Two Cardington football players announced their college plans recently, when the school held a ceremony for Luke McCarrell choosing to attend Kentucky Christian and Christian Huffman selecting Wittenberg.
McCarrell, who started at quarterback for the Pirates the past three years, plans to major in either business or sports management, started looking at colleges early in his tenure.
“I started the spring of my sophomore year,” he said. “I was going to spring practices to see what college football was like.”
He looked at several other schools, including Cincinnati Christian, Otterbein and Heidelberg, but found the Kentucky NAIA university to be the best fit.
“I just visited a bunch of schools,” he said. “They made me feel at home and feel wanted. It was just that the coaching staff did a great job of making me feel wanted. Making the actual decision was hard, but when I did it, I was happy with my decision.”
During his time playing for Cardington, McCarrell felt he progressed as a quarterback, noting that the mental aspect of the game was the most important part of his development.
“Definitely realizing that playing calm is a big part of the game,” he said. “Being a three-year starter, I gained a lot of poise. You have to stay calm and poised.”
McCarrell is hoping that he can immediately jump in and make an impact for the Knights, who are based out of Grayson, Ky.
“They tell me I can have a big impact right away,” he said. “I’ll have to go out and earn everything. I’m going to be given the opportunity to be the guy right off the bat, but I have to earn it.”
Huffman had many of the same feelings about Wittenberg, also citing that the Springfield university felt like home to him.
“The facility was nice, the academics were good and it felt like a home,” he said. “I was looking at a couple other schools and Wittenberg felt more like home than any of the others.”
Huffman will play at running back for the Tigers, where he is expected to impact the team quickly. Also like McCarrell, he mentioned that he improved the most at the mental aspects of the game while playing at Cardington.
“It was more the mental aspect of pushing through everything and it will pay off in the end,” he said.
The Pirate senior, who will major in athletic training at Wittenberg, said the only negative to moving on is leaving his former teammates.
“It was a second family to me,” he said. “The football team is like my brothers.”
However, he has a lot to look forward to down the road with the Division III school.
“Just getting another chance to play football again and better myself as a person,” he responded when asked what he’s most looking forward to with the Tigers.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS