The Dordt College football program has announced its first commitments for the recruiting season. The initial list includes 31 individuals who have announced their intention to attend Dordt College and join the Defender football program.
"I am very pleased with our first round of signees. Our coaches have done a phenomenal job recruiting boldly and with an extremely tight filter. We set out to find difference makers on the field, who are extremely committed to their academics, and are 'thrivers' in the Dordt environment. This group of future Defenders checks off a lot of our recruiting boxes for this class and we are primed to enter the next phase of our recruiting season. I also want to recognize our current players who have pitched in and helped us solidify world-class-teammates for their locker room," said Dordt College football coach Joel Penner.
Samuel Andrews is a senior at Ballard High School (Iowa) is a 6-0, 225 pound linebacker and has over 120 career tackles with four sacks and one interception. He plans to enter the Health and Human Performance program.
Nathaniel David Arvizu played football for Evangel Classical Christian School (Alabama). He had 98 tackles, four sacks and four pass break-ups while playing safety and earned first-team all-conference honors and was a NAAPS (National Athletic Association of Private Schools) All-American pick. He was on a state title winning team as well and is listed 6-0, 170 pounds. Arvizu plans to study Criminal Justice.
Eli Boldan is a senior at Harlan High School (Iowa) and caught 36 passes for 828 yards and nine touchdowns this season and was a first-team all-district pick and an academic all-district selection in 2018. Boldan plans to study Exercise Science.
Carson Brown is a senior at Homedale High School (Idaho). He had 64 catches for 1,087 yards and 18 touchdowns and earned first-team all-state honors and was a first-team all-conference selection at wide receiver and defensive back. Brown was named his conference's offensive player of the year as well and helped his team to a conference championship and a state championship runner-up finish. He's listed 5-10, 160 pounds. He plans to study Computer Science.
Treven Cadwell, a student at Coe College and a graduate of Pella Christian (Iowa) will join the Defenders. Cadwell was an all-district linebacker and had 38 tackle with eight for loss and two sacks and two interceptions while playing at Pella Christian. Cadwell is listed 6-0, 210 pounds and he will study Health and Human Performance.
Raphael Carr is a student at the University of Redlands and graduated West Hills High School (California). Carr was an all-league pick at both receiver and defensive back and was the Grossmont Valley League Player of the Year and had 75 catches for over 1,200 yards with nine touchdowns. He's listed 5-8, 175 pounds and plans to study Actuarial Science.
Clayton Cook is a senior at Central Burden High School (Kansas) will join the Defender program and is listed 6-0, 215 pounds and has played fullback, defensive end, linebacker, kicker and punter. He was a first-team all-area selection on both offense and defense and was an all-state honorable mention. He plans to study Enviromental Engineering.
Brayden Farr is a senior at Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School (California). He earned all-county honors three times and claimed All-CIF honors as a junior. He totaled 128 tackles during his senior season with 19 for loss and had six sacks with 604 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. He totaled over 360 tackles during his career and nearly 900 rushing yards. He was named Central Sierra 8 Man MVP. He plans to major in Engineering.
Zane Gunter completed his senior season for Olton High School (Texas) and totaled 1,264 yards on 175 carries with 14 touchdowns and 7.6 yards per carry. He was a second-team all-district pick three times. He was also a first-team all-district pick in baseball and was a regional qualifying sprinter in track and field. He's listed 5-7, 170 pounds and plans to study Health and Human Performance.
Gabriel Hoyt played football for Urbandale High School (Iowa) and was an honorable mention all-district pick and earned three varsity letters win football, three in wrestling and three in track and field. He totaled 55 tackles this season with three interceptions. He's listed as a 6-2, 175 pound cornerback and helped his team to the playoffs the last three seasons.
Carter Kooi is a senior at Western Christian High School (Iowa) and had 1,000 receiving yards with 77 receptions and 14 touchdown catches. He claimed all-district honors twice and was on a 2016 state champion team and a 2017 state playoff qualifying squad. He was his team's offensive most valuable player in 2018. He's listed 6-4, 210 pounds and plans to study Business.
Jessup Leakey is a student at Blue Springs High School (Missouri) and earned Missouri Class 6A All-Conference and All-District honors for his offensive line play and he was awarded the 2018 Blue Springs Offensive Hammer of the Year. He was a member of two Class 6A state title game participants and was on three district champion teams. He's listed 6-2, 260 pounds and was a two-year starter on the offensive line and also saw time on defensive line and special teams. He plans to study Agriculture.
Drew Mathison is a senior at Sergeant Bluff Luton High School (Iowa). He was an honorable mention all-district pick in 2018 and is a three-time letter winner in football, track and wrestling. He claimed Academic All-State honors in football, wrestling and track and is a 5-10, 165 pound safety. Mathison was a part of three district champion teams, four state playoff qualifiers and two state semifinal teams in football. He's made two appearances at the state meet in wrestling.
Zade Niklasen is a senior at Atlantic High School (Iowa) where he played running back, defensive back, linebacker and wide receiver during his career. He had 63 tackles, 41 rushes for 338 yards and six catches for 128 yards. He claimed second-team all-district honors and was voted team captain. He was also on state champion winning 4x400 and distance medley relay teams. He plans to study Agriculture Business at Dordt.
