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College commitment: Clearview's Drew Engle to continue football career at Division I Valparaiso

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    Clearview High School's Drew Engle.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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The leading rusher in Clearview history is moving one state to the west.

Drew Engle, who set the Clippers’ career rushing mark with 4,268 yards, has decided to play Division I college football at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., an hour southeast of Chicago.

Engle led Clearview to a 9-2 record and a Division IV playoff appearance last season, rushing for 1,174 yards and 17 touchdowns in earning third-team All-Ohio honors. His older brother, Roger, the school’s leader in career passing yards, will be a redshirt senior at Concordia University, an NAIA school.

Engle visited Valparaiso last weekend.

“I had been in contact with the coach for a few months, and they wanted me to do an overnight this weekend to get a feel for the campus and the town,” he said. “I just fell in love with the place, really.

“They welcomed me with open arms and took great care of me and my family. I just felt really welcome and comfortable there.”

Valparaiso is ranked as one of the top five private schools in the Midwest in the 2019 edition of “Best Colleges and Regional Universities.”

“It’s always important to make sure the school can benefit you athletically and academically,” Engle said. “Football won’t always be there, so going to a place to get an education that will set me up for life after college was huge for me.”

Clearview coach Mike Collier thinks Engle made a good choice in becoming a Crusader.

“I’m really happy for him because Valparaiso sounds like a good place to be,” Collier said. “The head coach seemed like a great guy. Drew has always done very well academically so I’m glad he’s going to a great school where I’m sure he’s going to continue his great education.”

Valparaiso is a Football Championship Subdivision program that competes in the Pioneer Football League. Engle should be on the field soon as both the Crusaders’ leading rushers last season, Kyle Cartales (419 yards) and Cody Boxrucker (264 yards), will be entering their senior seasons.

Engle is leaving behind a school and program that has been a big part of his life. His father, Roger, and uncle, Todd, both have coached at Clearview.

“I’m going to miss the community and the younger guys on the team I’ve grown strong bonds with, along with my teammates and the guys in my class,” Engle said. “We grew up together throughout high school grinding for the game we love.

“Leaving them is going to be really tough on me. We did great things together the last two years. I’m going to miss the bond we all share.

“This is a great community and I just wanted to give back as much as I could. I love the support this community shows for us, and I hope it continues to grow over the next few years.

“The kind of support the community shows us as athletes helps build leaders as they come through this program. I’m looking forward to the next group taking over and building on what this senior class has tried to put in place.”

Collier said the Clippers are going to miss Engle, as well.

“This is a great honor for him and his parents,” Collier said. “He grew up in this. … His uncle and father coached in this program and his brother played four years before him. He’s been around it his entire life and has been a great role model for a lot of kids in our program with the way he carries himself and the way he works on and off the field.

“It’s going to be hard to see him go, but we’re happy he’s going to a great place.”

David Rentfle was Clearview’s second-leading rusher last season with 570 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is still deciding where to play in college.

Engle is looking forward to seeing where his teammate lands.

“He’s still going through the process, so I wanted to tell him that wherever he ends up he’s going to be a baller,” Engle said of Rentfle. “I could see it the day he transferred to Clearview, that he and I were going to do something special on the field. … On and off the field, really.

“I want him to know that wherever he goes he’s going to succeed, and I’m going to be happy for him no matter what.”

Contact Mike Perry at (440) 329-7135 or macsportstalk@gmail.com.


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