Luke Weerts can now say he's a champion at both the high school and college level.
Weerts, a freshman linebacker at North Dakota State University, helped Batavia win the 2017 Class 7A state title.
Now in college, Weerts and NDSU completed a 16-0 undefeated season with a 28-20 victory over James Madison in the Football Championship Subdivision national championship on Saturday.
The triumph was NDSU's eighth national title in nine seasons. The team became the sixth team to finish an undefeated season as the national champions, joining the 2013 and 2018 NDSU squads.
"It was incredible [for my first season]," Weerts said. "Continuing the success I had from high school into college is always a special thing. I always wanted to be part of a winning program, so coming to NDSU, it's just that."
The Bison stretched their FCS-record winning streak to 37 consecutive games dating back to Nov. 4, 2017. NDSU also completed the first 16-win undefeated season in any division since 1894.
Weerts appeared in 12 games – primarily on special teams. the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder had seven total tackles and one sack. Weerts did not appear in the title game.
"It was really special for me to get into the mix," Weerts said. "Going into fall camp, I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew it was a proud program; I knew that they take things very seriously there and I found that to be true all throughout the season."
"I kept to my studies; I kept working in practice," Weerts continued. "They saw something in me, and gave me a chance to make things happen on special teams. I did what I could for the team. That's all I could ask for, just contribute to the team as much as I could."
Batavia's Urwiler earns MVP honors at Blue-Grey All-American game
Quinn Urwiler's high school career ended very similar to how he meets running backs at the line of scrimmage.
With a bang.
Urwiler, the 2019 Kane County Chronicle Football Player of the Year, competed in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl hosted on Monday in Atlanta. The game was played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons.
The Grey team defeated Urwiler's Blue team 27-20. He was named defensive MVP following the game. Urwiler played a "jack" role – a position that Urwiler described that the linebacker could essentially roam as a safety or corner.
Official stats from the B-G Bowl are not available, but Urwiler estimates he had seven total tackles, one tackle for loss and a pass breakup, which led to an interception by a teammate.
"It was a big honor [to earn MVP]," Urwiler said. "It was just fun playing against those guys. There's a lot of guys that actually I'm going to be facing [in college]. A lot of my team's defensive backs are going to North Dakota State, South Dakota State and so we all kind of got a connection going. It was just really fun."
Urwiler was was one of two Kane County area athletes to compete in an All-American game this year. St. Charles North linebacker Ben Furtney was also invited to a B-G game, and competed in the Dec. 16 contest at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
Urwiler finished his senior season with 77 tackles, 15 for loss and 4.5 sacks. As a running back, Urwiler had 557 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Urwiler also had a three-year varsity career. He now turns his attention to heading to North Dakota University next fall.