Pledging for the future

Athletes sign their letter of intent to compete at the next level


Photo via Millard West Activities Twitter

Pen in hand, athletes sign their letter of intent to compete in athletics at the next level. The athletes were excited to make their decision official. “The signing day experience was really fun,” senior Sam Novotny said. “My favorite part was just being able to sign with a lot of my friends/teammates.”

Camille O'Neill, Sports Director

Sixteen student-athletes signed their National Letter of Intent (NLI) to continue their athletic and academic careers at the next level on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

The ceremony occurred in Wildcat I, where there was a long table and each signee sat in their respective seats. Each athlete was able to sign their NLI and speak to the audience. They also received an Eileen’s Cookie with their name and the logo of the school they will be attending to celebrate. 

The athletes were surrounded by close friends and family during the ceremony and many of them had friends or teammates that were also signing. Senior Kylah Brewer committed to Morningside University in Iowa to continue her volleyball career.

“It was very surreal and I felt so happy to be there,” Brewer said. “It was also fun to get to experience it with my closest friends.”

Each athlete had a unique recruiting process that led them to this point. Senior Sam Novotny found his home in Lincoln where he will play Division I baseball and study business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“The recruitment process started my sophomore summer when I started getting attention from college coaches,” Novotny said. “I built a relationship over the phone with the Nebraska pitching coach for most of the summer who gave me the ins and outs of the program and what they were all about. They later offered me in the fall of my sophomore year. I had one other offer from Creighton University but decided that Nebraska was certainly the best choice for me to better myself on and off the field.”

The atmosphere and culture of the school was also very important to the athletes. They wanted to choose a school that was serious about both athletics and academics, so they could succeed in both. 

“I chose Morningside because of the coaching staff and the homelike atmosphere that I felt when I visited there,” Brewer said. “I like how the volleyball team has many team bondings on and off the court and how fun they make playing volleyball, and I liked how the teachers understand what students are in sports and how to help them when they miss classes.” 

Some athletes chose their future homes based on their academic major and the programs that that school offered academically. For senior Bella Bacon, a Purdue softball commit, she chose her home because of the personal development programs on and off the field. 

“I chose Purdue because they give their athletes so many opportunities to not only be successful on the field but now off with the new programs they have,” Bacon said. “They are really good about making sure their athletes do really well academically and graduate with the best honors. I’m so excited to call Purdue home.”

Each athlete strives to succeed both in academics and athletics at the next level. These athletes’ hard work has paid off now that they have made their college decision official.