Chase McKee and Darrel Clemons are North Dakota-bound.
By that, the two Manteca High standouts signed on Friday with Mayville State University.
Both are looking forward to playing Division II football with the Comets of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Mayville, led by second-year coach and alum John Haines, is part of the North Star Athletic Association, playing a regular season schedule consisting of Dakota State, Dickenson State, Valley City Sate, and Presentation College.
“I’m happy to be going there with Darrel,” said McKee, who was listed as a 5-foot-1, 225-pound inside linebacker. “It will be fun playing there with someone I know rather than alone.”
He and Clemons both plan to major in Business. Both were impressed with the high graduation rate of the school.
Clemons, who was listed as a 6-foot-2, 275-pound guard, is looking forward to playing on the offensive line. He was part of an impressive front line of the past two years that went 22-5 during that span including a Sac-Joaquin Section title.
Those were fond memories for Buffaloes coach Eric Reis, who was thrilled to see his two players move on.
“My best memory of Chase was his big play against Central Valley,” he said.
McKee followed that up by also seeing action on the offensive line.
“He did what was best for the team, playing center and blocking nose guards and taking on linebackers to help our run game,” said Reis, who credited his special teams coach Joey Rohles for providing his Mayville connections to Clemons and McKee.
He also noted Clemons’ leadership and toughness.
“Darrel, along with all of our seniors, did a great job passing on the (football) tradition to the younger players. He also fought back through injuries, showing toughness in his play,” said Reis.
Clemons is looking forward to playing guard while McKee is being asked to stay at his familiar inside linebacker position.
“If I’m asked to move to another position, I know I can adapt,” Clemons said.