For Aarsvold, the island is calling
With everything going on in the world, good news is needed now more than ever and Kasson-Mantorville rising senior Jakob Aarsvold received some good news when he learned that he’d been selected to play in the Hawaii Tiki Bowl, a nearly weeklong event held in Honolulu, Hawaii Dec. 30 – Jan. 4, 2021.
“I was very excited and honored. I was also very humbled,” he said. “It meant a lot to be selected especially when they select kids all around the U.S. I had seen other kids get offered and I thought it looked super cool.”
In Hawaii, Aarsvold and the other players will get to play in a high-level senior All-Star game, meet college coaches, gain a great pre-college experience, enjoy a world class senior trip and enjoy Waikiki Beach, according to the bowl’s website.
Aarsvold said he’s looking forward to enjoying all aspects of the bowl.
“I'm very excited about the beautiful scenery and getting to showcase my talent. I'm also excited to play against others from around the U.S,” he said.
By introducing him to players from other states, he said this experience will help prepare him for college football.
K-M Head Football Coach Joel Swanson said Aarsvold has become a student-athlete who can play football in college by working hard and being a student of the game.
“Jakob has great work ethic at football and accepts coaching. He asks questions and he accepts coaching points/criticism you make and tries to improve on them. He tries to learn about the "why" we do things the way we do. He is more than willing to stay for after practice film sessions, where he can learn more about the game. This also allows Jakob and his teammates to make adjustments out on the field,” he said.
His hard work and football IQ had started to pay off in the form of scholarships, but then his recruitment got interrupted.
“It was going very good until the virus hit and that put a halt to all junior days and showcase camps,” he said.
So far, he’s received scholarships from Concordia-Saint Paul and Northern State, both Division II schools in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
However, before heads off to a college, he has a few more goals that he wants to accomplish next fall.
“Number one is a state championship. Our first one goal is to be at our best by the first game. Last year it took a little bit for everything to come together, but this year we want to be at our best by the first game,” he said. “We also want to build brotherhood that goes further than football. We want to shape each other into great men who will be great husbands and dads someday. We want to all give our full potential for not just yourself but for the person lining up next to you.”
Swanson said that Aarsvold has fully embraced that team-first philosophy.
“Jakob is a humble young man who never "boasts" about his personal success; instead, the team always comes first. He has always been willing to try different positions. In ninth grade, he was actually a free safety, but in tenth grade he moved up to the defensive line and in fact started for the varsity. He was light and inexperienced, but he made the move because that is what the team needed,” he said.
He mentioned that Aarsvold also helps the team by being willing to help his teammates improve.
“Jakob is also great at coaching up his teammates. He helps out teammates that play the same position as him. Sometimes players don't do this because they feel they are competing against a teammate. Jakob realizes everyone needs to be ready and the next guy could be one play away from being in the game. The better the depth is, the better we are as a team,” Swanson said.
In addition to helping his team, he said Aarsvold is also a strong team leader.
“Jakob leads by example, whether that’s in the weight room, on the field and off the field. Plus, he is always more willing to help out his teammates and classmates. Jakob leads by example by always going the "extra mile" and not complaining about doing something,” he said. “I’m happy for Jakob, he is a great young man and a role-model for our youth.”