One Missouri Military Academy senior will be suiting up as a student athlete when he attends college this fall. Nick Vanatta ’13, of Monkey Island, Okla., signed his commitment paperwork to play football for Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
Vanatta has been recruited as a wide receiver by the coaching staff of the Alva, Okla. college, where he is planning to major in criminology.
He built up an impressive collection of accomplishments this fall as a Fighting Colonel. Vanatta was named to the Missouri Class 3 District 6 First-Team All-District squad after his performance during district play. The honor was the culmination of a very complete season for Vanatta, who hauled in 31 catches for 514 yards and two scores in 2012. In addition to leading the team in total offense, he also recorded 36 tackles, 24 assisted tackles, and two interceptions on the defensive side of the football.
A versatile, two-way player, Vanatta was selected by head coach LT Marc Wilson as the team’s most valuable offensive player for the 2012 season.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach and mentor Nick,” Wilson said. “I’m excited to see him reach his potential both as an athlete and a young man at Northwestern under Coach [Alan] Hall.”
MMA coaches were not the only ones to notice his skills on the football field. Wilson accompanied Vanatta to Houston after he was selected to play in the 2012 Offense-Defense Can-Am All-American Bowl held in December. After participating in several camps leading up to the invitation, his offensive bursts and defensive prowess earned him a spot to play alongside the best high school players in the nation.
Athletic Director CPT John Noel was right there with Wilson and Vanatta as he carefully inked his signature on each document.
“Nick had not really played football until last season, but through hard work and determination both in the classroom and on the field, combined with the guidance of our football staff, Nick achieved his goal of playing football at the next level,” Noel said.
“We want to continue the tradition of putting our athletes in a position to achieve their highest potential, but more importantly the tradition of training our athletes to be great men, citizens, husbands, and fathers.”
Just two months later, Vanatta’s focus is now on conditioning for the fall.
“I’m excited to get started,” he said. “I’ll do training this spring and over the summer when I’m back in Oklahoma, but once August comes around I’ll have to really step up my game and work hard in camp.”
Vanatta was congratulated by his fellow cadets after the announcement was made at lunch Wednesday.