National Signing Day has come and gone. With the first major decision of their young adult lives now finalized, athletes can now focus on enjoying the rest of their senior year and look ahead towards graduation.
Here are some anecdotes from athletes, parents and coaches from Wednesday’s National Signing Day ceremonies.
Trying to stay neutral
Most parents have a personal preference on where their child goes to college. For Kelly Reisdorfer, whose son Thuro signed to play football at USF, her bias was rooted in the family’s significant ties to the school. She explained following Washington’s National Signing Day Ceremony that Thuro’s grandpa played football at USF when it was Sioux Falls College, and her mother taught at the school.
“We’ve kind of grown up around there,” Kelly said. “Thuro was on campus when he was a baby and my mom would watch him while I was in class.”
But even though she bleeds purple and white, Kelly did her best to remain neutral in the process. She made sure her son understood that he would have her full support no matter which school he chose – even if it was rival Augustana.
“I told him that I was willing to put on the Vikings t-shirt, but deep down inside, I’m still a Cougar,” she laughed. “But I tried not to use (the family’s legacy at USF). I didn’t want to pressure him…
“Ultimately, the choice was his. I’m really happy about that.”
A first for Holly Lynch
Holly Lynch’s final senior class as Roosevelt volleyball coach featured a pair of Mount Marty commits in Maddie Simmons and Mikaela Ahrendt. That may seem rather random, but…
“I have never had two girls attend the same college. I think this is great,” said Lynch, who is retiring after 15 seasons. “Maddie and Mikaela are really good friends, so I think it shows their dedication to the game and they’ll push each other on the court and off the court.”
“We play really well together,” Maddie explained. “She’s a middle and I’m a right-side, so we play together in the front row. It’s really great because we’re super close, so we already have that connection.”
“It’s going to be amazing,” Mikaela added. “She’s one of my best friends and we do get along really well on the court together. It’ll be unstoppable.”
TJ Scheafer will be headed to the South Dakota School of Mines to pursue a degree in engineering this fall. But it was his new head coach at O’Gorman who suggested he should continue playing football.
“Coach (Jayson) Poppinga, he really came and talked to me and told me to look into playing college football,” Scheafer said. “I did, and I’m excited to do it.
A proud day for the coaches
Retired Roosevelt volleyball coach Holly Lynch: “As a coach, you hope that girls will continue to grow their passion and play the sport that they grew up loving their whole life and then play collegiately.”
Rough Riders football coach Kim Nelson: “It’s just a great celebration of the guys that we’ve had on our team. If they’ve made that decision to move on and play at the next level, then I think it’s important for us to recognize that… I’m pretty proud of these guys.”
Nelson added: “I think it’s a great example for our younger kids to know that these guys who are here worked pretty hard to get here. None of them just showed up and got a college offer. They worked really hard and now it’s paying off.”