Three Patriots turned Lopers will make their final ride together as teammates when the University of Nebraska at Kearney tackles Fort Hays State in a home skirmish Saturday afternoon.
Seniors Justin Drudik, Justin Thiel and Luke Harl have been suiting up together since seventh grade when they first became teammates on the Adams Central junior high school team. But for a one-year break by Thiel, who initially signed with the University of Nebraska at Omaha out of high school and later joined his teammates the following year, the chain of consecutive years played together by them spans more than a decade. It is one none of them ever imagined would remain intact for so many years.
Drudik, who played quarterback for the Patriots’ high school team, has remained on offense at UNK. He’s seen most of his action at wide receiver, though he was pressed into action at quarterback for a stint this season because of injuries. Thiel and Harl, both two-way linemen at AC, have settled in along side one another on the defensive side of the ball for the Lopers.
“I didn’t even think the three of us would be playing college football, let alone making it this far,” Drudik said. “It’s kind of amazing.”