SIDNEY – Willie McGinnis was out of football for a year until getting his big break in the Arena Football League in 2013.
One year later, McGinnis is a second team all-league defensive lineman, and his team this year, the Cleveland Gladiators, are playing for the Arena Bowl championship Aug. 23 in Cleveland.
McGinnis was an outstanding two-way football player in high school for Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton earning back-to-back all-county selections. He earned a scholarship at the University of Rhode Island, and played 36 games for the Division I school. A knee injury his senior year hampered his pro prospects as he was effectively out of football until the Pittsburgh Power signed him for the 2013 Arena Football League season. McGinnis had 25 tackles and four sacks, but was not resigned by Pittsburgh for 2014.