Football: Thunder’s Samaha signs with Augustana

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Zimmerman Thunder lineman Jamal Samaha signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Augustana (S.D.) College, a strong Division II team.

“This is pretty exciting. He’s our first position player to get a scholarship,” said Zimmerman coach Tom Kish. “They like his size and quickness, and his grades. He’s getting a big academic package along with athletic scholarship.”

Jamal Samaha, who signed with Augustana, posed with his mother, Nora.

Samaha, 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, said Viking coaches project him as a defensive end, and that he’ll red-shirt next year.

Augustana was 11-2 last year under first-year head coach Mike Aldrich.

“I had offers from three  other schools,” said Samaha, who has a 3.9 GPA and will major in pre-med. “I felt like Augustana is a program that’s really developing. And they have fantastic facilities.”

Augustana already has one Zimmerman athlete, freshman wrestler Jeff Nielsen, Samaha’s former football teammate.

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