School of the Osage senior Ian Schaumburg was not ready to hang up his helmet and walk away from the gridiron.

It was not an easy path for Schaumburg, but he has reached his destination after signing to play football for NAIA Missouri Valley College of Marshall on Tuesday afternoon amongst his coaches, teammates, family and friends. Schaumburg will be joining fellow senior C.J. Myers and 2015 Osage graduate Justin Heiser next fall and it is safe to say he is excited to take the next step of his journey.

“Since my last game of football I told my family members that I want to keep playing and I don’t want to be done,” Schaumburg said. “I’m excited to go play with some previous teammates. It has taken a lot of hard work and there have been a lot of unforseen obstacles a lot of people won’t know about that I had to go through for my application process so I am just really excited to play football.”

Another individual who is excited to see this opportunity come to fruition is Osage football coach Devin Johnson who is a major advocate of using football as a path towards higher education and a successful adult life.

“It has been a long process because signing day is the first Tuesday of February and everyone thinks that all the chips should be falling and everyone should be figuring out where they are going by then,” Johnson pointed out. “It really does not work like that for most people. We really encouraged him to find the best fit and it worked both ways between player and college.

“It’s late in the year, but he just wanted to make sure that it was the right place for him. At the end of the day he’ll be signing with Missouri Valley and it is a great opportunity for him to continue his playing career and get a little bit of his education paid for,” the coach added.

Besides having the opportunity to reunite with former teammates, another thing that attracted Schaumburg to the school was their relentless recruiting.

“They have not stopped hounding me since the first day that I visited so that had a big impact on me and what I decided. They actually do want me to come play, I really liked the campus and the coaches seemed pretty good,” Schaumburg stated.

The senior is the 10th Indian to go on to play college football since Johnson took over the head coaching duties in 2014 with three heading to Missouri Valley and five joining NAIA Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. Not to mention that both schools are part of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

“I don’t really push any school on any of our guys, but Benedictine and Missouri Valley have been where our guys have gone the last couple of years,” Johnson said. “It is pretty impressive how one or two people get there, they talk about what they like and the word spreads.”

The word has certainly spread to Missouri Valley regarding what Schaumburg can be capable of as the senior finished his final season with the Indians as a 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District and Second Team All-State offensive lineman. Not to mention that he was a two-time state wrestling qualifier and 2017 All-State wrestler by finishing third in his weight class this year. Johnson said it all comes down to his work ethic.

“Ian has been a very diligent worker,” the coach noted. “The last three years he has worked all summer, he has done very well in the weight room, he has really transformed his body from where he was as a sophomore to now and it has shown on the field too. He was a pretty dominant offensive lineman and the great thing about this sport is that it does not take any necessary skill. It just takes a lot of effort and a good attitude and that is what he brought every day.”

Another characteristic Schaumburg displayed was leadership and it is something that Johnson will miss and Missouri Valley will gain.

“He is going to have a lot of leadership. He is very vocal and not afraid to communicate with his peers so that will be something that Missouri Valley will look forward to,” the coach said. “He did a great job of communicating on that offensive line and we knew the right calls would always get called from him.”

Of course, it is not so easy for Schaumburg to leave Osage himself.

“I’m definitely going to miss some of the coaching staff and the family environment because I’ve gone here all my life,” the senior said. “It is leaving what I’ve known all my life so I will miss that I know.”

However, he also had a few parting words for the underclassmen.

“Don’t stop working. I was nothing to be desired whenever Coach Johnson first got here and I ended up being Second Team All-State. It should be a lesson for everybody that hard work does pay off,” he said.

If there is anything Johnson wants his returning and future players to know about Schaumburg, it is intensity he brought to the gridiron every single day.

“I think the one thing he brought was high energy every day. He was always our guy that was screaming, yelling and trying to get everybody pumped up,” Johnson remarked. “So something we are going to focus on this offseason is feeding positive energy and bringing that daily so that will be something hopefully our younger guys learned from him.”

Schaumburg intends to study engineering when he arrives at Missouri Valley in the fall.