Athletes from RC Stevens take advantage of early signing period
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Wednesday marked National Signing Day, where high school athletes put pen to paper and sign their national letters of intent to play sports at the collegiate level.
Several student athletes from around the area took advantage of that opportunity including five seniors from Rapid City Stevens.
Bailee Sobczak, Basketball, University of Nebraska-Kearney
Bailee Sobczak signed a letter of intent to play women’s basketball at the University of Nebraska – Kearney.
The six-foot center averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds for a Stevens team that finished runner-up last year at the State ‘AA’ girls basketball tournament.
Sobczak plans to major in nursing and pre-med.
“I’ve always played a center and they’re looking for me to kind be more of a forward,” said Bailee Sobczak. “So more of that four position still out on the perimeter and stuff. They do play a very versatile type of basketball. So kind of all their players can do everything which is super amazing.”
Jaden Matkins, Basketball, Augustana University
Meanwhile, Jaden Matkins plans to play women’s basketball next year at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.
The six-foot forward averaged four points and four rebounds last season for the Raiders.
“I chose Augie because of the location one,” said Jaden Matkins. “It’s close enough to home and its also far enough away. They also have a great pre-dental program which is what I want to do. When I went and met with the team and the coaches, I just loved everything about it.”
Taylor Wit, Soccer, University of Sioux Falls
Rapid City Stevens standout Taylor Wit signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play women’s soccer at the University of Sioux Falls.
The senior midfielder holds the record for the most matches played in a Raiders uniform with 54.
Wit said she is familiar with the Cougars soccer program which made the decision easier.
“I’ve had the opportunity to know both the head coach and the assistant coach at the University of Sioux Falls since 2018 and was actually coached by them during a summer program,” said Taylor Wit. “Ever since being able to experience their coaching styles during that summer, I just knew I wanted to play with them at the collegiate level.”
Irelyn Spencer, Softball, University of Minnesota – Crookston
Irelyn Spencer signed a letter of intent with the University of Minnesota – Crookston to compete in softball.
The senior shortstop had a successful career with the Raiders where she was named to the Class ‘A’ All-State First Team this past season.
She plans to study health sciences.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to just play college softball,” said Irelyn Spencer. “You invest so much time and effort into sports and being able to do that while getting an education and getting that money. Its essentially like playing the sport is helping you pay through your college. So that was a huge goal of mine. When I went to the campus, I just fell in love. It’s like that feeling when you walk on there and you know that’s where you want to go.”
Baylee Van Zee, Track and Field, Augustana University
Baylee Van Zee signed a letter of intent to compete in track next year at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.
The Stevens senior plans to compete in the 100 meter hurdles and possibly the 4 X 100 meter relay for the Vikings.
Van Zee is majoring in business and sports management.
“I went there for an official visit a few weeks ago and I just fell in love right away with the facilities and the coaches and the team,” said Baylee Van Zee. “Just like everything.”