Niklasen Signs with Dordt College

Zade Niklasen will be continuing his football career with Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA.


IT’S OFFICIAL – Zade Niklasen smiles as he makes his commitment to Dordt College. Niklasen has been a four year letter winner for the Trojan football team and also participated in basketball and track during his years at AHS.

For senior Zade Niklasen, the days of helmets, pads and line-striped fields are not yet over. On Saturday, Dec. 1, he signed with Dordt College to continue his football career and become a Defender. Located in Sioux Center, IA, Dordt is a private, Christian, liberal arts college and a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), competing in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. While at Dordt, Niklasen also plans to study agriculture.

According to Niklasen, he has “always liked football” for the team aspect, and has been playing since the third or fourth grade. Knowing this, it was easy for him to decide which sport to pursue in his college career. To decide exactly where he would play, Niklasen said the coaching staff and the team pushed him towards Dordt. “I’ve met with some of the teammates and guys there and they’re just really awesome people. So I’m really excited to spend four years with some of them,” Niklasen said.

The Dordt football program has been head coached by Joel Penner since 2016. Penner has coached college football for a total of 17 years, including time spent at Malone University in Ohio, Northwestern College in Iowa, Trinity International University in Illinois, Greenville University in Illinois and Pacific Lutheran University in Washington.

While playing for the Trojans, Niklasen has earned a varsity letter during each of his four years. He was also one of the four team captains for the 2018 season, along with fellow seniors Chase Mullenix, Connor Pellett and Logan Reilly. As a senior, he also earned Second-Team All-District.

For the upcoming summer, Niklasen said he will be following the Dordt weightlifting program and attending a weeklong “mini-camp” in July before school begins. He hopes to be able to play “quite a bit,” and plans to make sure he does what the coaches ask of him.