By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
After missing his sophomore season of football due to an injury, St. Joseph Christian/Northland Christian lineman Jace Gummelt wasn't sure his dream of playing college football would come to fruition.
Fortunately, he was wrong. Gummelt signed his national letter of intention to play football for NAIA powerhouse Morningside College in Sioux City, IA.
Gummelt credits his coaches and teammates for helping him reach the pinnacle of his athletic career so far.
"Losing all that work (my sophomore year), I didn't think I'd get here," Gummelt said. "But, because of my coaches and teammates, they pushed me and by some miracle, I'm here."
Head coach Troy Schenck credits Gummelt's work ethic for getting this next opportunity.
"Jace did a great job," Schenck said. "He lifted hard in the weight room. He worked on his skill development. He listened to his coaches, and this (signing) is the result of Jace working hard."
Gummelt played offensive and defensive line for the Lions and will do so for the Mustangs, who claimed back-to-back NAIA national championships in 2018 and 2019. The Mustangs are a perennial contender in the NAIA, having won ten straight GPAC conference championships and 37 consecutive games.
After an undefeated regular season this past fall, Morningside will be compete in the NAIA playoffs this spring.
Besides the appeal of playing for a Midwest powerhouse, Gummelt said he left his visit there, feeling very much at home.
"Their presentation was amazing," he said. "They made me feel like I was a part of them and welcomed by them, even though I hadn't decided I was going to go there yet."
Gummelt will major in youth ministries and sports management. He has received both a $10,000 dollar athletic scholarship and an academic scholarship for the same amount.
"That is...such a relief and an honor," he said gratefully.
During Gummelt's playing career, St. Joseph Christian joined forces with Northland Christian, as they switched to 11-man football in 2019 for the first time in program history.
After a combined 0-13 showing in '19 and '20, St. Joseph Christian/Northland Christian will go back to eight-man football in 2021.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.