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'It's a pretty special deal': 4 football players from West De Pere celebrate signing day

'It's a pretty special deal': 4 football players from West De Pere celebrate signing day
Posted at 10:20 PM, Feb 07, 2024

DE PERE (NBC 26) — On Wednesday night, it’s a special night at West De Pere High School as four football players who have had a huge role in their success the last few seasons are heading to play at the next level. 

  • The Phantoms had four players sign their NLIs to play college football.
  • Langdon Nordgaard and Andrew Baumgart are heading to play NCAA Division 1.
  • Duke Shovald and Carter Schmitt are heading to Northern Michigan to play NCAA Division 2.

“To be able to go on and play college which is a slim percentage – we all know – of high school kids that get that opportunity, it’s a pretty special deal,” said West De Pere head coach Chris Greisen. “(I’m) awfully proud of them.”

Phantoms wide receiver Langdon Nordgaard is headed to Wisconsin. He caught the attention of his future head coach at a Badgers camp with a couple of amazing grabs.

“Luke Fickell called me a couple days later and said, ‘Hey, tell me more about this Nordgaard kid’,” Greisen said.

Nordgaard always wanted to play college football but never envisioned this as a possibility. After those camps with Wisconsin, he knew he could play at a high level. With the Phantoms he had 1,904 receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns.

“It kind of clicked, I can be a Big Ten player,” Nordgaard said.

He’s not the only Phantom heading to Division 1. Big defensive tackle and running back Andrew Baumgart will be playing linebacker in the FCS for Lindenwood. Greisen called him the ‘Aaron Donald’ of the defense the last few seasons.

“They’re getting a tank man,” said Phantoms defensive back Carter Schmitt. “It made life easy back there. Half of the plays were stopped before they even started.”

“I'm bringing everything I got, violence, aggression – anything I need to be better,” Baumgart said.

The most prolific passer in Phantoms history, Duke Shovald, the quarterback will be airing it out for northern Michigan next season…

“I really asked a lot of Duke to run a fairly dynamic and I think difficult offense and he did a great job,” said Greisen.

“I can't describe how special it is just to be with one of my best buddies ever since I was little,” Shovald said. “We’re all grown up and now we’re going to college together.

As you just heard, ball-hawking defensive back Carter Schmitt, who had 14 interceptions in his high school career will be joining Shovald with the Wildcats.

“That's my best friend, man,” he said. “I’ve been with him since I first moved here back in the day. It's just awesome. we’re going to room together. it’s going to be awesome.”