Anthony Stewart had to wait a little longer for his signing day. That just made it all the more special.
The Chowchilla High senior signed his national letter of intent to accept a football scholarship to Minot State on Wednesday afternoon in front of family and coaches at Chowchilla High.
“It means a lot,” Stewart said. “I’ve been waiting forever for this. I feel like I’ve completed part of my dream right now.”
The scholarship offer from the North Dakota school had been on the table for a while for Stewart, but he had to improve his SAT scores.
So he went to work, studying his SAT prep book every night and on his third try taking the test he received the score he needed.
Stewart couldn’t wait to call Minot State head coach Tyler Hughes with the news that he was coming.
“It was very exciting,” said Stewart, who was named the Sun-Star Player of the Year last fall. “I didn’t know how to tell him or what to say.”
“It’s a lot like his work ethic on the football field,” said Chowchilla coach Alex Pittz. “He had a goal. He knew what he had to do to get it done and he got it taken care of.”
Stewart, who was a rare four-year varsity starter, helped the Redskins (12-3) enjoy a historic season, which included a Valley Championship and a run to a state bowl championship game where they lost 20-15 to Sierra of Manteca.
Stewart rushed for 1,701 yards and scored 27 total touchdowns.
“He’s a Division I talent,” Pittz said. “(Minot State) has to be ecstatic. They should be anyways. He’s as gifted a player as I’ve ever coached.”
Stewart becomes the third player from last season’s Redskins team to go on to a four-year school. Running back Alex Gutierrez and offensive lineman Gary Nieuwkoop are headed to Concordia University in Nebraska.
“It just speaks to how special that team was,” Pittz said. “This doesn’t happen every day.”
Minot State has recruited this area well. Stewart will join Merced’s Brandon McKinney and Pacheco’s Carlos Garcia. McKinney, Garcia and Stewart all worked out with Students With Aspiring Goals, which helped them get noticed by Minot State.
Headed to a cold-weather destination and the idea of playing football in the snow doesn’t bother Stewart. He’s excited to continue playing football and he looks forward to the challenges.
“I’ll do anything to play football,” Stewart said.
|Chowchilla News Day
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