Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Korte taking football talents to Hillsdale

Thursday, February 10, 2005
By Dean Holzwarth

The Grand Rapids Press

The success of a football program can have a strong influence on a high school athlete when it comes to choosing a future college.

But in Tom Korte's case, a solid academic foundation also played a key role in the process.

Korte, a three-sport standout at Catholic Central, signed a national letter-of-intent with Hillsdale College last week and cited educational benefits as the main reason behind his decision.

"From an academic standpoint, Hillsdale fit me perfectly for what I wanted to do in the future," Korte said. "I'm leaning toward pre-dental and they have a good program for that."

Catholic Central football coach Tom Passinault wasn't surprised by Korte's commitment to academics.

"He made a mature decision because he's interested in the pre-med or pre-dental programs and he felt they (Hillsdale) gave him the best opportunity to be successful in that area," Passinault said. "They have smaller class sizes and more individual attention and that will only help him."

Korte, who also plays basketball and baseball at the City League school, was heavily recruited by Grand Valley State as well, but passed on the two-time Division II national champions.

"Grand Valley has a great school, too, but I think in the recruiting process you have to go on a feeling," Korte said. "And after I went to Hillsdale I felt it was the place for me. I met with the players and coaches and just felt really comfortable and at home."

Central Michigan and Western Michigan also showed interest in the All-City linebacker, but Korte said they wanted him as a walk-on.

Instead, he'll go to a program where he could potentially make an early impact.

"Hillsdale did a great job of recruiting him and made him feel welcome, and they talked to him about an opportunity to play right away," Passinault said. "He could've tried to walk on at a bigger school, but this gives him an opportunity to play early and play linebacker, which is a good fit for him."

Korte (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) was a two-way star on the varsity team for four years and was named to the Class B all-state first team last fall.

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