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RENSSELAER — Rensselaer Central’s Addison Wilmington has earned a chance at extending his football career.

North Park University in Chicago offered Wilmington, the son of Chad Wilmington and Valerie Potts, the chance to continue racking up yards as one of the team’s many skill players.

North Park is a member of Division III as well as the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW).

“They’re one of the first to reach out to me,” Wilmington said. “They have good coaches and a good program.”

Wilmington said he looked at other schools similar to North Park, but felt North Park “fits me the best.”

One of two 1,000 rushers during the Bombers’ 2019 season, Wilmington plans to major in business at North Park. He said Vikings coach Kyle Rooker and his staff watched him perform on film.

“They said they liked how I could be used all over the field and how I protect the ball,” Wilmington said.

North Park had its season postponed due to COVID concerns in 2020, but plan to move forward with a 2021 season. The Vikings finished 1-9 in Rooker’s first season in 2019 but expect better days ahead. Rooker came to North Park with the reputation of rebuilding programs.

The Vikings will open the season with a scrimmage game against Rockford on Aug. 21. The season kicks off for real on Sept. 4 at 1 p.m. when Bethel University of St. Paul, Minnesota, visits North Park’s Holmgren Athletic Complex.

The Bombers enjoyed four straight winning seasons in Wilmington’s four years as a member of the program. He rushed for 1,772 yards on 281 carries and had 17 touchdowns in three seasons as a varsity player.

His best season came during the Bombers’ 9-3 finish in 2019, gaining 1,068 yards on 146 carries with eight touchdowns. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry.

Wilmington’s most exciting moment as a Bomber came during his junior year.

“Winning the Cracker Barrel in the last second against KV,” he said. “That is something I’ll always remember.”

Trailing 9-7 against Kankakee Valley, Bombers quarterback Eli Hickman hit Noah Bierma on a 39-yard touchdown pass with under a minute remaining to rally RCHS to the 13-9 victory.

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