EagleHerald/Stephen Oman  Menominee linebackers Jason Janquart, left, and Jacob Rivard sign national letters of intent to play football at Michigan Tech Wednesday at Menominee high school. In the second row are Janquart's parents Chris and Trudi Janquart, Rivard's parents Pamela and Troy Rivard and grandparents Betty and Tom Rivard.
EagleHerald/Stephen Oman
Menominee linebackers Jason Janquart, left, and Jacob Rivard sign national letters of intent to play football at Michigan Tech Wednesday at Menominee high school. In the second row are Janquart's parents Chris and Trudi Janquart, Rivard's parents Pamela and Troy Rivard and grandparents Betty and Tom Rivard.

MENOMINEE — After a season next to each playing linebacker for the Menominee Maroons, Jason Janquart and Jacob Rivard have signed national letters of intent to play football at Michigan Tech.

The seniors covered a lot of ground for the Maroons after Janquart made the switch from the defensive line last season.

"Jake and Jason were the heart and soul of our team this year," Menominee coach Joe Noha said. "They led on the field. They led in the locker room. They led in the offseason. They were captains and co-MVPs. They embraced the Maroon standard of hard work and great attitude."

The former Maroons were drawn as much to the academics at Tech as the football field.

"I want to major in mechanical engineering, and they're the best school around," Janquart said.

Rivard was impressed with his initial visit this fall.

"The area is beautiful and it's a great school," he said. "I went up for a game in October and loved the atmosphere. All the coaches were down to earth cool people."

The decision to go to the same school just fell into place for the friends.

"Before the season they contacted us both and during the season they kept in touch," Janquart said. "About a month ago they asked us to come up for visits. He went up a week before me, and he said he wanted to play. So did I."

Communication was key for Janquart and Rivard on the field for Menominee.

"Playing next to him was great," Rivard said. "We're friends off the field too, so we understand each other."

Janquart echoed that sentiment.

"It was a lot of fun playing next to Jake," he said. "We communicated well. I'm looking forward to playing next to him for the next five years."

Noha said said it was an acomplishment for two Maroons to go to Tech in the same year.

"It’s nice to see a couple guys get into Michigan Tech because the academic standards are high," he said. "It’s a testament to Jake and Jason and all the work they put in to get there.

"If we get one kid in five years to Tech that would be good. We've got two in the same year going and playing football, and Tech is blessed to have them."