Heeren inks football scholarship with CSC


John Verser / Publisher of the Sun-Telegraph

Sidney's Jake Heeren signed a football scholarship Thursday afternoon with Chadron State College. He is the second Raider to sign to continue his football career this year, following Cody Hofrock's signing with Concordia University. Pictured front and center is Jake Heeren, flanked by his parents, Barb Heeren, left, and Jim Heeren. In back is Sidney football coach Chris Koozer.

Jake Heeren wasn't initially interested in playing football at Chadron State College, but the school's players and coaches won him over.

That led to the Sidney football standout signing a scholarship with the Eagles in front of family and friends Thursday in the SHS Media Center.

Heeren, who missed most of the 2015 football season with a foot injury, had his first contact with Chadron State late last year.

"At the time, I hadn't been really interested in them, but the coaches and the players, they all made me feel welcome," he said.

In a YouTube video, Chadron State football coach Jay Long said Heeren was a "big-time" get for the Eagles.

"He's 6'4," 230 pounds, and he can run...Because of his athletic ability, he's a kid that can play multiple positions for us and we're excited to have him as an Eagle," Long said.

Heeren rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns and caught three passes for 47 yards in limited action in the 2015 season. He also had two tackles defensively. The Sidney senior was listed as a an outside linebacker and tight end in the CSC media release.

Heeren looked at several schools, including Colorado State, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota State and North Dakota State, before choosing CSC. The scholarship offer was the difference, he said. The Eagles offered him a scholarship Jan. 27 and he accepted it Wednesday.

"They offered me a scholarship, and it was a scholarship that I couldn't decline, so I accepted it," Heeren said.

He said everyone made him feel welcome at the college.

"It was close to home. I met a couple of the coaches and they made me feel welcome," Heeren said. "A lot of the players, when I went up there, they talked to me and I just really liked the place."

Heeren plans to be an agriculture major at CSC.

"They have a really good ag(riculture) program, and that's what I'm going to major in," he said. "With the scholarship, that was a plus, too."

Heeren said he'll finish out basketball season, work out in the weight room and put together a solid track season to prepare for fall camp with the Eagles.

As for Thursday, Heeren said signing with Chadron State fulfills a lifelong dream.

"It feels good. I've been dreaming about this since I was little," he said. "For this day to finally come, it feels great."


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