James Page is a student at South Dakota State University and a graduate of Sioux City East High School (Iowa). He had 23 solo tackles and 36 total tackles with two interceptions and scored five touchdowns for the Black Raiders while playing running back, safety and on special teams. He was a first-team all-district selection and was a first-team academic all-state pick. Page will study Biology.
Dalton De Ronde Robo attended Christchurch Boys High School (New Zealand) and Kellogg-Delton High School (Michigan) and is listed 6-0, 220 pounds.
Davis Ryan is a senior at Akins High School (Texas) and played free safety. He's 5-11 and 175 pounds and was in on 219 tackles with four interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 15 tackles for loss. He was an all-district pick and served as a captain. He helped Akins to a Bi-District finalist finish in 2017.
Tripp Ryan is a senior at Akins High School (Texas) where he played strong safety. He was a three-year starter and totaled 189 tackles with four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 27 tackles for loss. Ryan earned all-district honors at defensive back and was on a Bi-District Finalist team in 2017. He's 6-0, 180 pounds.
Carter Schiebout is a senior at Unity Christian High School (Iowa) and played running back and linebacker during his career. He had 1,130 yards rushing in 2018 and was named first-team all-district for the second straight year. Schiebout ran for a school record 2,448 yards with 19 rushing touchdowns during his career. Schiebout plans to enter the Pre-Veterinary program.
Cale Schweitzberger is a senior at Kingsley Pierson High School (Iowa) and was in on 41 tackles and earned first-team all-district honors. He is listed 6-2 and 225 pounds and played offensive and defensive line. He plans to study Engineering.
Noah Sigler is a senior at Magnolia West High School (Texas) and had 64 tackles and eight sacks during his senior season. He claimed first-team all-district honors along with Academic All-District accolades and was a three-year starter on varsity. Sigler is listed as a 5-8, 220 pound defensive lineman. He plans to enter the pre-Med program.
Cameron Smolik played for Van Meter High School (Iowa). In 2018 he had 37 tackles with nine for loss with 1.5 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. Smolik earned first and second-team all-district honors during his career and was a three-time academic all-district honoree and was on a 4x400 state qualifying relay team. He was on a state champion team in 2017 and a state semifinalist finisher in 2016 and 2018. He's listed 6-0, 200 pounds and will be in the Pre-Med program.
Jake Sniffin prepped at Ridge Point High School (Texas). He had 92 career tackles and was named an all-district pick at safety. He was part of four district championships and served his team as a captain and was an academic all-district selection. He plans to study Education.
Michael Sonderman is a senior at Ridgevue High School (Idaho) and ran for 2.549 yards during his career with 24 rushing touchdowns. He was a first-team all-conference pick in 2018 after earning honorable mention accolades as a junior. He was selected team most valuable player in 2017 and offensive most valuable player in 2018. He was picked to play in the Idaho Shrine Game this summer. He plans to study Theology and is listed 5-9, 205 pounds.
Chase Stowe played at Akron Westfield High School (Iowa) and caught 58 passes for 678 yards and nine touchdowns. He was used as a tight end and defensive end for the Westerners and claimed first-team all-district and all-state honors and was selected to the district all-academic team and was picked as the district lineman of the year. He plans to enter the Pre-Med program and study Chemistry and Biology.
Noah Stueber is a senior at Lincoln Lutheran High School (Nebraska) and earned all-district and all-conference honors this season while totaling 33 tackles with two tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. Stueber also earned honorable mention all-district and all-conference honors as a junior and is listed 6-0, 210 pounds and played both offensive and defensive line. He plans to study Biomedical Engineering.
Owen Thomas is a senior at Buhach Colony High School (California). He's listed as a 5-7, 190 pound running back and was named outstanding offensive back by his team in 2018. He will study Health and Human Performance and join the Pre-Physical Therapy program.
Anthony Trojahn is a senior at Berthoud High School (Colorado). He had 31 catches for 744 yards during his career and totaled 259 tackles with 12 for loss with six sacks while playing linebacker. He's a three-time first-team academic all-state honoree and was a team captain three times and team mvp twice. He plans to study Exercise Science.
Sean Westergaard is a senior at Westwood High School (Iowa). He was a two-time all-district first-team honoree and earned first-team all-state honors at defensive back. Westergaard is a four-time academic all-state selection and was the district's most valuable player in 2018. He guided the Rebels to the first district title and playoff appearance in school history. He ran for 2,080 yards during his career with 22 touchdowns. He's listed 6-0, 155 pounds and played quarterback and defensive back.
Peyton Wiggs is a student at Olathe South (Kansas) where he totaled 307 tackles, forced three fumbles and had 10 sacks with 15 tackles for loss. He was a three-time all-league honorable mention selection and is listed 5-9, 165 pounds. He plans to study Criminal Justice.
Jesse Wolfe is a senior at Estherville Lincoln Central High School (Iowa) and earned all-district first-team honors in 2018 and was an honorable mention pick in 2017. He played offensive and defensive line and is listed 6-0, 285 pounds.