(WQOW) -- For a number of area athletes, today is the culmination of years of practice, hard work, and dedication - proof positive that it all pays off in the form of National Signing Day.
At Eau Claire Memorial, a pair of athletes sign their letters of intent - quarterback Keagan Calchera will play football for Division II Minnesota Duluth, and Calchera already knows what he'll be doing to prepare for freshman year.
"Well I'm red shirting my first year, so I'm going to try to put some weight on and really learn the offense, and get a good grasp of it," Calchera says, "I'll head up there in July, start working out with the team, stay there at least Monday through Thursday, work out with them, and then come home on the weekends, but yeah, I'm really excited."
Old Abes teammate Tyler Nichols will play Division III football for UW-Stout.
To Chippewa Falls, where running back Codie Meinen makes his college decision official, heading to Division II Southwest Minnesota State University.
Meinen says that once he visited the campus, he knew it was the right place for him, "Last year a lot of teams reached out to me, but this year came around, and SMSU was just the one. Just the coaches and the atmosphere, they're really nice people over there, so I can't wait."
In Menomonie, seven athletes are moving on to the next level, 2 of them to Division II. Justin Evans heads to Winona State, while Ben Newman signs with Concordia-St. Paul. Both are excited to meet new teams, but they'll also be joining former Mustang teammates - Evans will play with quarterback Jace LaBuda, Newman with Rhett Sheehan.
"I really liked their coaching staff and the town, it really had a good Menomonie feel to it, so that's why I really liked it," Evans explains, "Just meeting all new people, getting all new teammates, reuniting with old teammates, Jace LaBuda."
"I liked the environment, I liked where it's located," says Newman, "It gives you good opportunities in the future, as well as on the football field, and Rhett Sheehan's there too, so there's someone to help me out if I need help."
The other 5 will play Division III football in the MIAC: Dylan Hein heads to Augsburg, while Kyle Stewart, John Brogan, Kevyn Perkins and Brenden Johnston commit to St. Thomas.
Winona State is getting another recruit from Bloomer. Payton Dachel signs his letter of intent to play Division II football with the Warriors.
Dachel's versatility helped him standout for the Blackhawks, and he says the coaching staff is still deciding when he'll play, "I'm pretty sure the plan is for a red shirt, but they haven't decided that yet for sure, and I'm playing offensive line. It's definitely just a relief to know that I'm joining a new family there at Winona, and it's just going to be another ride, another part, another four years so it should be fun."
And in Stanley-Boyd, Theo Chwala commits to play Division II at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Chwala been committed since last summer, and he's been in love with the campus since the beginning.
"I've been up there a few times, and for sure the first time when I was up there, I really liked the campus, and I just liked the whole atmosphere and everything," says Chwala, "I knew that if they offered me, I was definitely going to sign there and play football."
Fellow Oriole Ben Boie will play for UW-Stout.