Merced High's Keith Bolden to play football at Wisconsin-Stout

sjansen@mercedsunstar.comMay 6, 2013 

Keith Bolden reaches for a jacket when the temperature drops to 60 degrees.

The Merced High senior's idea of cold may change drastically come this winter. Bolden may have to stock up on some cold-weather clothing when he heads to the University of Wisconsin-Stout to play football.

"It's going to be pretty interesting for me," Bolden said. "They told me it can get to 14 below. I'm not looking forward to that.

"I can't even imagine what that is like. It must be cold."

Bolden considered other schools like Pacific University in Oregon and Cornell College in Iowa, but chose NCAA Division III Wisconsin-Stout after visiting the campus during spring break last month.

"The team just seemed very brotherly and the facilities were great," Bolden said. "I bonded well with the coaches."

Bolden will join a Blue Devils roster that includes former Buhach Colony receiver Matt Small.

Bolden was able to talk with Small during his visit and what it was like to make the transition from living in Merced County to Wisconsin.

"He's pretty excited to have another kid from the area coming," Bolden said. "He told me it's a big transition, but he liked it a lot."

Bolden was a physical receiver for Merced, hauling in 25 receptions for 414 yards and three touchdowns.

The coaching staff at Wisconsin-Stout contacted Bolden shortly after national signing day in February. They liked his 6-foot-1, 197-pound frame to go along with his speed and athleticism.

"Keith was one of our strongest kids on the team," Bears head coach Rob Scheidt said. "We're really proud of him because of the effort he put in. I know his senior year was tough on him because he had to play both sides of the ball.

"I commend him on looking outside of the box. He kept his options open and I think he's found the right fit for him."

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