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CHURUBUSCO — Kyle Mathewson went from competing for state championships to national championships Thursday.
The small class A football school of Churubusco had its all-time leading rusher continue his career as one of 24 recruits to sign with Grand Valley State University on national signing day.
“I’m really blessed to go up there and play football,” Mathewson said. “I really want to thank my high school football coaches for getting me physically and mentally ready for this. Hopefully, I’ll take it up there to Grand Rapids (Mich.) and win some championships.”
Names like Ball State University and various Ohio schools reportedly looked at Mathewson. GVSU’s national presence as a Division II title contender drew the six-foot-one-inch 205 pound linebacker to play defense for the Lakers.
“The thing that is different about Grand Valley State is they win a lot of championships,” Mathewson noted. “Back-to-back they are in the sweet 16 and they win their conference every year. Overall just better.”
GVSU has won four national championship in the past decade (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006).
Mathewson gives the Lakers a two-time semistate finalist as an Eagle.
Named to the AP all-state first-team as a running back, Mathewson was among the top 50 all-state for the IFCA.
As a linebacker, the Eagle senior pulled in 29 solo tackles including 16.5 for a loss.
Mathewson set both career and single season records going for 2,584 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior.
Churubusco head coach Lee Etzler saw the potential but also had a little advice to his MVP.
“We thought he had some great potential to play at a really good school and Grand Valley is that,” Etzler said.
“You come from being the big fish to low man on the totem pole. It’ll be a little bit of an adjustment but he’ll do well.”
For Mathewson the challenge is welcomed.
“I’m not going to shy or back away from anything,” Mathewson said. “I’m going to go 100 percent on everything I do and hopefully the coaches see that.”