St. Ansgar senior Josh Van Vliet has signed on to play with the Morningside Mustangs next season to continue his football career. Van Vliet was one of fourteen seniors on this year’s Saints football team that made it to the semifinals in the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls before falling to Hudson.
Throughout the year, St. Ansgar head the talk going around town. Will this year’s team be able to accomplish much after losing all of those seniors from the previous year’s team? But that is one of Josh’s favorite memories from his senior season of football.
“Making it to the dome when a lot of people said we wouldn’t be anything this year without the last senior class is a favorite memory of mine,” said Van Vliet. “It was a great moment walking out on to turf field. Seeing everybody out in the crowd that were there, and I know a bunch of them that were the people saying we weren’t going to be much during the season. It was a great feeling seeing them supporting us at that now that we had made it. So it was kind of like that, we told you so feeling. That was probably the best feeling for me.”
Van Vliet was a big part of St. Ansgar’s success this past season. On offense, Van Vliet had 100 rush attempts for 1,011 yards, a 10.1 yards per carry average. He added 9 touchdown with a longest TD of 90 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Van Vliet had 51.5 total tackles, with eight coming for losses. 39 of his tackles were solo tackles and he made one sack during the course of the season. Van Vliet was a First Team All-District selection as a Linebacker.
Morningside is a great, quality school to choose for Van Vliet and he will be a great addition to the Mustangs. But what were some of his biggest reason’s for signing with them?
“When I had my visit there, they were easily the nicest people,” said Van Vliet. “I had a good time at my other college visits too, but when I talked to some of the players (at Morningside), they were really outgoing and nice to talk to. It was kind of like I was already going to school there. They are also well known for being good at football too so that was a plus. There really isn’t one wrong thing about them (Morningside). They are a little bit of a smaller school but I was able to find what I was going to major in so everything worked out.”
Morningside is a great, quality school, with other members of St. Ansgar’s previous football team’s also continuing their football career’s with the Mustangs. Van Vliet is joining the likes of Tyler DeMaris, Dave Pink, Jason Crail, Willie Pfau, Josh Steinberg, Cody Marsh, Jackson Steinberg, and Tony Heimer.
Continuing your athletic career after High School isn’t for everybody. Some don’t get the chance to and others just don’t feel the need to. But not Van Vliet. It’s an opportunity he doesn’t want to miss out on.
“I don’t want to be done with high school and college and look back thinking I should have done this so I kind of thought why not do it?” Said Van Vliet. “It’s something I won’t regret when I get older.”