Four Douglas High School senior athletics celebrated their recent success by signing letters-of-intent Wednesday at the school.
Signing for the Patriots were Jordynn Toliver in both track and field and basketball at Jamestown (North Dakota) State, Jackson Wilson in track and field and cross country at Rocky Mountain College (Billings, Mont.), Emilee Stukerjurgen in cheer at Dakota Wesleyan and Jeslyn Jindra for basketball at Dakota Wesleyan.
Toliver looks to continue all-around athleticism
A standout in both basketball and track and field for the Patriots, Toliver didn't want to really have to choose one sport over the other on the collegiate level.
So she'll do both.
"My main focus was I wanted to get into basketball. It seemed like track was what was getting me called for, but Jamestown offered me the opportunity to do both," she said. "It's hard to give up sports."
An all-around athlete who also plays volleyball and softball, Toliver said she isn't worried about competing in two sports in college.
"I've gotten together with the coaches and I think they can really help me push myself to do that," she said. "It will be more one-on-one than in high school, so the coaching staff will really help with that."
Along with the hurdle events, Toliver is also a long and triple jumper for the Patriots. She looks to use that as a possible heptathlete at Jamestown.
She plans to major in mechanical engineering at Jamestown.
"I like to build things," she said with a smile. "Mechanical engineering is the way for me."
Aviation a key for Wilson heading to Rocky Mountain
It's no surprise that Wilson plans to study aviation in college, as a son of an Air Force veteran.
"They have a nice aviation school down there, and what I want to do is fly airplanes when I get older," she said. "The coaches are willing to work with my schedule on aviation."
Wilson will be busy, ruining indoor and outdoor track, along with cross country.
"It's going to take a lot of hard work," said Wilson, who finished fourth this past fall in the Class AA state cross country meet. "It's going to be difficult, but I think I can do it."
Wilson said he'll have to pick up the road work, especially in cross country, as they run an 8K instead of a 5K in highl school.
"It's going to take a lot more training," said Wilson who also plans to run the mile or 1,500 at Rocky Mountain.
Jindra to join strong Wesleyan program
Jindra liked the atmosphere at Wesleyan, a strong NAIA Division II program, in Mitchell.
"I went to a couple of games, and I saw all of the girls and how they communicated together," she said. "I thought that was good for me."
Along with Toliver, Jindra was one of the top scorers for the Patriots this season as Douglas finished 9-11. She'll go to a Dakota Wesleyan program that was 31-6 this past season, losing 78-75 in the national semifinal game to Southeastern (Fla.).
She admits she is a little nervous about the step up in competition.
"It is definitely going to be a big step up, and I'm really scared because it is different from high school basketball," she said. "The competition is a lot harder, but I am excited to take that next step."
Jindra plans to study elementary education and special education.
Stukerjurgen also to Dakota Wesleyan for cheer program
As it turned out, Stukerjurgen couldn't pass up the opportunity to join the cheer program at Dakota Wesleyan.
"When I first went looking at college, I didn't know if I was going to cheer, but the more I started looking at Dakota Wesleyan, I really liked it," she said. "Then they were like, 'Do you want to talk to a cheer coach? and I said yeah.' I got a hold of their cheer coach, Traci (Loecker), and I met all of the girls and the coach, and they are all so awesome and they were welcoming. They made me feel at home."
Stukerjurgen spent three yeas on the Douglas competitive cheer squad and four years cheering for both the girls' and boys' basketball teams.
Like all athletes, Stukerjurgen said she will have to take it up another notch or two at the college level.
"I know they definitely do some harder stuff than I am used to," she said. "But in our last practice for our cheer team here, we did some harder stuff, so I am excited."
Stukerjurgen plans to study sports management and she is minoring in coaching.