Area athletes celebrate National Signing Day

Local athletes signed their letters of intent on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy: Heart of Illinois ABC)

By Heart of Illinois ABC

NORMAL – Long-time childhood dreams came true across the Heart of Illinois on Wednesday as area athletes signed their letters of intent to continue their careers at the collegiate level on National Signing Day.

At Normal U-High, it was a big day for the baseball program as 8 players from the Pioneers’ state third-place team signed to play college baseball, including four at the Division I level. Jake Swartz is set to play at Illinois. Chase Adams will play at Southern Miss. Evan Jones signed with Western Kentucky and Jack Bach with Central Michigan. Four DI players on one team is something special and this senior class knows just how lucky they are.

“We have 8 signees, 4 Divison I,” Illinois commit Jack Swartz said. “I think this is one of the best classes to come out of U-High. All these guys every day push each other. I mean, what better teammates can you have than the ones that are the best.”

“It’s really cool. All of our guys, like I said, we’ve worked so hard and it’s just like, everybody getting to accomplish something and go on to bigger things, it’s really cool.”

At Normal Community, four athletes signed letters of intent. Lindsey DeRoeck is set to play softball at Queens University of Charlotte. Laynee Shceck signed to play lacrosse at Seton Hill University. Izzy McCormick will play Division I volleyball at the University of North Dakota and basketball start Zach Cleveland is set to take his talents to play at Liberty University.

“Obviously it’s a dream come true, ever since I was a kid to play big-time basketball,” Zach Cleveland said. “Then also with the three other ladies, it’s really cool to represent Normal Community in this way.”

Heart of Illinois ABC can be reached at News@WJBC.com.

Blogs

Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…