National Signing Day 2015 – PowerStrength Re-Cap
This past Wednesday, February 4th was National Signing Day for athletes nation-wide. It is especially big for football players as they dominate the attention around this day. It’s the first day high school seniors can declare where they are going to attend college and play at the next level. It is a binding contract between the athlete and the school – everything up until this time is verbal. Athletically it is a culmination of countless hours on the field, training, and dreaming. Let me tell you that West Michigan puts on a first-class event to celebrate these young men and their accomplishment.
ESPN Radio 96.1 FM hosts the event at the local movie theatre and this year marked the fifth year of the event. We at PSTS have attended/sponsored for four years now. Being hometown kids ourselves, we love supporting our area athletes. Bret Bakita spearheads the entire event and has done a tremendous job growing it year after year. A hometown man himself, he covers West Michigan sports year-round on the radio and TV, and is constantly professional as he works to provide plenty of insight and exposure for our local athletes.
Needless to say, it has been awesome to help support this event and see more and more local athletes commit to schools and represent their families, friends, coaches, and high schools. With the emergence of Davenport University’s football program in the area, this year’s signing day class was the largest ever (on a side-note I think they’ll be just fine starting up this program with the athletes and coaches they already have in place).
Many coaches and speakers have talked at this event through the years preaching various messages. The one constant that is always discussed is: “never forget where you came from, and never forget to give back.” Because of this, and a number of people acting on this, I think West Michigan will be providing opportunities for many athletes for years to come.
We’re proud to share that PowerStrength was also strongly represented with some big-time area athletes officially committing. Here they are:
1. Kenny Willekes – NorthPointe Christian FB/LB- Michigan State University
2. Steve Eipper – Greenville OL/DL- Central Michigan University
3. Nick Marosi – GR Catholic Central WR/RB/DB- University of Miami of Ohio
4. Dan Shanley TE/LB – Grandville – Hillsdale College
5. Brett Miller QB – Forest Hills Central – North Central College
*Jarod Rodgers (Byron Center), Jack Collins (NorthPointe), and Max Mulder (FHN) are still in the process as well.
Around here, we are always preaching to defend against complacency and to constantly improve. Signing day is the perfect time for our athletes to reflect on this. Let me tell you that “luck” has nothing to do with it. If you think they’re just lucky then I invite you to come train with them – free session on the house. Regardless, it will be tough to send these guys off when the time comes, as they are solid individuals. We’ll be comforted knowing that they are well prepared to start from the bottom all over again.
Training is a process and they are fulfilling that process one day at a time. Many of these athletes have been with us for quite awhile. They’ll kick it into another gear and we’ll be tougher on them as ever. They are all still hungry for success. Not only will they be physically ready, they’ll be educated better than their peers in regards to training and nutrition which will make their future strength staffs incredibly happy.
Come this May when we have 35+ college football players come back to our program, these young bucks will join them so they can adapt to the intensity and pace of the workout, but also to adapt socially – often a huge learning curve for entering freshmen (we boast the largest crop of college athletes in the area who flock together to train in the summertime with like-minded individuals). No matter how big, fast, or strong they become, we’re preaching confident humility every step of the way. Nobody likes punks… especially punk freshmen.
We are extremely proud of these young men and thankful for the privilege to work with them. Now, it’s time to get back to work.
Ascend or Perish.
P.S. – Thanks to these athletes’ leadership we have more athletes coming through the pipeline that have been working their way towards their big day themselves. We re-load around here…
-Evan Macauley OL/DL (FHN)
-Nolan Meekhof RB/LB (Grandville)
-Dylan Otolski WR/DB (FHC)
-Jackson Ammon TE (Rockford)
-Carl Myers OL/DL (West Catholic)
-Nate Jones C/LB (Muskegon Catholic Central)
-Ted Russo OL/LB (GR Catholic Central)
-Spencer Peterson QB (NorthPointe)
-Ian Woodruff OL/DL (FHN)
-Char Willekes RB/LB (NorthPointe)
-Reide Klinger OL/DL (Jenison)
-Isaac Morse OL/DL (Comstock Park)