Three seniors at Pleasant Ridge High School signed their letters of intent Monday. The three will continue their football careers at Division II schools in Kansas.
Tight end and defensive end Clayton Richter and linebacker Hunter Wagner signed with Washburn. Lineman Carson Bertrand signed with Fort Hays State.
The signings were held in the gym at Pleasant Ridge High School on Monday with friends and family in attendance.
Prior to each player signing, Rams head coach Pat McCollim briefly addressed the crowd in attendance. He thanked everyone there and gave a special shoutout to the families of Richter, Wagner and Bertrand for the sacrifices and time spent helping the football careers of the athletes.
McCollim said the recruiting process was a lot of fun for him and there were a lot of schools interested in the players. The coach said each had multiple NAIA offers and some Division II.
“They all have chosen to take on the challenge of Division II football,” McCollim said. “Playing time will be hard to come by and the talent level will be higher. I am proud that they made that decision. And I know that they are capable of meeting those challenges ahead of them.”
McCollim said he and the entire community will be rooting for the players and it will be tough when Washburn and Fort Hays play each other.
The coach then shared emails he had sent to college coaches about the three players. McCollim touched on the various honors and activities with each player on and off the football field before each player signed their letters of intent with family by their side as photos were taken. After the event, the three players talked about why they picked their schools of choice.
“I chose Washburn over the other schools because I like the people there better,” Richter said. “I think it is more important to choose the people than the facilities.”
Wagner said he picked Washburn due to the home feel.
“I chose Washburn University as my school because I felt like it was the most home feeling,” Wagner said. “And the most key component to me when I was playing football was family. When I picked a school that was what I picked it for.”
Bertrand’s decision came from the school’s size.
“I picked Fort Hays because it’s a small school,” Bertrand said. “But it is also big enough. I am used to a smaller school and nice people there. I’m just ready for the competition.”
Washburn and Fort Hays State will meet each other at 1 p.m. Sept. 21 in Topeka on Washburn’s Family Day.