BELDING — A pair of Belding football players are moving on to college football.
Michael Stephan and Brendan Zuver signed letters of intent to play football at different Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association schools. Stephan signed with Hope and Zuver with Albion.
Ironically, the two schools will play each other Nov. 16.
Zuver said he had a good feeling about Albion.
“I had been on a couple of visits and I got to meet the guys (on the football team) and the coaches and it felt like the right fit,” Zuver said. “I was coming down to Hope and Albion and in my dreams it was kind of telling me to go to Albion. It just felt right.”
Stephan had a similar feeling about Hope.
“I felt like a family was there when I went there,” Stephan said. “I liked the coach and I met a couple of layers. There’s actually a player from Belding (Tyler Mayer) that goes there and he inspired me to go there.”
Both were being recruited throughout the MIAA. Not only was Hope looking at Zuver, but so was Adrian and Hillsdale “early on,” he said.
Stephan was being recruited “pretty much by everyone in the conference,” he said.
The final determining factor in Zuver’s decision was “I just felt coach (Craig) Rundle knew more what was good for me,” he said.
Stephan’s decision came down to a feeling.
“I got a feeling when I went there that I knew it was the place,” he said.
Both players know they have to work to not only make the varsity teams there, but to earn time there.
“Any program, you want to win,” Zuver said. “My biggest thing is to prove myself, that I’m both talented and smart enough to make it as a college athlete.”
“I just want to do the best I can,” Stephan said.
Their high school coach, Joe Schwander, said both were a credit to the Belding football program.
“Any time any of these young guys work as hard as these guys have and set out with a dream and to accomplish that dream is pretty exciting,” Schwander said. They do things the right way. They’re awesome. Their parents have raised them to do things the right way.”
Schwander had high expectations for Stephan and Zuver.
“Both of those two, I’d be shocked if they both don’t have a shot at making the travel squad,” he said. “They both are very talented, they work extremely hard. If they don’t following year I would be blown away if they don’t excel.”