Senior Jared Kallenbach had a tough time taking off his Jamestown High School football jersey for the final time after a 21-14 loss to Fargo Shanley in the Class AA semifinals.
"That was tough for me, walking off the field for the last time," Kallenbach admitted. "Knowing some of these guys won't won't be able to play the game again was hard."
After playing in his final high school football game, Kallenbach was also still trying to figure out where he'd play at the college level. Two weeks after the end of the season, the three-sport athlete finally found his choice.
Kallenbach announced via Twitter on Dec. 14 his commitment to NCAA Division-II Minnesota State University - Moorhead football to play free safety for the Dragons.
"It's relaxing knowing it's all off my shoulders," Kallenbach said. "It's been a goal of mine to play a college sport and MSUM was the one I decided to take."
The coaching staff came to Jamestown last winter and asked Blue Jay coach Bill Nelson who they thought the team should recruit. Kallenbach visited during junior day and at the end of this football season.
Kallenbach was a wide receiver, defensive back, kicker and punter for Jamestown. Kallenbach was second on the team with 52 tackles, one interception and one tackle for loss. Offensively, he caught 12 passes for 182 yards and scored three touchdowns during his senior season. On special teams he hit 8 of 13 extra points and averaged 30 yards per punt.
The Blue Jays finished 7-4 on the season and made their first semifinals appearance since 1994.
Kallenbach said assistant head coach/director of recruiting Chris Needham called just about every week to see how it was going and if he had any questions. Coach Nelson also used his connections to help Kallenbach along the way.
"He was always super supportive and asked if he could do anything to help," Kallenbach said of Nelson. "He was my main connection to have for help. I'm thankful for all the work he did."
MSUM coach Needham told Kallenbach they liked his instinct of reading plays, occasionally coming in on runs and being able to drop back into coverage. Kallenbach liked the coaching staff and thought the team had a family feel.
"It's more of a family, instead of doing it on my own," Kallenbach said. "I just feel like effort is strong in Jamestown and I want to bring that to Moorhead.
"Just being able to play the game I love again is a big factor for me."
Kallenbach also received an offer from NCAA Division-II University of Minnesota - Crookston.
The Dragons finished with a 8-4 record during the 2018 campaign and fell to Missouri Science and Technology 51-16 in the Mineral Water Bowl. The Bowl game was the only time MSUM left Minnesota, North Dakota or South Dakota since 2014.
Kallenbach said he's planning on majoring in exercise science.
Kallenbach is playing his senior season for second-ranked Jamestown boys basketball (4-0). The guard is averaging 8.3 points per game, including 20 points against Bismarck High on Dec. 7.
"I just want to enjoy the moment," Kallenbach said. "I want to talk with all my teammates and see what they'll do with life. Hopefully I'll be able to keep in touch and enjoy the rest of my time here."