By Scott Williams
Feb. 5, 2020
WAUSAU – Marc Sippel had more to consider than your normal high school senior when making his college choice.
First the Wausau West multi-sport athlete had to figure out whether hockey or football would be his sport of preference at the next level.
Then Sippel had to decide what school would get utilize his considerable athletic talents over the course of the next four or five years.
Sippel officially made his intentions known Wednesday morning when he signed a letter of intent to play football at Division II Michigan Tech during a ceremony in the school’s auditorium lobby area.
By putting pen to letter-of-intent Sippel ended a football journey that culminates in fulfilling a dream.
“It’s unreal,” Sippel said. “It’s been an outstanding recruiting process. I’m so grateful for everyone who has supported me and been with me along the way. I’m super excited.”
Early in his athletic career all signs suggested hockey would provide the path to college for Sippel.
Football wasn’t even on the radar. That all changed his sophomore year at West when he went out for the sport for the first time.
A conversation with older brother Sam convinced Marc Sippel to give football a chance.
“My brother decided he wanted play football and I wanted to spend more time with my brother because I really looked up to him and wanted to hang out with him as much as possible,” Marc Sippel explained. “I ended up loving football. (Playing football with my brother) was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”
At that point, the son of Doug and Heather Sippel focused his workout routine with more of an eye on football than hockey.
That meant putting in extra work in the weight room and on the football practice field. Although hockey was never far from Sippel’s thoughts.
“I knew if I wanted to make my dream of playing sports in college a reality, it came down to where I would spend lot of my outside time,” Marc said. “It really was a tough decision.”
Marc made an immediate impact on the football field for the Warriors.
He became one of the elite inside linebacker in the area over the next three years. Sippel was named the Linebacker of the Year in the Valley Football Association-West his junior and senior years.
In addition,he was selected the Defensive Player of the Year in the conference as a senior after topping West with 147 tackles, including 70 solo stops.
Sippel also chipped in with seven tackles for losses, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery during the 2019 season.
His high school coach is confident his success at West will continue in Houghton, Mich.
“Marc is an outstanding student-athlete. He works very hard in the weight room, watches a ton of film, and is extremely intelligent,” West coach Jason Foster said. “His work ethic and incredible instincts will lead to a very positive experience and career at Michigan Tech.”
Sippel received interest for a number of Division II teams in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference based primarily in Minnesota.
The Huskies’ fierce rival Northern Michigan expressed interest too.
Ultimately, Michigan Tech offered the perfect mix of academics – Sippel wants to major in engineering – and football to be the right fit for him.
“Once I went on my official visit and had a chance to meet the academic advisors and see the campus a second time, I knew that was where I wanted to go,” Sippel said. “Their football coaches really make sure the experience is first class.”
Sippel is penciled in to play inside linebacker at Michigan Tech.
The Huskies coaching staff has a history of redshirting most, if not all, their freshmen to help them adjust academically and to get stronger.
Sippel also expects that will be the case for him. Although, his plan is to come into fall camp and compete for playing time.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Sippel, who is tentatively looking to pursue a degree in civil engineering.
Sippel isn’t the only member of the Warriors who plans to continue his football career in college.
Brennan Goralski is headed to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, while Hunter Kneiss will compete for playing time at UW-La Crosse.
West’s Cassandra Oelke also confirmed her choice to play softball at the UW-Platteville starting in the fall during the signing ceremony.