MSU-Moorhead signs pair of local athletes

Marshall’s Vierstraete, Lakeview’s Kosel to start college career as Dragons

Photo by Jake McNeill Marshall defensive back Jonah Vierstraete (front row, second from right) sits surrounded by his family as he signs his letter of intent to play Division II football with the Minnesota State-Moorhead Dragons next fall in the Marshall High School gym on Wednesday morning.

MARSHALL — Minnesota State University-Moorhead will be getting a transfusion of local talent in the fall following the signings of Marshall’s Jonah Vierstraete and Lakeview’s Clayton Kosel on National Signing Day Wednesday morning.

As a senior at Marshall, Jonah Vierstraete was named the South Central District-Red Defensive Back of the Year.

Vierstraete racked up 33.5 total tackles on the year, including 2.5 for a loss, and grabbed a pair of interceptions.

“Just getting the recruiting process wrapped up and finding a home somewhere that I really want to be… I feel like I’m somewhere that I’m valued and that feels good. I’m happy to be here,” Vierstraete said.

Vierstraete cited the coaching staff and players as some of the main factors in his decision, as well as their construction management program on the educational side.

Vierstraete was a key component of the Tigers’ historically great defense that brought the team to a 9-0 start. Going into the section championship game, Marshall had allowed 5.3 points per game to their opponents, the lowest for the program since 1968.

Clayton Kosel also helped his team to a sectional championship game, but his impact was on the offensive side.

Kosel took 189 carries for 1,470 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns for the Lakeview Lakers to lead them to a 9-1 start and their first win over Minneota in program history.

The Lakers entered the Section 5A tournament as the third seed and defeated No. 2 Dawson-Boyd before falling in a rematch against Minneota in the championship game. The Vikings went on to win the Class A State Championship.

The MSU-Moorhead Dragons went 4-7 in 2022.

Moorhead will open its 2023 season on the road against Wayne State College on Sept. 2.

The Dragons’ home opener will come on Sept. 9 against Minot State.


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