Rapid City Stevens athletes commit on National Signing Day
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The first Wednesday in February is National Signing Day. The day when high school athletes around the country sign letters of intent to compete at the collegiate level.
Locally, eight athletes from Rapid City Stevens made their intentions known including three members from the state championship volleyball team.
Phebie Rossi will take her talents to St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.
The middle blocker was a four-year varsity letter winner and was named to the All-State Tournament Team and All-State Second Team.
Meanwhile, Marlee Schneider signed a letter of intent to compete in volleyball next year at the University of Sioux Falls.
The 5-foot-7 setter was named to the All-Conference Team four straight years and was also on the All-State Tournament Team.
“They’re physically way more advanced than we are in high school,” Phebie Rossi said. “Jump higher. Swing harder. So I’m excited for that challenge. But I know I’ll have to work hard in order to get to that level that they are at.”
“I just felt it was the best fit for me to be somewhat close to my family and I really liked the campus and the team and the coaches,” Marlee Schneider said. “It just felt right for me.”
Elizabeth Schaefer put pen to paper on Wednesday and decided to run track at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.
Schaefer is the defending state champion in the Class ‘AA’ 100 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles.
The senior is excited about competing at the next level.
“For awhile I was going to go to Augustana and both play volleyball and run track,” Elizabeth Schaefer said. “Like a month or two ago, I think I was just like that’s going to be too much. It’s hard to focus on school and two sports. So I thought I should just narrow it down to one sport so I chose track.”
Tyrese Morris and Caden McNabb
Meanwhile, two Rapid City Stevens athletes plan to play football at the collegiate level.
Tyrese Morris signed a letter of intent with the South Dakota School of Mines. The senior was named to the All-ESD Defensive Team last season.
Caden McNabb, also signed a letter of intent on Wednesday with the University of Minnesota Morris.
“It’s been my dream since I was about five years old to go play,” Tyrese Morris said. “I might as well just stay home and get my education here because they have a great education program as well.”
“Both my parents are alumni there and my sister currently goes there,” Caden McNabb said. “So we’ve got big family ties there. It’s an awesome small college community. There coach was just really awesome when he came and I talked to him.”
Lexie Wood, Peyton Forney and Payton Phares
After a successful career at Stevens, Lexie Wood plans to play soccer next year at the University of South Dakota.
She was named to the Class ‘AA’ First Team last season and led the Raiders to a runner-up finish at the state soccer tournament.
In addition, Peyton Forney will join the women’s tennis team next year at the University of Sioux Falls. Last fall, she played No. 1 singles and qualified for the state tennis tournament for the fourth straight year.
At No. 1 one doubles, she placed third at state.
Payton Phares signed a letter of intent to compete in golf next year at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell.
Phares tied for 15th at the State ‘AA’ Boys Golf Tournament last fall.
All three student athletes are ready to compete at the next level.
“It was just the right distance from home and they have a good soccer program,” Lexie Wood said. “They have the degree I want to go into. So it just kind of all came together as a perfect fit.”
“After looking at multiple colleges and talking to different coaches, ultimately I felt that USF was the best fit for me,” Peyton Forney said. Especially the coach and his style of his coaching was the best fit for me.”
“I really liked that the university offered competitive golf and also a great education at the university,” Payton Phares said. “I really liked that it had both of the aspects.”