Nevada senior Tyler Shafer became a Laker Monday after signing a letter of intent to play junior college baseball at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville.

Shafer, the foster son of Marshall and Shelly Matuska of Nevada, chose Iowa Lakes over Iowa Central, Morningside and Ellsworth.

“I thought the JUCO route would work well for me,” Shafer said. “I found one that I liked in an area I liked, so it’s kind of a burden lifted off my shoulders to finally choose a place to go.”

Location played a central role in Shafer’s decision.

“It’s not too far away, but it’s far enough where I can get away and enjoy myself,” Shafer said. “I really like the people around there and that fact that it’s around Okoboji, Spirit Lake and stuff, so I can go out and do everything that I want to do.”

Shafer is planning on continuing his pitching career up at Iowa Lakes. But he is open to do whatever the coaching staff asks of him.

“Today (head coach **) mentioned something about hitting,” Shafer said. “So I don’t know if I’m going to be playing in the field a little bit or what. Hopefully just pitching.”

No matter what he’s asked to do, Shafer said he just wants to take his game to the next level.

“I think I’m most excited about my development and just to see where I’ll be one year, two years from now,” Shafer said. “See how much I’ve changed as a pitcher or as a person in general.”

Shafer posted a 12-8 pitching record at Nevada. In his senior year, he went 6-2 with an excellent 0.67 earned-run average, 85 strikeouts and only 13 walks in 62 ⅔ innings.

At Iowa Lakes, Shafer said he plans on majoring in biology, which will transfer into medicine.