Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls (WQOW) -- College signing day is a very busy one around the area, but especially at Eau Claire Memorial H.S., with five athletes signing NCAA Division I letters of intent.
That includes two players from the Old Abes baseball team. Grant Peikert will play at Northwestern University, with Jake Sparger on his way to the University of Louisville.
"Their pitching coach is one of the top coaches in the nation," says Sparger, "and that was a huge deciding factor, and also they're always ranked Top-25 in the nation, I want to get to a school where I can possibly go to the College World Series, go to Omaha."
"Between the academics and the baseball aspect, and the closeness of Northwestern," says Peikert, "[there are] so many reasons why I wanted to go there."
Alex DeLakis has won a number of WIAA titles for the Old Abes; he's headed to Wisconsin to swim for the Badgers.
"You know, you only get 48 hours on campus," says DeLakis about his visit to the UW, "so that's not too much time to interact with the team, but I felt very comfortable with them, and with the coaches, it was really easy to talk with the coaches."
Nikki Martinez, another Old Abes swimmer, signs with the University of Illinois-Chicago, while tennis player Sydney Wolfe will compete at the University of Northern Iowa.
"I was really impressed with their program and what they're building there," Wolfe says, "for their tennis program and their academics, and what they had to offer me was very impressive."
"I really enjoyed the program, the swimming program while I was there on my visit," says Martinez, "and the academics is really good, too, so all of those combined made me really want to go to UIC."
At Eau Claire North, basketball player Kayonna Lee signs her Division I letter of intent. Lee is headed to play hoops at Illinois State University.
"When I went down and visited, everyone was really nice," says Lee, "and I just really connected with the teammates, they really pulled me in right when I came down, and they were just really nice, and I really liked the area, coaches were great, and I just wanted to be part of the Redbird team."
Two members of the WIAA state softball champions from Chippewa Falls sign their Division 2 letters of intent: Liz Jarosz with Concordia University of St. Paul, and Evie Schaller with Winona State.
"I was deciding between D-I and D-II," Schaller says, "it's a big decision, I've always wanted to play D-I, but it always came down to just my gut feeling, I felt right playing & going to Winona next year."
"It feels awesome," says Jarosz, "just getting everything done, and it feels even better signing with Evie, I mean, we've been playing together for thirteen years, and this is another one of those great moments we can share together."
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