For the first time in five years Turlock Christian High is sending an athlete to play collegiate football. Senior Nick Steeley recently signed with Iowa’s Dordt College where he is expected to line up as a scatback for the Defenders.
“I visited them and I liked what I saw; the Christian environment, people who care about you and actually want you to come and work hard and work with them as a family,” Steeley said.
The prospect of Steeley playing college football might have been farfetched a year or two ago for many—including Steeley himself. After winning a Pop Warner Super Bowl the Turlock Vikings in 2008, Steeley stayed away from the football field his freshman and sophomore years at Turlock High. Upon his transfer to TC he joined the football team but rarely played as his commitment to football had not yet developed. That all changed his senior year, however, when new head coach Shane Smith recognized his potential and pushed him to make his senior year count.
“If he would have played four years of high school football he probably could have got a lot of looks [from colleges],” Smith said.
“He motivated me to stay in football and to keep working hard,” Steeley said of Smith. “I’m sorry I couldn’t have done more throughout the season but I’m definitely happy now that I’ve signed.”
Now, with the ink dried on his scholarship papers, Steeley’s passion to play football has been reignited as he looks forward to the opportunities that await him in Iowa.
“They’re really solid,” Smith said of Dordt. “For him, it’s going to be a good place.”
“I just can’t wait to practice with the team,” Steeley said. “It’s a new thing. I really want to play now more than I’ve ever wanted to play football in my life.”