Catawba Ridge football players Tyler Fikis and Eli Brooks both signed to play college football.

Two Catawba Ridge football players recently signed to continue to play football at the next level.

Quarterback Tyler Fikis and center Eli Brooks will be going to colleges known more for their academics than football programs.

Their intelligence and athletic ability helped to lead the Copperheads to a 11-2 record this past season.

Catawba Ridge head coach Zac Lendyak said when it came to leading the team at the school, he could always count on the two seniors.

“I could always rely on them,” he said. “They always showed up. I am so proud of them. We will miss them.”

Brooks, 18, is attending Worchester Polytechnic Institution in Worchester, Mass. The Division III school has 20 sports, including football. Brooks played football all four years at Catawba Ridge and was part of the offensive line that helped the Copperheads rush for nearly 3,200 yards as a team this past season.

Brooks said he was looking for a place that had his major of aerospace engineering, but also had a football program.

“The coaches liked me and I liked them,” he said. “I feel like it was a good fit.”

Fikis was a dual threat at quarterback for the one year he was at Catawba Ridge. He threw for 1,318 yards and 12 touchdowns with only five interceptions in 10 games. He had a completion percentage of 63.5 percent. When he wasn’t throwing the ball, he let his feet do a lot of work as well. He rushed for 705 yards on 104 carries and 14 touchdowns. Fikis will be heading to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. 

Fikis plans on majoring in engineering of some type and is leaning towards mechanical engineering. He also looked at places like Worchester Polytechnic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I visited a lot of schools and Case felt like the best fit,” he said. “Plus, I like the city feel of being in Cleveland.”

Case Western Reserve is also a Division III school and offers 17 sports at that level.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep