by nathan oster
It took him awhile to settling into one position, but Calder Forcella’s college football career is trending upward at Chadron State.
The Greybull High School graduate just completed his third year with the Eagles, who finished the season with a 6-5 record. A redshirt sophomore, he has two years of eligibility remaining.
Forcella stood out on both sides of the ball at GHS and while he led all of 2A in passing as a senior, Chadron recruited him to play defense. When he arrived on campus three falls ago, he weighed 190 pounds. Now he checks in around 230.
“It’s been a crazy ride so far,” said Forcella. “Not many kids go into college and make a position change — let alone in their first three years. But my favorite thing about football is the team aspect of it, so I have embraced every opportunity and done whatever I can to help the team.”
Initially Chadron envisioned him playing linebacker/safety. Then the vision changed to fullback. Now he’s at defensive end. He played in seven games this season, recording four solo tackles, two assisted tackles and a half sack.
“ I really enjoy the position and hope to find some success in it in the future. I still have a ways to go since I am still pretty raw in the position, but I am looking forward to this spring to fine tune the technique and get ready for next year.”
Forcella credited Chadron’s “strength and conditioning program” for helping him build muscle. “The first 20 came very fast and fairly easy just because I had never trained like that before,” he said. “The next 20 was harder to put on because it required doing all the little things right like nutrition and sleep.”
One of the highlights of this season was travelling to California — by plane for a change, rather than a bus — to play Humboldt State University. He and his teammates got to see the Golden Gate Bridge, the redwoods and the coast.
Forcella believes his career and the team’s prospects are trending in the right direction.
“From redshirting to not playing very much as a freshman, it was great to get in the rotation and back on the field and have a contributing role for the team,” he said. “With a bunch of the seniors graduating I am hoping to work my way into a starting role this upcoming season.
“The future is very bright for us (the team). We are returning a ton of guys offensively and we have a lot of young guys on defense who are ready to step up next season. I feel that we did a great job reestablishing Chadron State’s football culture as a winning program this last year and I think we will continue to build on the momentum this next offseason.”
Forcella is studying social science education at the secondary level, but plans to get into administration eventually.
Calder is the son of Joe and Lynn Forcella of Greybull.