NORTH MANCHESTER – A pair of area football standouts have made their intentions known in choosing Manchester University as their next gridiron destination.
Wawasee High School senior Austin Baker and Tippecanoe Valley senior Harry Johnston both announced via their Twitter accounts their intentions to join the Spartans.
Both players were two-way starters for their respective programs.
Johnston was a defensive force for the Vikings. The standout lineman made 42 total tackles, but was disruptive in making 12 tackles for a loss and three sack, forced three fumbles and recovered four others. As an offensive lineman, Johnston helped a Viking rushing attack to over 2,300 yards for the season. The team won seven games on the season, played for a Three Rivers Conference title in the regular season finale, and won a sectional game at South Bend Washington, the team’s first ever tournament win in South Bend.
Baker was a wide receiver/defensive back for the Warriors. As part of the Wawasee receiving corps, Baker hauled in eight passes for 111 yards and a score. On the other side of the ball, Baker made 46 total stops, had one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. The six-foot back made 10 stops against NorthWood during the regular season and had the team’s only score in a road loss to a state-ranked West Noble side.
Manchester, led by fourth-year head coach Nate Jensen, finished off a 4-6 campaign and a 3-4 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Spartans, which features Johnston’s former teammate Cam Parker, averaged nearly 27 points per game and rushed for over 233 yards per game.