Hortonville player headed to St. Cloud State
By Erik Buchinger
Hortonville’s Wyatt Jentz will be playing college football at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota this fall.
The Polar Bears’ defensive lineman signed his National Letter of Intent in February in front of friends, family, teammates and coaches to play for the Huskies.
“It was kind of a dream come true,” Jentz said of Signing Day. “Ever since I was little, I wanted to play college football. I’d watch the Packers and watch the Badgers. I always saw people who really loved the game, and the fact I can do what I love while going to college is honestly a blessing.”
Jentz said he did not know how realistic his college football dreams were until his first year on the high school team.
“I never really thought about it until my freshman year in high school,” Jentz said. “I was always bigger than other kids, but I never really thought I had the talent at first, but my freshman year I had colleges talk to me and that’s when I realized that I had what it takes. If I just kept putting in the hard work and that kind of stuff, I could actually go somewhere with this.”
During the recruiting process, in addition to St. Cloud State, Jentz went on visits to Minnesota State University Moorhead, Upper Iowa University, Northern Michigan University, Concordia University – St. Paul, Minnesota State University Mankato and University of Minnesota Duluth. He also considered UW-Stevens Point and UW-Oshkosh.
Jentz finished out his senior season of football and had taken most of his college visits before St. Cloud State started recruiting him.
The team’s defensive coordinator/assistant strength coach Mark Sipple met with Jentz at the high school, and Sipple returned to the area a few days later to meet him at his house to make an official offer.
Jentz visited the campus in November 2017, and within a month of being recruited by the team, he was committed to St. Cloud State.
When he made his first visit to St. Cloud, Jentz said the coaches made him feel like a top priority, and he fell in love with the town, which reminded him of Appleton. Jentz said he felt the same family atmosphere he had playing with the Hortonville football team.
“I was almost ready to commit on the spot, but I waited a little bit to think about it, pray about it and talk to my family,” Jentz said. “It was a pretty obvious choice to me, but I’m really happy to be going to St. Cloud. It’s a great town, and, I’m really excited to start putting in work there. Hopefully we get everything in the right alignment and have a chance to win and play for a national championship.”
Throughout his four years in the Hortonville football program, Jentz said he will always remember his relationships with teammates.
“We were always really close from my freshman year all the way through my senior year,” Jentz said. “It’s always been a blast hanging out with them, and being able to be with a group of guys that will always be remembered as alumni from here is something pretty special.”
Jentz said the Hortonville football coaching staff helped prepare him for the next level.
“I think our coaching staff does a great job of making you be a man and realize that certain things are going to be tough in life, not only just in football but in real life,” Jentz said. “Our head coach Tom Kolosso always says during two-a-days that it might be tough, but it’s not as much of a grind as somebody that’s going to be pouring concrete or doing shingles on a roof to help provide for his family.
“I think all the coaches in general really care about us. You get the sense that while they have their own families, they can still look out for other people and put time back into their community.”
In addition to his faith, friends, teammates and coaches, Jentz said his family has helped him accomplish a lifelong dream, including his father Steve.
“My family has been a great support system,” Jentz said. “My dad has always done everything possible to make sure I was successful. He had to work 14 hour days just to make sure I could play sports, so I’m really grateful for him.”
Jentz plans to major in marketing with a minor in business administration. He said he hopes to become a teacher or find a job in sports management or sports marketing.