AP NEWS

Strecker, Miksch make commitments

January 26, 2018 GMT

COLUMBUS — A pair of Scotus Central Catholic athletes signed their letters of intent Thursday morning to play at the next level.

Matt Strecker signed to play football at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, while Tyler Miksch committed to the track program at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln.

For Strecker, who narrowed his list to Emporia State University and Morningside, the decision came down to money after his official visit to Morningside.

Emporia State, a Division II school, could only offer him a spot as a walk-on while Morningside, which competes in the NAIA, offered a scholarship.

“I felt more comfortable going to Morningside,” he said.

During his official visit, Strecker got a chance to talk with former Scotus players Marcus Dodson and Garrit Shanle about the team.

“I just got a really good family vibe from them,” Strecker said.

Miksch already knew he wanted to attend Nebraska Wesleyan because that school offers athletic training and physical therapy.

“It’s a good program,” Miksch said.

The track coach talked to him later about competing and Miksch was all for it.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “I didn’t want to be done vaulting and running. Being able to do that for another four years, I’m very excited.”

Miksch has battled some injuries over his career, but still managed a 13-feet, 6-inch personal record in the pole vault. Scotus head boys track coach Joe Schoenfelder knows he has the potential to soar past that mark with a healthy senior season.

“He’s dedicated and he’s learning all the time,” Schoenfelder said. “We’ll get some technique stuff fixed and he’ll be fighting for the school record with (fellow Scotus senior) Chase (Andresen).”

The Shamrock track coach expects Miksch to break 14 feet this season and knock on the door of 15 feet.

Miksch isn’t just a vaulter. The senior will also compete in some relays and sprints for the Shamrocks and could do the same at Wesleyan.

“Tyler’s a great kid and a good athlete,” Schoenfelder said. “This year, we’re looking for him to score a lot of points for us. Just plug him into four events and make the best use of him that we can.”

Strecker was a three-year starter on the Shamrock football team and the only sophomore to start on Scotus’ 2015 state title team. He has been one of the team leaders the past two seasons.

“We really relied on his leadership, experience and talent his junior and senior years,” Scotus head football coach Tyler Linder said. “He’s a very, very talented athlete.”

Strecker started at outside linebacker, which Linder called the hardest position to play, and was a tight end, fullback and running back on offense.

“We try to put our best athletes there and he did that for three years and did an amazing job,” Linder said. “He’s a very dynamic weapon.”

Strecker finished his Scotus career with 125 tackles, including 13 for loss, as well as a pair of fumble recoveries and two interceptions on defense. On offense, he had 953 total yards and nine TDs.

While it was a little bittersweet signing his letter of intent, Strecker can’t wait to suit up for Morningside.

“It’s going to be great to play football again because I could play football all year,” Strecker said. “I’ve missed playing on the same team as Marcus Dodson and I never got a chance to play with Garrit Shanle. It’s going to be really nice having some guys I already know on the team.”