defensive, Ironman, MVP or Ford Tough player of the game awards. He is still among the tops in career kick return average in the AF2 and was always known for ball security with just one fumble in five years of play.
In his last season at age 30 for the Albany Conquest, he was named first team All-Arena as the team’s wide receiver, holder, and kick return specialist.
Higgins has headed three high school football programs, including Corinth; and Freedom High School and currently Tohopekaliga High School, both in Orlando Florida.
He has coordinated special teams in Albany in the AF2, offensively for the Orlando Predators, and served this past year for Orlando as the special teams coordinator/wide receivers coach. From 2015-2018, he guest coached for the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL.
He took a brief period off from 2015-20, when he served as assistant principal, principal and director prior to taking the job as head coach this past year.
He and his fiancé Donna currently live in Orlando.
With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.