Delforge, Sprague to play college football

Chargers players elated to continue careers

Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School seniors Keegan Delforge and Dylan Sprague will both get back on the football field after signing letters of intent Thursday to continue their careers in the fall.

Delforge is set to play at Michigan Technological University, and Sprague will continue at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

“I always wanted to play football in college,” Delforge said. “I told myself that I was always going to play, no matter what, and to have it all fall together is an amazing feeling.”

Delforge, a defensive lineman who was second in tackles last season with 60, overcame wrestling injuries throughout his high school career. Delforge had surgery on his left shoulder sophomore year and right shoulder at the end of his junior season.

“I was a little iffy about if I’d be able to play after my first injury,” he said, “but I just really focused on strength and conditioning and it ended up being like a fresh start. I was actually able to get a lot stronger than I was after working back from that one. The next surgery I was much more optimistic about, because I knew if I worked hard to bounce back, I’d still have a good chance at playing after high school.”

Delforge, who started on varsity his freshman season, started getting letters of interest from other schools after his junior season, but always had his mind set on Michigan Tech.

“I loved Michigan Tech,” he said. “I always wanted to do engineering, so they were the obvious choice to me. They never ended up reaching out, so after my senior season coach (Bernard Holsey) sent in highlights to them, and it all kind of worked out from there.”

Sprague, who also started playing in fifth grade, didn’t start out with the same certainty as Delforge.

“I was always pretty small, so I never thought it was my sport,” the running back said. “I didn’t play much my freshman year, but junior year I sprouted up and hit the weight room and filled in a little bit, and I just fell in love with the sport because I was actually a competitive player for the first time.”

Sprague finished his senior season third in rushing yards (466 yards), which allowed him to become noticed by a college in Minnesota.

“Coach (Holsey) called me up after the season and told me about this school that was interested in me,” Sprague said, “so I decided to reach out to other coaches to see if any would have interest. Stevens Point invited me out to visit, and it just felt like home.

“It all happened really suddenly. I thought my football career was done. I didn’t like that idea but I just accepted it. Once coach (Holsey) called, it started to kick in that I could continue playing. I’m really excited, because I’m going to be viewed as an underdog, so I’m excited to compete for a starting position.”