Most action photographers would love to be on the field of a division 1 college football game. But since this is unlikely to happen unless you shoot for media or have other connections, shooting a junior college game is the next best opportunity. Don't think that these guys play with any less intensity than the
division 1 guys. Most are hoping to play for a 4 year college after graduating.
Also notice that the sidelines at a JC game are much less crowded. This allows the photographer the opportunity to move up and down the field on both offense and defense. Only the middle of the sidelines is congested. When SAC is on offense, I tend to shoot from 20 yards in front of the play to catch offensive action. When SAC is on defense, I tend to shoot from 20 yards behind the opponent's team to catch defensive action. Needless to say, you will burn a few calories shooting the game.
All of the images were taken with a hand held 4 megapixel digital SLR with 80-400 mm VR zoom lens. I've tried a 200-400 F4 on a monopod but a handheld lens provides added versatility at some cost of sharpness.