GREENVILLE – After committing to the Wilmington College football team on Wednesday, Ethan Emrick said he’s excited to help rebuild the Quaker program.
Emrick, the son of Kent and Candice Emrick, found Wilmington to be a great fit for him both athletically and academically.
“They’re starting to pick back up,” Emrick said of the Wilmington football team. “They’ve got a new coach (Bryan Moore) that I was excited to meet. I loved everything about the campus and everybody on the football team. I know some guys there so I’ll be happy there.”
Emrick plans to go into education as a history teacher or criminal justice. He’s weighing his options now but really liked the academic opportunities at Wilmington.
“It’s a great opportunity to further my academic career mostly; that’s what’s most important,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be able to take sports somewhere other than high school so I’m glad to be doing what I’m doing.”
For the Wilmington football team, Emrick will play wide receiver and join former Greenville receiver Zach Phillips on the Quakers’ roster.
“He was a senior when I was a freshman, and he was great to play with so I’m excited to go back there and be in the same position group as him,” Emrick said.
Emrick also will join Kaleb Anderson at Wilmington. The two Greenville seniors committed to the Quakers alongside each other on Wednesday.
“It’s neat to have a couple guys going off to the same place,” Greenville football coach Aaron Shaffer said. “I’m excited for the opportunities that Kaleb and Ethan are going to have. And obviously having a familiar face next to you when you’re two-and-a-half, three hours from home and living on your own for the first time is obviously going to be a benefit and not to mention we’ve also got Zach Phillips down there playing right now so there’s a few guys that they’ll recognize and know. But it’s a tremendous opportunity for both of them and their families to have the chance to go off and do this.”
Anderson and Emrick plan to room together in college.
“I get to room with one of my best friends, Kaleb, and get to go have a big opportunity to play four more years,” Emrick said.
At Wilmington, Emrick hopes to earn playing time early in his career then eventually earn all-conference recognition and help the Quakers build a winning program. Wilmington hasn’t had a winning season since 2000 when it went 7-3 during its first season as a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to play under a new coach, (Coach) Moore,” Emrick said. “The OAC, the conference, we haven’t won in a while, but I’m confident that we will by my junior or senior year start to have a winning record and do things over there.”
With his size and athleticism, Shaffer thinks Emrick has a chance to be an impact player for Wilmington.
“He’s 6-5, 6-6, long wingspan and runs fairly well for a bigger kid,” the Greenville coach said. “He’s going to have to work on his consistency in catching the ball and things like that, but Ethan has really just started to come into his body. I mean he spent a good portion of his high school career still growing. We looked back at a roster a couple weeks ago (and) I think as a freshman we listed him at 6-1 and now he’s 6-6. When you’ve got that physical change you’re still trying to figure your body out. He’s going to have to gain a little bit of weight; he’s probably still a little bit light. But being as tall as he is and as long as he is it’s going to give him a chance to go up and get some balls over the top of guys, but he’s got to continue to work on his craft, which he did through high school, which gave him a chance to play as a senior.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.