Thursday, February 8th, 2024

Kuenning going to Ashland

By Tom Haines
Photo by Tom Haines/The Daily Standard

New Bremen senior Nolan Kuenning, seated center, signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday to play football at Ashland University. Seated with him are his parents, Amanda and Luke, and standing from left are New Bremen head coach Chris Schmidt, Nolan's brother Reid and sister Halle, and Cardinals assistant Cody King.

NEW BREMEN - New Bremen senior Nolan Kuenning signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday to play football at Ashland University.

Kuenning played offensive and defensive line for the Cardinals and earned an All-Midwest Athletic Conference honorable mention on defense this season, recording 25 tackles, one sack and one interception.

But it was at long snapper that he first broke onto the varsity team, and that was the position he decided to play at the next level.

"I just found my niche in it junior year of high school," he said. "I stuck with it and kept getting better. It got me on the field earlier my sophomore year, so I just picked it up and kept going with it."

"It's one of those things, you don't think about it until you don't have it," New Bremen coach Chris Schmidt said. "You don't notice it until it's not a good thing. He's been great for us, and I expect him to continue to be great for them."

Kuenning, who plans to major in sports management, said he also considered Dayton, Tiffin and Indianapolis.

"(It was) just their focus on non-football stuff," he said of what made Ashland his choice. "The non-athletic stuff that they have a focus on, like athletics and community involvement."

Kuenning played on New Bremen's 2022 state championship team, and four months later, he was contacted by the Ashland coaches. He went to a camp there in May and made two other visits.

"It seemed like last offseason he really made the commitment, the decision that he wanted to play at the collegiate level," Schmidt said. "He's always been a hard worker, but I think there was a little bit more of a focus on preparing for the next level as well. So I'm pleased and happy for him. You always want to see your kids set goals and be able to attain those goals."

The Eagles had two long snappers on the roster this season, one of whom doubles as an offensive lineman.

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Coach Doug Geiser, who had been an assistant with the team for 19 years, took over this season. After starting 1-3, Ashland won eight straight and finished second in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, then won 23-20 over McKendree in the America's Crossroads Bowl.

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