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Foreign exchange student finds home in athletics

IONIA, Mich. — Sixteen-year-old Rasmus Andersen is new to Ionia High School. He just moved there from Denmark to study for the school year.

He knew for sure he wanted to join the soccer team. But on a whim, he kicked a football and made a field goal from the 45-yard line on the first try.

American football is something new to Andersen, in an already new place. For him, it's a way to feel a part of something bigger while he spends the school year at Ionia.

“I like the team spirit of it, before the game you get hype, teammates play loud music in the locker room and you get ready for the game,” Andersen said.

He made the varsity team. But that hasn't stopped him from his soccer team duties either.

His host family, the Leipprandts, say they're loving having him stay with their family. They also hosted Rasmus's older brother about six years ago.

“We enjoy football, and this gives us an excuse to come to the games, which we love,” Kelly Leipprandt said.

All in all, it's become a second family of sorts, when his biological family is an ocean away.

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