De San­ti­ago, DelosSan­tos Sign Let­ters Of In­tent

McDonald County Press - - SPORTS - Rick Peck

They have been team­mates on the football field since fourth grade and they aren’t let­ting grad­u­at­ing from high school change that.

Is­r­rael De San­ti­ago and Cole DelosSan­tos will con­tinue their football ca­reers to­gether as team­mates at West­min­ster Col­lege in Ful­ton, after both signed a let­ter of in­tent on April 23 at McDon­ald County High School.

De San­ti­ago, a work­horse run­ning back, topped the 1,000 mark this past season, while DelosSan­tos led the Mus­tangs in re­ceiv­ing.

“It feels great to fi­nally find a team where I can play,” De San­ti­ago said. “I was look­ing at sev­eral col­leges, but it turned out West­min­ster was the best fit for me. I have wanted to play football in col­lege once I got in high school. It’s awe­some to be go­ing to col­lege with Cole. We are ready to go do our best and, hope­fully, we can get to start early in our col­lege ca­reers.”

DelosSan­tos was equally as glad to get his col­lege plans fi­nal­ized.

“It feels re­ally great to sign,” DelosSan­tos said. “I am so ex­cited to play col­lege football. I moved here after my third-grade year and started play­ing pee­wee football then. I re­ally liked it, so I quit soccer and just wanted to play football.”

DelosSan­tos said the coach­ing staff at West­min­ster heav­ily in­flu­enced his choice of col­leges.

“I was talk­ing to a lot of dif­fer­ent coaches, but West­min­ster coaches were re­ally into my tal­ents and what I could do to help them,” DelosSan­tos said. “I liked it as soon as I went and saw the cam­pus. It’s re­ally nice to be go­ing with “Izzy” be­cause I know he is go­ing to try his hard­est and give all his ef­fort. I think we will mo­ti­vate each other.”

De San­ti­ago was a first team all-con­fer­ence and all-district run­ning back his se­nior season. He also earned sec­ond team all-con­fer­ence hon­ors as a line­backer.

DelosSan­tos earned sec­ond all-con­fer­ence hon­ors as a wide re­ceiver and as a line­backer.

Head coach Kellen Hoover said the two were key rea­sons why the Mus­tangs went from 0-10 in 2016 to 5-5 this past season.

“Cole is a great pos­ses­sion re­ceiver,” Hoover said. “He was a great out­side line­backer for us too, mostly be­cause of his mo­tor. He never quit. He never took a play off. He never got to go to the side­line. It seemed he was on ev­ery spe­cial team as well as of­fense and de­fense. He never missed a play most games. We will re­ally miss his lead­er­ship more than any­thing else. He didn’t mind teach­ing the guys be­hind me and help­ing the un­der­class­men.”

“It’s kind of the same thing about Izzy. He was on about ev­ery­thing we did. Both of these guys were big parts of what we did. It wasn’t like they were just fill­ing a spot. They were a pretty in­te­gral part of what we were doing of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively. Izzy is a guy you can turn around and hand it to 25 times a game or more if it is a re­ally phys­i­cal game. He loved it. He never once said he needed a play out. It took some­one split­ting his lip wide open for him to come out of a game. His will­ing­ness to put it in be­tween the tack­les each and ev­ery play and know­ing he is go­ing to have to get right back up and do it again on the next play is go­ing to be hard to re­place.”

“We are go­ing to miss them both. It’s cool they get to go play to­gether. I think that it is awe­some just how high school team­mates now get a chance to play to­gether in col­lege.”

DelosSan­tos is the son of Fer­min and Christy DelosSan­tos. De San­ti­ago is the son of Rudy and Martha De San­ti­ago.

RICK PECK/SPE­CIAL TO MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Team­mates since fourth grade, both Is­r­rael De San­ti­ago (front row, sec­ond from left) and Cole DelosSan­tos (front row, sec­ond from right) signed let­ters of in­tent to at­tend West­min­ster Col­lege in Ful­ton, Mo., on April 23 at MCHS. Front row, left to...

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