Baker starting center candidate for Mayville State

Bryan Veginski
Washington Community High School senior Nathan Baker, middle, signed May 7 with Mayville State University, where he will play football for the Comets. With Baker in the Torry Gymnasium foyer were, from left: his father Keith Baker and WCHS football head coach Darrell Crouch. Not pictured is Baker's mother, Dustie Baker.

Nathan Baker’s next destination as a lineman will be in Mayville, N.D.

The Washington Community High School senior signed May 7 with Mayville State University, where he will play football for the Comets.

“It’s a relief.,” Baker said of making his decision. “I’m also kind of torn because it’s so far away, but I’m excited.”

Baker liked Mayville’s reinforcement that an education comes first, then football.

“They laid it down and said exactly what I needed to do,” said Baker.

He has consulted with Mayville folks multiple times every week about getting everything, including his grades, in order.

Baker is slotted to be a starter at center as a freshman at the NAIA program.

“I always wanted to play college ball,” said Baker. “I’m very fortunate because it’s Division II. I never could have imagined that.”

A football player for 11 years, Baker will focus on mastering the Comets’ workout booklet.

The hardest part, he said, will be the schoolwork.

MSU, led by head coach Derek Schlieve, finished 7-4 in 2013.

Baker was an anchor on the Washington offensive line, garnering first-team all-Mid-Illini Conference honors at center last fall.

He was one of the players who helped a prolific Panthers offense set the all-time rushing record during a 12-1 season.

Baker plans to major in business administration/management.