North Platte St. Pat’s seniors Talan McGill and Charlie Gale signed letter of intents for college on Thursday.
McGill signed to wrestle at Nebraska Wesleyan University, while Gale signed to play football at Mount Marty College.
It’s a big week for McGill. In addition to signing with the Prairie Wolves, he will compete in the D-4 district meet for on Friday and Saturday at the McGahan Activities Center, where he signed his letter of intent in front of the St. Pat’s student body.
“It kind of gives me a little boost of energy going in there,” McGill said. “It gives me a little more confidence knowing I’m a signed college athlete.”
The wrestling program at Wesleyan is only in its third year. But McGill said he’s excited because they are just starting to gain momentum.
“They’re in their third year in. They’ve got a pretty good program going in,” he said.
McGill will wrestle for Head Coach Brandon Bradley, who has coached the team since its inception. McGill said Bradley has been up front and honest about where he sees him fitting with the team.
“Coach Bradley’s been really great,” he said. “He’s been talking to me and making sure I know the situations going on and how he can help me get to where I want to be.”
At Wesleyan, McGill will major in athletic training and that was a big reason why he chose to sign with the NCAA Division III school based in Lincoln.
“Mostly, they allowed me to wrestle at the same time I can get my athletic training degree,” McGill said. “They have one of the best programs in the nation for athletic training.”
This summer, McGill is going to work on his body. He currently wrestles in the 170-pound weight class and Bradley thinks he can be a solid wrestler at a heavier class.
“I’m gonna stay in shape, lift and bulk up,” McGill said. “They want me at either 174 or 189, next year, so I’ve got to put on some muscle for that.”
Gale to help kickoff program at Mount Marty
In addition to wrestling, McGill also played football for the Irish. As an offensive lineman, he helped block for Gale, who carried the ball as a running back.
On Thursday, Gale signed to play football for Mount Marty College, an NAIA school in Yankton, S.D.
Like McGill, Gale has also chosen to join a young program. In fact, Mount Marty won’t start playing games until the fall of 2021.
But the Lancers will be preparing for competition, next fall.
“They just decided to add football, so they’re out recruiting right now. We won’t play for the first year but we’ll start playing games next year,” said Gale, who will continue playing running back at Mount Marty. “We’ll be in the GPAC and we’ll play schools like Hastings. First year, I’m looking to get a little bit bigger and a little bit faster. I’m going to start building and I’m excited.”
Gale said he signed with Mount Marty because it just felt like home to him.
“It’s a great school and a great town,” Gale said. “Yankton’s an awesome town with the Missouri River and the (Lake Yankton and Gavins Point Dam) reservoir. It’s a great place to be and I’m super excited to be a part of it.”
A little over a year ago, Gale transferred to St. Pat’s from North Central in Bassett. He only played half a season for the Irish as he was limited by a calf injury. But he helped finish strong by winning six straight games and qualify for the state playoffs.
“It was good to come back and play,” Gale said. “Obviously, our season didn’t turn out the way we wanted but I feel like we had a pretty successful season and it was a lot of fun.”
Gale said playing for the Irish helped put him in position to play college football because Head Coach Kevin Dodson holds him and the rest of the players to a high standard.
“Coach Dodson and the whole Irish football team’s done a lot to prepare me for college,” he said. “One of the big things is we’re not just playing football, he’s also building men and building character. It’s super awesome to have him in my life and everybody else’s. He developed us as men and as players.”