“I’m so excited for both of them. They’re both great students, they’re both going to be great men. Great work ethic, I hope the best for both of them and I couldn’t be more proud.”
— Kip Hafey, Moffat County football coach, about seniors Jacob Teeter and Michael Samuelson playing college football
It was a day of celebration Wednesday at Moffat County High School as two young men took the next step in their football careers and their lives.
Jacob Teeter and Michael Samuelson, two seniors from the Moffat County football team, signed their letters of intent to play at the next level Wednesday morning. Teeter will attend and play football at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), and Samuelson will attend Colorado Mesa University.
The two Bulldogs made it to their decisions in very different ways. For Teeter, attending a service academy has been a lifelong ambition.
“I’ve always wanted to go to a service academy and eventually commission as an officer,” Teeter said. “I looked at the schools just for the academics part. Last weekend, I visited the football team and got a spot on the team.”
Playing football was not originally a part of Teeter’s plan. After going on a visit, he filled out a recruitment questionnaire for playing football, and was invited to join the team.
The Moffat County defensive back and receiver said getting to play football was just a bonus on top of accomplishing his first dream of going to a service academy.
“It’s been my goal to attend a service academy, but to get to play football at the same time is a dream come true,” he said. “It’s icing on the cake.”
USMMA, in Kings Point, N.Y. plays in the Liberty League in NCAA Division III.
Teeter’s grandparents, Gene and Mary Teeter, attended the signing and were beaming about their grandson’s accomplishment. Gene was proud to see his grandson in the military, where he had been years ago.
“I think it’s great,” Gene said. “I retired from the military over 40 years ago, and I’ve got a grandson who’s making a career out of it.”
For Samuelson, a running back and defensive end at Moffat County, the decision on where to go was a bit more difficult. Playing football in college became a possibility during his junior season as a Bulldog, when he was in talks with the program at Adams State in Alamosa.
During this season, Samuelson also heard from Colorado State University-Pueblo and Mesa, receiving offers from both. He said at times, trying to weigh the pros and cons of each option was stressful.
“At some points I might have even rushed it a little bit because it was so chaotic,” Samuelson said. “When I was trying to figure out where everything was going, what would feel right, what would be best educationally.”
In the end, Samuelson liked the coaching style he saw at Mesa and believed it would be a good fit for him from a school and football standpoint.
Moffat County football coach Kip Hafey, who coached both players over the past four years, said it is always a thrill to see players move on to bigger and better things.
“I’m so excited for both of them,” Hafey said. “They’re both great students, they’re both going to be great men. Great work ethic, I hope the best for both of them and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Now that they’re set to play and the paperwork is done, both athletes just have to play the waiting game. For Samuelson, the fall can’t come fast enough.
“I just can’t wait,” he said. “Time is going really slow. I just want it to be time to go to the next level, start playing there, going to college, all that stuff. I guess you could say senioritis has kicked in.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com