UNION CITY — Mississinawa Valley senior Dane Blumenstock is going to try to play two sports in college, going to Wilmington College to play football and basketball.
Blumenstock, the son of Craig and Lonni Blumenstock, signed his letter of intent in late March to play football for Wilmington. He also has talked to Wilmington’s men’s basketball coach about joining the Quakers’ basketball team as well.
“I think at first it’s going to test me, but I think that I’m definitely ready for it,” Blumenstock said of playing two college sports. “I just want to choose which one I like the most so I know I make the right decision.”
The Mississinawa Valley senior said he might focus on either basketball or football later in his college career, but for now he’s looking forward to the challenge of competing in two sports.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “I just balanced my options, and I think I made the right choice going with Wilmington. I wouldn’t want to go to any other school. I think I’ll fit right in with the people there, and I think I’ll fit right in with the programs and the style of gameplay.”
Blumenstock plans to study business management and sales skills while at Wilmington.
“I love the campus, and I love that it’s in the suburbs of bigger cities like Dayton to where there’s good job opportunities,” Blumenstock said of his choice to attend Wilmington. “It’s a beautiful campus. It’s just what I’m used to growing up around that environment.”
After focusing on basketball his junior year at Mississinawa Valley, Blumenstock has competed as a three-sport athlete as a senior, playing football, basketball and baseball.
As a junior when he played just basketball, Blumenstock was named first team all-Cross County Conference by the league, second team all-district by The Associated Press and honorable mention all-Ohio by the AP. He averaged 19.6 points per game and 5.5 rebounds a game his junior season.
As a senior basketball player he was named first team all-CCC again and special mention all-district by the AP. He averaged 16.6 points per game.
“Dane’s just got a great attitude,” Mississinawa Valley boys basketball coach Rodney Saintignon said. “His work ethic is just so strong. Everything he does he puts 110 percent in it.”
Blumenstock has been a great leader and a great role model at Mississinawa Valley, Saintignon said, and has helped inspire other student-athletes to follow his example and work hard.
“If he works hard, and he has the work ethic to do it, he’ll do pretty good out there (at Wilmington),” Saintignon said. “He’s one of the few type of guys who could (play two college sports) just because of his attitude and his work ethic.”
Blumenstock broke his collarbone his sophomore year of high school, preventing him from playing football. He then took off his junior year of football but returned to the Blackhawks’ program during his senior season.
“Very good team player,” Mississinawa Valley football coach Johnny Graher said. “He was very enthusiastic.”
In addition to being one of the top leaders for the Blackhawks, Blumenstock was a strong runner and really came on strong at the end of the season, Graher said. He had more than 500 yards rushing the final three weeks of the season, the coach said, even though he missed the second half of the Arcanum game with a hand injury.
“He was very strong for us in his play,” Graher said. “He was one of the best athletes in the school.”
The Wilmington football team plans to use Blumenstock as a wide receiver and Wildcat quarterback, the Mississinawa Valley senior said.
Blumenstock said he’s really eager to play football in college, a feeling that was amplified after taking a year off from the sport in high school.
“I definitely feel more eager to play,” he said. “It motivates me more because I played since I was in pee wee so I wasn’t burnt out on it, but it definitely didn’t hurt taking a break because now I feel I have more love for the game than I did before.”
Blumenstock said he’s ready to raise the standards and learn how to compete at the college level.
“I’m definitely ready for the competition,” Blumenstock said. “I’ve done a lot of preparation to get where I’m at so I know I’ll be able to compete.”
Wilmington’s teams play in the NCAA Division III Ohio Athletic Conference with schools such as Baldwin-Wallace, Capital, Heidelberg, John Carroll, Marietta, Mount Union, Muskingum, Ohio Northern and Otterbein.
“A lot of my friends from the (Cross County Conference) have joined the OAC, NCAA conference, so that’s something to look forward to — playing against my friends,” Blumenstock said.
Blumenstock said he’s grateful for everyone at Mississinawa Valley and in the community for the support he’s received, and he looks forward to the challenges of college.
“I’m glad I got this experience, and I’m going to go and make the best of it and get a good education,” he said.