Local Quartet Sign For Union

Dubuque, IA - Making good on the promise to showcase local talent, Union Dubuque is proud to announce the signing of four local players. 

Tommy Bitter, Mark Histed, Ryan Weber, and Kody Rife all signed amateur contracts this week and join a growing roster of diverse talent. Their signings mark a homecoming of sorts, as all four were teammates at Dubuque's Hempstead High School before parting ways for college, where the story becomes even more compelling.  

After graduating in 2015, Weber signed with the University of Dubuque, while Bitter crossed over the Mississippi to play for UW-Platteville. A year later, Rife and Histed signed for perennial Division III power Loras College, completing the "breakup" of the local lads who formed the core of Hempstead's 2015 triumph in the Mississippi Valley Conference and subsequent run to the state tournament. 

Union Manager Jon Denham welcomed the new players, saying they together bring "a little bit of everything" to the table for the team. "They’ve all taken slightly different paths to get to this point, but I think the amount of minutes they’re logging at their Division III colleges and the amount of success they’ve had on the field as individuals is going to translate to some good things on the field for us as well."

On the field, Rife and Histed primarily feature as midfielders for their schools, while Weber and Bitter are usually deployed as defenders.

Histed offered his thoughts on the signings, saying, "I’m really excited because the last time us four played together was two years ago and I’m just excited to get to be on the same field as my boys."

Rife commented on the distinct advantage that having played together before brings, saying "Usually when teams start up they don’t have any chemistry or anything like that, and that’s usually their weakest point. For us, it’s going to be our strongest."

Dubuque's "Core Four," as the Telegraph Herald called them, will take the field together in Dubuque for the first time in Union attire on May 19th against the Des Moines Menace. 


(L-R): Kody Rife, Tommy Bitter, Ryan Weber, and Mark Histed. PC: Telegraph Herald

(L-R): Kody Rife, Tommy Bitter, Ryan Weber, and Mark Histed. PC: Telegraph Herald

Cliff Conrad