Local Student Athletes take advantage of early signing period

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Several student athletes from local high schools signed their letters of intent on Wednesday to further their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Joshua Schumacher from Rapid City Stevens signed a national letter of intent to compete in track and field at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.   

Schumacher finished 6th in the 300 meter hurdles last year at the state track meet. He was also a member of the 4x400 meter relay team that placed 4th at state.

Meanwhile, Sarah Keen plans to play softball next year at the University of Sioux Falls. Keen was a member of the Rapid City Stevens softball team that went 28-6 and finished 4th at the state tournament.    

She was also named first team all-state after hitting .582 with 10 doubles and 23 RBIs.

"I like the community atmosphere of it," Joshua Schumacher said. "Also being located in Sioux Falls, it seemed to have more opportunities than other colleges. And then when I visited the track team, it just seemed a lot like a family and I really liked that so."

"The campus was absolutely beautiful and it was nice," Sarah Keen said. "The perfect size. The college coach, Kelsey, is amazing and she talked me into coming on the visit which was really nice. I talked to one of the professors for biology which is going to be my major. He made me fall in love with the program for that too."

Emma Burns also signed a letter of intent to compete in softball at the University of Minnesota.

Meanwhile, Stevens senior Kennedy Teeslink put pen to paper on Wednesday and plans to compete in collegiate triathlon at Black Hills State University.

Teeslink is a member of the Stevens High School Cycling Club.

"I choose Black Hills State because I really like how close it is to home and its just been the place that I've wanted to go ever since I was little," Kennedy Teeslink said. "My parents both went there too."


Two student athletes at St. Thomas More are also taking their talents to the next level.

Klaire Kirsch signed a letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to compete in women's basketball next year at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

In addition, Aislinn Duffy plans to play basketball next year at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.

Kirsch and Duffy are hoping to lead St. Thomas More to its fifth straight state title this season.

Both athletes are pleased with their decisions.

"Well I had a couple of options going into it," Klaire Kirsch said. "But as soon as I took the visit and got on campus and met the people there, I was pretty sure that was the place I was suppose to be. And I wanted to be so."

"They've had a really good basketball program the past couple of years," Aislinn Duffy said. "The girls are super great. The coaches, I really connected with them. I really liked them. And it's only 45 minutes from my sisters in Vermillion and I have a sister in Sioux Falls, as well."       


Maria Bunkers from Rapid City Central signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to participate in track and field and cross country at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.

Bunkers finished 67th recently at the state cross country meet.

Plus, she was a member of three relays teams that placed at the state track meet.

Also, Central's Kolby Kost plans to participate in wrestling next year at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.

Last year, Kost finished with a 34-3 record and was runner-up at the state tournament.

"Right away, I just fell in love with the campus and I met the coach pretty soon afterward," Maria Bunkers said. "He went with me the rest of the way through the tour. It just felt so welcoming and at home."

"The atmosphere of the college is just really a great atmosphere," Kolby Kost said. "It's a good feeling. Once I first talked to the coaches, I knew they were right for me because they were good spirited and they were willing to do whatever they can to help me get better as a wrestler. That's my ultimate goal, just be the best that I can."


Post 22 standout Cooper Bowman signed a letter of intent to play baseball next year at the University of Hawaii.

The shortstop hit .409 last year with 66 RBIs and seven home runs.

Bowman says he's looking forward to the opportunity to play baseball year round.

"I'm excited to play all year obviously," Bowman said. "I've never been able to do that here playing five or six months out of the year. So it will definitely be a new experience. I'll have to adjust my body accordingly. But I'm excited for it."

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