HOLLAND, Mich. -- Two weeks ago, Hope senior Mike Miklusicak returned to game action for the first time since 2016. In the first half of that game against Wisconsin Lutheran he had 125 yards and 12 carries.
"I'll be honest with you, seeing the smile on Mike's face when he came out was outstanding," head coach Peter Stuursma recalled. "Just to see him having the joy of playing football again. I think our team responded to his energy and obviously he was the player of the week for the MIAA that week."
Mike said he forgot how fun it was. "It was an absolute blast, but you know I get a l lot of credit, but let`s look at the offensive line. They are absolutely awesome. The only thing I have to worry about is an outside linebacker or a safety? That's just fun. All I did was carry the ball. I didn't do anything special."
But there is something extremely special about the senior leader and his will to never give up.
"He has an inner drive that I haven't seen much. I had the opportunity to coach a young man named Luke Glendening, of course, who's been really successful and his brother Joe. They have an inner drive that Mike has. Mike has that unique innate ability to drive harder and harder on every single rep, every single practice."
And despite the various set backs he faced the last year, Mike said he did it for those who couldn't come back from their injuries. "To me I can`t go back out there and say I walked away from it on my own terms and I didn't give everything I had to this. To me that's a slap in the face to them. They would have given everything. I love this game just as much. So I had to give it one last shot."
A timely return as the Flying Dutchmen host the defending MIAA champions, Trine, at home on Saturday at 5:00PM.