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The Falcons’ football season ended more abruptly than players and coaches had hoped, but word of the team’s undefeated regular season apparently piqued the interest of some college coaches down south.
Thunder Mountain senior lineman Tyrel Kramp and Presentation College recently announced the 5-foot-10, 250-pound defensive end had enrolled in the school and plans to play football in the fall.
“It feels good and I’m pretty excited to go down to Presentation College and see what’s up down there,” Kramp said. “I went down a couple of weeks ago, got a tour of the campus and got to talk to some of the coaches. It went well.”
The upcoming 2011-12 season will be the first for the Division III college in Aberdeen, S.D., and Kramp knows a thing or two about starting with a new program.
The two-time Falcons Lineman of the Year and All-Conference performer his senior season started playing for Thunder Mountain when the school fielded its first-ever football team in 2009. Presentation College will play as part of the Division III Upper Midwest Athletic Conference during its inaugural season this fall.
“I’m looking forward to the experience, the chance to play at the next level,” he said. “I’m excited to be on another inaugural team. I guess I’m kind of used to that now.”
Falcons coach Bill Byouer said this is a big step for the Thunder Mountain football program and the school as a whole.
“I am thrilled. This is my whole mission, my whole philosophy behind (coaching),” he said. “To teach these kids more than X’s and O’s and get them on to higher education, whether that’s through sports or academics, this is big time.”
Byouer said Kramp’s experience at Thunder Mountain puts him in a position to be an influential part of his new team.
“It’s kind of unique that he started with a new program at Thunder Mountain, and now he’s going into a new program that he can grow with,” he said. “Tyrel’s a great kid with great character, he’s got positive morals and he’s going to succeed.
“He will show them the program he’s coming from can feed that school with great athletes, and he’s the ambassador.”
Kramp said he doesn’t yet know what position he will play at the next level, but his familiarity with both sides of the line of scrimmage should give him a chance to succeed in any number of places on the field.
The senior recorded 27 tackles, 20 solo, in his final year with the Falcons, along with two sacks and an interception.
He also recorded one carry for eight yards on the offensive end, but most of his work was done in the trenches.
Byouer said he expects possibly two more Falcons seniors to announce their intent to play college football next season at some point in the near future.