Bryce Louters is ready for the challenge of playing college football.
The Stone Ridge Christian senior will get that opportunity at Dordt College in Iowa the next four years after Louters signed his national letter of intent on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s going to be fun. It’s not going to be the same as the high school experience,” Louters said. “It’s going to be a lot more competitive. It’s more serious. I’m looking forward to the next level.”
Louters has faced many challenges during his football career at Stone Ridge Christian.
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Stress fractures he suffered during his sophomore season sidelined him his entire junior season. He returned this past season and was an all-Central California Athletic Alliance selection at quarterback and kicker. His 14 made field goals this fall tied for 14th in the state according to MaxPreps.
“When I got hurt I didn’t think I was ever going to play football at a college,” Louters said. “But I continued to work once I got better. I put in a lot of work to get to where I am. I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and my parents and all the people who helped me get through that injury.”
Louters also took on the challenge of becoming the starting quarterback his senior year, throwing for 939 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also ran 558 yards and six touchdowns.
At Dordt, Louters will be playing somewhere in the secondary and will have an opportunity to kick.
He earned the respect of all three of the head coaches he played for during his high school career.
“You couldn’t ask for a better kid,” said Stone Ridge Christian coach Mark Gutierrez, who finished his first season as the Knights coach. “He’s everything you’d want in a young man.”
Dordt College was always at or near the top of Louters’ list of potential colleges. For one, his family has connections with the school. He’s got a sister and a cousin on the volleyball team, and another cousin already on the football team.
“I looked at other schools, but my parents and I have always been leaning toward Dordt,” said Louters, who plans to major in agricultural business. “I have a lot of family in the Midwest. It’s a good environment. Everyone is nice, they are always friendly.”
Louters held his signing ceremony at Stone Ridge Christian High, which is one of the smallest schools in the Sac-Joaquin Section. He signed his letter of intent in front of family, friends, coaches and his teammates.
Louters and Gutierrez talked about how a moment like this might impact younger players in the program.
“A day like this is special, especially coming from a small school like this,” Gutierrez said. “Other kids can see this and say, ‘If Bryce could do it we have a chance to do it.’”
“I think it means a lot,” Louters said. “It shows even when you go to a small school you can go on to play college football. You can make it to the next level.”