For 2010 Summerville graduate Beau Bachtelle, a life-long dream has come true.
At 7 a.m. today, Bachtelle signed his letter of intent and accepted a full scholarship offer from the University of Buffalo.
Feb. 1 is the first day Division I football schools could sign 2012 recruits.
"Yes, getting a scholarship to play football has been my life-long dream," said Bachtelle. "I am as happy as I can possibly be. I am so honored to have been recruited by such a great institution and I can't wait to get started and play for Buffalo."
In 2011, Buffalo finished 3-9 in the Mid-American Conference.
"I know last year was a little bit shaky," said Bachtelle. "But our head coach (Jeff Quinn) has so much fire in him and he's shown me nothing but enthusiasm and he's very excited about all the new players he's bringing in. His enthusiasm is contagious, he's brought in some new defensive coaches and this really is the perfect fit for me."
For the past two years, Bachtelle has been the premier defensive lineman for Modesto Junior College.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder was recruited by quite a few schools but the deciding factor, said Bachtelle, "was when I went out to Buffalo to visit, I instantly felt that this place - all the players, the coaches, everyone involved in the whole football program - was like a family."
Buffalo plays its home games at the University of Buffalo Stadium. The $23 million stadium was built in 1999 and has a seating capacity of 29,013.
"That stadium," said Bachtelle, "is awesome!"
It was last summer, after Bachtelle's first season at MJC, that members of the Summerville coaching staff had mentioned their eagerness "to one day watch Beau play on ESPN."
Now, they'll get that chance.
The MAC has a contract with ESPN and almost every week during the football season at least one league contest is televised nationally.
"This couldn't happen to a greater kid," said Bears eight-year head coach Ben Watson of Bachtelle receiving a full scholarship from Buffalo. "Beau worked his heart out for us. When he was a sophomore and he got injured early in the year (elbow/shoulder), he fought his way back by putting a ton of time into working out in that weight room.
"The things Beau has accomplished are outstanding. But what has always impressed me most about Beau is how hard he worked during the offseasons. Everyone wants to work hard once the season starts. Beau worked hard all year long. He loves the weight room. He was always committed to making himself faster, bigger and stronger."
"Sweet!" beamed seven-year Bret Harte head coach Scott Edwards. "Hats off to Beau! I wish him nothing but the best. Of course he is well remembered as a great player in the Mother Lode League and I've heard nothing but positive things about him ever since from (Head) Coach (Sam) Young at MJC.
"Beau is a great specimen who obviously put the work in to get the Division I free ride. Now, hopefully, he'll represent Summerville and the MLL well - and I have every confidence that he will."
In 2009, Bachtelle was a two-way starter on Summerville's MLL championship team. That season he earned MLL Lineman of the Year honors.
"I'm just so thankful today for my high school coaches because they never quit on me," said Bachtelle. "So many people have always been there for me and I'm very grateful for that. I know Buffalo is a long way from home. But I still know I've got the full support of my family and friends behind me.
"Coach Quinn has proven to me that he has my best interests. You can tell that his biggest concern is to make sure his players are happy. This school will make me better as a person, not just a player."
Bachtelle will major in Education.
"Well," said Watson, "I am beyond excited for Beau. This is just the greatest news I've heard in a long, long time."