Signing Day: Several Ponies sign letters of intent

Several Stillwater Area High School athletes have announced their intentions to continue competing in college, including seven who signed national letters of intent with NCAA Division I and II schools. Ponies and the schools they plan to attend and compete for starting next fall include, front row, from left, Allie Boucher (North Dakota State University), Eric Colvin (University of Minnesota), Wayde Hall (University of Minnesota) and Maddie Schaak (Indiana State University). Second row, Dana Almquist (St. Norbert College), Rachel Rhode (Lake Land College), Derrick Thingvold (Winona State University) and Nate Ricci (University of Minnesota-Duluth).

Several Stillwater Area High School athletes have announced their intentions to continue competing in college, including seven who signed national letters of intent with NCAA Division I and II schools. Ponies and the schools they plan to attend and compete for starting next fall include, front row, from left, Allie Boucher (North Dakota State University), Eric Colvin (University of Minnesota), Wayde Hall (University of Minnesota) and Maddie Schaak (Indiana State University). Second row, Dana Almquist (St. Norbert College), Rachel Rhode (Lake Land College), Derrick Thingvold (Winona State University) and Nate Ricci (University of Minnesota-Duluth).

Several Stillwater Area High School seniors confirmed their collegiate plans by signing a National Letter of Intent this week, including four who accepted scholarships to NCAA Division I schools.

Wayde Hall and Eric Colvin, who have contributed to state championships in cross country and track and field, will take their running talents to the University of Minnesota while classmates Maddie Schaak (Indiana State University) and Alexandra Boucher (North Dakota State University) will continue their soccer careers in college.

Versatile Nate Ricci, who was a two-time team MVP for the Ponies, has signed on to play football at the University of Minnesota-Duluth while Derrick Thingvold will also continue his football career at Division II Winona State University. Rachel Rhode, who contributed to Stillwater’s state championship in softball last spring, signed with Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill.

In related news, Ponies standout girls’ hockey and lacrosse athlete Dana Almquist intends to play at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis., which as an Division III program does not offer athletic scholarships. Stillwater junior lacrosse player Sydney Evensen recently made a verbal commitment to accept a scholarship offer to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder.

During the fall signing period, Ponies seniors Claire Rutscher signed to continue her swimmer career at Vermont and Sara Bustad signed to play hockey at Minnesota State-Mankato.

Listed below is information provided by those Stillwater athletes signing NLIs this week.

Alexandra Boucher

College attending — North Dakota State University

Sport — Women’s soccer

Why NDSU? — I went to the soccer camp over the summer and fell in love with the campus, atmosphere and the girls on the team. Both my parents went to NDSU and thought I would really like it.

Major/academic interests — Nursing

Other SAHS Activities — Yearbook

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — Going to state during my sophomore year. Playing at the Metrodome. Every game, every season with a great group of girls and great coaches.

Eric Colvin

College attending — University of Minnesota

Sport(s) — Men’s cross country, track and field

Why the U of M? — Since I was a little boy I’ve wanted to be a Gopher.

Major/academic interests — Business

Other SAHS Activities — Bread Kittens, Club

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — Nike Cross Country Regionals 2011. We ended up winning and qualifying for Nationals.

Wayde Hall

College attending — University of Minnesota

Sport(s) — Men’s cross country, track and field

Why the U of M? — They have a great team and coach. A lot of good runners have come out of the U of M.

Major/academic interests — Kinesiology

Other SAHS Activities — Wrestling, intramural basketball

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — Being on three state championship teams in track and cross country. Winning the individual state cross country title.

Rachel Rhode

College attending — Lake Land College (Mattoon, Ill.)

Sport — Softball

Why Lake Land? — High academic performance and a great softball team.

Major/academic interests — Criminal justice

Other SAHS Activities — Bowling

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — Winning state title. Pitching 11 innings out of a 12-inning game and having 21 strikeouts in that game.

Nate Ricci

College attending — University of Minnesota-Duluth

Sport — Football

Why UMD? — The winning tradition and I really liked the coaches.

Major/academic interests — Physical therapy or business

Other SAHS Activities — Track

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — First game starting as a sophomore. Winning the state track championship.

Maddie Schaak

College attending — Indiana State University

Sport — Women’s soccer

Why ISU? — The relationship and connection the team has with one another. Player and coach relationships, size of the school. What the school has to offer academically.

Major/academic interests — Psychology and business

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — The seasons I shared with my soccer girls.

Derrick Thingvold

College attending — Winona State University

Sport — Football

Why WSU? — I really liked how the coaches were genuinely interested in me as a person and not just a player. I also liked how the players acted like they were all brothers, a part of one big family. Great football team.

Major/academic interests — Double major in criminal justice and psychology.

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — The last 75-yard drive with two minutes left against Hastings which ended in a touchdown to seal our conference championship title.

Dana Almquist

College attending — St. Norbert College (DePere, Wis.)

Sport — Women’s hockey

Why St. Norbert? — I really like the coaches, the campus and most of all the academics.

Major/academic interests — Mathematics or accounting

Other SAHS Activities — Lacrosse, National Honor Society

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — Being part of the varsity hockey and lacrosse team for four years. Going to state two years in a row for lacrosse.

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