Owatonna High School held a National Signing Day celebration to recognize 18 student-athletes that have committed to play sports while attending college. It is a cross-section of sports, educational interests and levels of college. Signings represent NCAA Divisions I, II and III, plus NAIA Division II and National Junior College level.

Wednesday was a day for smiles and congratulatory messages. The work of balancing college life, college courses and college athletics will come later. Several other OHS student-athletes are expected to join their classmates but hadn't made a final decision yet.

Several students I spoke with said picking a college or university for their desired field of study was first priority. Some reached out to coaches at their schools of interest. In some cases coaches reached out to them through a variety of ways. Some students may have had a campus visit, but not all, due to the pandemic.

The signings include one NCAA Division I commitment (Grace Wolfe to play hockey at St. Cloud State University), five NCAA DII commitments, ten NCAA DIII decisions, and one each at the NAIA DII level and a National Junior College commit.

[UPDATE: Since posting this, I was informed of another OHS student-athlete that will participate in athletics in college. More could be announced soon as well. Feel free to forward information to me regarding others at voiceofohs@yahoo.com or roy.koenig@townsquaremedia.com.]

The 18 19 athletes cover nine sports: baseball (3 athletes), basketball (3), bowling (1), football (2), gymnastics (1), hockey (2), soccer (3), tennis (3), and track and field (1). Two will be teammates (Megan Johnson and Caitlynne Bussert on the tennis team at MSU-Mankato). Several will be classmates: Emma Dahnert (soccer) and Matt Seykora (baseball) at Southwest Minnesota State University and Nolan Burmeister (basketball) and Brayden Truelson (baseball) at St. John's Univeristy.

A few athletes that wore the blue-and-silver together will now find themselves on opposite sidelines: Jacob Meiners (Augsburg) and Truelson in baseball and possibly Zach Stransky (UW-River Falls) and Cole Earles (College of St. Scholastica) in football, should those teams meet in a non-conference setting.

  • Lindsay Bangs - gymnastics at Gustavus Adolphus College, DIII (Biology)
  • Nolan Burmeister - basketball at St. John's University, DIII (Kinesiology)
  • Caitlynne Bussert - tennis at Minnesota State University-Mankato, DII (Criminal Justice)
  • Emma Dahnert - soccer at SW Minnesota State, DII (Elementary Education)
  • Cole Earles - football at College of St. Scholastica, DIII (Athletic Training)
  • Jenna Gleason - track and field at Dordt University, NAIA DII (Nursing)
  • Anna Herzog - soccer at Wisconsin-Stout, DIII (Applied Sciences)
  • Sydney Hunst - hockey at College of St. Benedict, DIII (Integrated Science or Biology)
  • Libby Janka - soccer at RCTC, NJCAA (Nursing)
  • Megan Johnson - tennis at Minnesota State University-Mankato, DII (Nursing)
  • Sarah Kingland - basketball at MSU-Moorhead, DII (Elementary Education)
  • Garrett LaPlount - bowling at Waldorf University (Criminal Justice)
  • Lincoln Maher - tennis at Wisconsin-LaCrosse, DIII (Political Science)
  • Jacob Meiners - baseball at Augsburg University, DIII (Statistics)
  • Maggie Newhouse - basketball at St. Mary's University, Winona, DIII, (Pre-Sonography)
  • Matt Seykora - baseball at SW Minnesota State, DII (Agricultural Business)
  • Zach Stransky - football at Wisconsin-River Falls, DIII (Ag Business)
  • Brayden Truelson - baseball at St. John's University, DIII (Business)
  • Grace Wolfe - hockey at St. Cloud State, DI (Forensic Science or Criminology)

Will These Events Happen in 2021?