Playing professional sports is every young athlete's dream, but for this former three-sport star his dream became a reality. Douglas County Sports Online congratulates Douglas High School graduate Josh Bidwell as our latest DC Great.
In 1992, coaches at Douglas High School in Winston knew they had something special in Josh Bidwell and the talented football, basketball and baseball standout did not disappoint. On the football field, Josh was a three-time, first team all-league kicking specialist. During his senior season, he averaged 45.6 yards per punt and earned all-state honors as both a punter and kicker. If that wasn't enough Bidwell also started at quarterback both his junior and senior seasons.
"Josh led us to the best season in school history at 9-2 and that record still stands today," former teammate Jason Hink said. "Our senior year also started great, but Josh had an apendectomy midway through the season and we just couldn't overcome losing our quarterback, kicker and punter."
Josh was also a great basketball player earning two varsity letters at Douglas. After his junior year, he was selected as a member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) summer baskeball team. The extra competition paid off as Bidwell led the Trojans in scoring during his senior season.
If two sports weren't enough, Josh also lettered three times as a member of the varsity baseball team. In 1992, he was a reserve catcher and the lone sophomore to play on the school's state championship team. Bidwell would go on to a successful career on the diamond and as a senior, he played for the South squad in the 3A All-Star series.
After a remarkable prep career, Josh would continue to play football as a punter at the University of Oregon in Eugene. In 1998, he was named first team All-Pac 10 and a second team AP All-American.
Bidwell was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 1999 NFL Draft and became the second of three former Douglas High football players to make it to the National Football League. Dennis Boyd was drafted by Seattle in 1979 and Troy Polamalu was selected by Pittsburgh in 2003. Josh played for the Packers from 2000-2003 and for Tampa Bay from 2004-2008, He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2005, but this season, Josh injured his right hip and will miss the entire 2009 campaign.
Bidwell, who is also a cancer survivor, has not left his roots far behind. He continues to give back to the community thanks to the Josh Bidwell Foundation. It helps provide financing for local sports programs, while also striving to raise resources needed to help those fighting cancer. He returns home each year to play in the Josh Bidwell Celebrity Golf Classic at the Roseburg Country Club.
Josh is married and the father of three children.