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Marquette senior Mitch Endres (seated, center) signed Friday to play football at Missouri Baptist. He was joined by his parents, Joe and Becky Endres (seated), along with (standing left to right) his grandparents Mary and Tom Nugent, his brother Kendall and Marquette coach Tom Jobst. NewsTribune photo/Brandon LaChance
OTTAWA — The days of waiting for a decision of where to spend the next four years are over for Marquette senior Mitch Endres.
Endres signed Friday to play football for Missouri Baptist University.
“After we lost that last game against Leo, I knew I wanted to keep playing,” Endres said. “I kept looking around and (Missouri Baptist coach Jason Burianek) came up to me and talked to me a little bit. I went and visited, really enjoyed the campus, met some great coaches and it seems like the right fit.”
When the offensive and defensive lineman arrived to Marquette his freshman year, the Crusaders were not the talented, regular season undefeated team they’ve been the last two seasons.
In its struggles, Endres said the Cru learned how to play and develop better work ethics together, and bonded on-and-off the field.
Endres, who will play offensive line for Missouri Baptist, is going to take that mentality to college as the Spartans will enter their first year of football in the NAIA.
The team was launched in March 2013 and only scrimmaged it’s first season of existence.
“My four years (at Marquette) were great. We were a little rough the first few years I was here and then we turned things around,” Endres said. “I got to see both sides — the winning and the losing — of things. I thought it really helped me not only athletically, but (it also helped) make me the person I am going through all that.
“I thought about (the likeness between his first couple years as a Crusader and the immediate future as a Spartan). I’ve gone through a similar situation. We’re going to be playing good competition. I think there’s three Division I schools on the schedule and a couple of Division II teams. I’m excited.”
The soon-to-be criminal justice major was a member of the 2013 NewsTribune All-Area Offense as he helped the Crusaders rush for 305.8 yards per game — the best in the area. He also was named First Team All-Northeastern Athletic Conference for his role in leading Marquette to an 11-1 record and its first quarterfinal berth since 1994.
Marquette coach Tom Jobst said the Spartans signed a great young man from both abilities on the football field and personal character standpoints.
“I think it’s an attitude — not so much for what they say because none of them talk very much — but I think one of the best things we did was we brought up all the sophomores up this year for the playoffs just so they could see how these guys work,” Jobst said. “Mitch and the others were leaders by example. Now when the kids come up next year, they’ll know how champions do things.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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