Monday in the St. Thomas More Gymnasium, a dream came true for seven seniors.
Seven players signed their letters-of-intent to play their sports at the next level. Brigit Blote, Ty Trainor, Elizabeth Erlandson, Rose Kinyon, Stone Durham, Kayla Jacobson and Kade Landguth will all be continuing their athletic careers in college.
Brigit Blote, cross country/ track and field, University of South Dakota
For Blote, the decision between USD and St. Olaf in Minnesota came down to picking a place where could pursue both of her passions, sports and music.
"I was going back and forth for awhile on where I wanted to go, I’m a musician too, I play the viola, so a big part of my college process was figuring out where I could do both things and at the University of South Dakota it kind of all came together," she said. "I knew that’s where I was supposed to go after that."
Ty Trainor, cross country/ track and field, University of Mary
Trainor will be going to Bismarck, a place that he said feels a lot like Rapid City.
"When I visited there I felt at home, it kind of reminded me of everything we have in South Dakota," he said. "It’s a little flatter and without as many trees but it felt like home and I thought it would be an easy place for me to live for the next four years. It felt like a place where I could become the best runner I can be."
Elizabeth Erlandson, soccer, St. Catherine University
For Erlandson, collegiate soccer has been a dream since she was young, and she was impressed with the nursing program at St. Catherine.
"St. Catherine’s is an extraordinary school, very good nursing program and I was very drawn to their soccer team and the family they have there," she said. "It’s very close knit and I loved all the connections that I had from going there. It was a perfect fit for me, I got the feeling that it was the right place to be."
Rose Kinyon, softball, Mount Marty College
Kinyon said continuing her education at a Catholic school was an important part of her decision, but she also wanted to be able to pursue passions outside of sports.
"When I started my college search I wanted to go to a Catholic university that valued the same things I value so after looking at some schools it came down to Mount Marty or the University of Mary," she said. "It worked out well at Mount Marty because I’d be able to do some theater and they have a great nursing program, in the end it was the best fit for me."
Stone Durham, wrestling, University of Dubuque
The relationship between Durham and the coaching staff at Dubuque is what sealed his commitment to the Spartans.
"The coach contacted me on his personal email and was giving me all this advice throughout the year and when I went down there I felt like home. I just thought it was the right choice," he said. "I’m a little nervous because it's going to be a little different competition but I’m happy for that challenge and ready to improve."
Kayla Jacobson, basketball, Mount Marty College
Jacobson, who was part of four state championship teams for the Cavaliers, was impressed by her future teammates when she visited the campus in Yankton.
"When I toured the campus I really liked the all-around atmosphere of the campus, and when I got to meet my coaches and my future teammates it felt like the perfect fit," she said. "I’m excited, I think it’ll make me work harder and make me a better person with time management."
Kale Landguth, basketball, Brair Cliff University
Landguth said he is excited to go to Sioux City because he likes the style of basketball the Chargers play.
"When I toured Brair Cliff and in doing some research on it, I loved the program there," he said. "I got to meet the coach and they’re a bunch of good guys. I love the way they play the game, they’re fun and fast paced and I’m looking forward to playing there."