By Ben Murphy
Clare senior Mitch Greenacre signed a letter of intent to play collegiate football at Saginaw Valley State University on Wednesday, leaving the linebacker anxious to begin his career at the next level.
“It’s a relief, definitely,” Greenacre said Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve been kind of waiting for this to be done but I’m excited to start something new and to represent my hometown and represent myself.”
Greenacre, expects to continue to play linebacker for the Cardinals, who narrowly missed the playoffs with an 8-3 record but shared a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics North title last season.
“It was a college that was pretty close to home and I’ve always liked their football team,” Greenacre said of his decision. “They’ve had a lot of success and they have a good coaching staff. When I visited there, it just felt like the college I wanted to go to.”
Greenacre led the Pioneers with 144 tackles last year and also had two interceptions, helping lead the Pioneers to a 9-3 record, Jack Pine Conference and district titles and a berth in a regional championship game. His high school coach, Kelly Luplow feels Greenacre can continue to have success in the collegiate ranks.
“It’s tough for high school athletes to adjust to the next level, but if they keep everything in perspective and have patience, good things will happen,” Luplow said. “They have to remember that everyone at their position is the best from high school. If Mitch stays focused and does the right thing, he will have a great career at SVSU. He only knows how to play one way and that’s all-out. He’s strong, physical and relentless when it comes to competition and he is driven by his love for the sport.
“I think it’s a great fit for Mitch and they are very excited to have him there,” Luplow added. “Plus, that is where he wanted to go in the first place, so it works out for both sides.”
Even though he had success as a high school athlete, Greenacre knows that doesn’t necessarily translate to a prosperous collegiate career.
“It’s going to be a lot harder than high school,” he said. “But I’m definitely going to put in the extra time this summer and get in shape and just basically think about football the whole summer.”