Wienke to play in ‘Dream Bowl’
Kingsford grad eyes NFL
KINGSFORD — Ian Wienke hopes the “Dream Bowl” is a springboard to a career in professional football.
The Michigan Tech University senior and teammate Joe Vieau of Midland begin “Dream Bowl” workout sessions Thursday in Virginia Beach, Va. The game takes place Monday.
“The main goal is to play in the NFL (National Football League),” said Wienke, a Kingsford High School graduate. “That’s a lifelong dream of mine and it’s my top priority in life right now.
“If that doesn’t work out, I’d be more than happy to play in the CFL (Canadian Football League). It’s a league that gains more and more popularity each year.”
The “Dream Bowl” website describes the event as a “college football all-star showcase of the best FCS, D-II and D-III players from across the country. The game and the series of events are a celebration of the excellence, commitment and sacrifice made by the players and their families.”
Wienke and Vieau, an offensive lineman, will suit up for the Crusaders team on Monday. Professional scouts will be on hand to check out the talent.
Wienke (6-foot-5, 260) has been Tech’s starting tight end for the past two seasons. He caught for 29 passes for 281 yards in 2015 and had 19 catches for 175 yards and one score this past season.
Wienke, an All-U.P. player for Kingsford’s Great Northern Conference championship teams, has added to his football resume by long-snapping during training. He also filled blocking roles on Tech’s kick and punt-return units.
“This is a great chance for me to get my name out there,” said the son of Kaye and Hans Wienke. “Coming from a small school, opportunities to play in front of NFL scouts are hard to come by. I’m hoping to show the scouts that I have what it takes to play at the next level.”
He is a double major at MTU in finance and accounting.