Golden Bear head coach Ryan Williams will initially look at working Vavra at tight end, the same position older brother Hayden Vavra finished at during a decorated career for Concordia of St. Paul. The Bears were 5-6 overall last fall, including going 2-5 in the tough NSIC South division.
“Hunter, I’m excited for you and glad it worked out,” said Bluejacket head coach Mike Hennen. “Coach Williams came in last spring and was very excited to try to get you. I always tell the kids, ‘Go where they want you the most.’ Your potential is unlimited; I’ve told you that all year, and I think you’re going to excel.”
Added Coach Hennen, “Hunter is one of the smartest players I’ve coached. He’s been calling the defense for me for two years. Sometimes he changes things that I don’t call out there– sliding someone over, filling gaps. You’ve worked hard for this, and I’m excited to watch some football games down at Concordia again.”
Last season at halfback, Vavra rushed for 820 yards and scored 11 touchdowns for the Bluejackets which included a career-high 157 yards and three TDs against Buffalo. He earned All-Mississippi 8 and All-Section 7AAAAA honors for his play both on offense and at linebacker.
“We’re just excited to watch more football. We’re very familiar with their program, and we’re very happy with our other son’s education there,” said mother, Amy Vavra, at the ceremony.
“The fact that Hayden liked the program so much was really appealing to me. That got me to start looking around there,” explained Vavra on his Concordia University choice. “I’m familiar with the coaches– very nice people, always coming after the games to talk with us. Their fan section has just been building up these past years, and they have a newer field. I really like the smaller class sizes which will help me out in my academics. And I’m just looking forward to playing football at the Division II level, seeing where that will take me.”
Vavra’s early academic plans for Concordia will be a biology and business mix. His athletic versatility is also seen on the basketball court where he is a starting forward for the Bluejackets, and he is a jumper for C-I track & field.
Regarding his love of the gridiron, Vavra finished, “Football is a sport you put all your emotion into, and there’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like the fellowship you feel with your teammates. Just knowing that you can rely on the guy next to you, and that everyone around is going to be doing his job. It’s a good feeling when you get a big win over a team where everyone just had good plays. There’s a lot of good teams in the NSIC, and it will be fun to compete with some of those players.”