Sequim’s Jack Henninger signs a letter of intent to play football at the University of Mary (North Dakota). The all-Olympic League kicker plans to study occupational therapy and kick for the Marauders’ football squad. Behind him are, from left, soccer coach David Breckenridge, football special teams coach Cody Buckmaster and football head coach Erik Wiker. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim’s Jack Henninger signs a letter of intent to play football at the University of Mary (North Dakota). The all-Olympic League kicker plans to study occupational therapy and kick for the Marauders’ football squad. Behind him are, from left, soccer coach David Breckenridge, football special teams coach Cody Buckmaster and football head coach Erik Wiker. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

COLLEGE SIGNING: Sequim’s Henninger signs to kick for University of Mary

SEQUIM — Jack Henninger spent much of the fall with a laser focus of splitting the uprights.

With the stroke of a pen, he now has a focus for his collegiate career.

The Sequim-area senior who set — and broke his own — school record for Sequim High football’s longest field goal signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Mary (North Dakota) last week.

“Their program is rebuilding; they have a new coach bringing in a new energy to the program,” Henninger said following the signing.

Henninger said the university’s football team, the Marauders, last season had one kicker for the three kicking spots and that he hopes to take some of those as a freshman this fall.

Though the University of Mary’s campus in Bismark is about 1,300 miles and 20 hours away by car, the family already has a connection: Jack’s sister Erin attended the school (2013-2018).

Like his sister, Jack is headed into the field of occupational therapy. He’s already earned early admittance into the school’s program.

“It’s going to be a little rough — new environment, new people — [but also] a new experience,” Henninger said.

As a senior, Henninger set the school mark with a 40-yard field goal against Bainbridge on Sept. 14 and added a 44-yarder against Bremerton on Oct. 27.

The son of Ray and Ann Henninger of Sequim, he took part in a number of kicking camps that helped him gain interest from collegiate scouts, family members noted.

Henninger, a Running Start student at Peninsula College, was also very active outside of sports teams, earning his Eagle Scout ranking.

The University of Mary is an NCAA Division II school, part of the Northwestern Sun Intercollegiate Conference that includes 15 colleges and universities.

The school’s football team is led by Shann Schillinger, a former NFL player with the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans. In 2023, the Marauders went 2-9 with wins over Minot State University and Southwest Minnesota State University.

On Feb. 7, Henninger was backed by football and soccer coaches, teammates, friends and family who cheered on his decision. “A lot of people have been with me a long the way,” he said.

Henninger’s older sister Claire just wrapped up her carrer as an NCAA Div. II national champion soccer goalkeeper for Western Washington University. Port Angeles’ Lauren Lunt played for the University of Mary in softball and some Peninsula College women’s soccer players have gone on to play at the same school.

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