After making a name for himself in the trenches on the offensive and defensive line, Northland Pines senior football player Jack Van Wor­mer has decided that he’ll continue his passion at the college level, signing his National Letter of Intent recently to join the Hillsdale College program in Hillsdale, Mich.

“I chose to sign with Hillsdale College because they are an academically prestigious college and I think it was a good fit for me for football,” said Van Wormer.

Playing for coach A.J. Zaiya, Van Wormer was a wrecking ball at times, collecting awards and accolades across his four seasons offensively and defensively.

He earned four varsity letters; was recognized as an All-Region offensive lineman as a senior, Pines’ defensive MVP, voted as the most valuable lineman for two years, and earned the most valuable thrower in track and field, and was an academic All-State recipient in football posting a 3.99 grade point average.

With a focus on majoring in physics with either a math or chemistry minor, Van Wormer said he’s proud of how his career panned out on the field and in the classroom.

“Looking back, I think my work ethic is what got me to where I am,” said Van Wormer. “During the off-season, I am always in the weight room trying to get better then, during the season I am always pushing myself and my teammates to be the best football players they can be.”

He said he attributes his work ethic to those who shaped him growing up.

“I think my dad has had the biggest influence on me because he is the hardest worker I know and his work ethic has carried on to me,” he said.

Van Wormer’s prep career had some hurdles. As a freshman, he needed to overcome a rather difficult hip surgery which, though set him back, helped him work harder than ever to get to where he wanted to be.

“During the recovery process, I worked as hard as I could to get cleared for athletics,” he said. “Then, once I was cleared, I had to make up for the time I had lost and work even harder.”

Renewed with excitement as he approaches his freshman year in college, Van Wormer said there are a number of similar things on his mind to when he first came into high school.

“I am most excited about competing with more skilled players and becoming the best football player I can be,” he said. “My advice to people who want to be in my position in the future is to work as hard as you can in the weight room and go to camps during your off-season. It is a great way to learn and connect with college coaches. And of course, be teachable and listen to your coaches. They know what’s best for you.”

Hillsdale competes as part of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. They are coming off a 6-5 season last year, under head coach Keith Otterbein.