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Danecdotes: 12 Patriots commit to colleges

Pequot Lakes senior athletes who signed letters of intent on Wednesday, April 11. Front row, from left: Sydney Tietz, Chelsea Skluzacek, Rachel Friberg, Kristin Skog, Grace McGuire and Addisuone Harrington. Back row: Reid Pierzinski, Zach Sjoblad, Karli Skog, Addie Hubbard, Austin Young and Deven Psyck. Dan Determan / Echo Journal1 / 2
Pequot Lakes High School saw 12 of its senior athletes sign letters of intent to participate in college athletics on Wednesday, April 11. Dan Determan / Echo Journal2 / 2

Twelve Pequot Lakes Patriot athletes signed letters of intent on Wednesday, April 11, to take part in college athletics beginning in the fall.

Those 12 make up the largest group of senior committees in school history.

Sisters Kristin and Karli Skog will both be competing at the next level. Karli has committed to play basketball for Jamestown College in Jamestown, N.D. Coaches already sent her workout programs to help her better prepare for the increased competition.

"They have a great accounting program, and they just got a new gym facility that is super, super nice. The coaches are really nice and it just felt like home."

Kristin, meanwhile, will compete in track and field at the next level for the Cobbers of Concordia College in Moorhead.

"It has always been one of my top colleges," Kristin said. "The coach there is super nice, and I just can't wait to be a part of the team there."

Kristin is not the only Patriot to join the Cobber track and field team, as Addisuone Harrington will join the team to compete in the pole vault. He also hopes to pursue a business degree.

"I tried (pole vaulting) in my eighth- or ninth-grade year, and did pretty well. Being a wrestler, the upper body strength really helped, too.

In his final year of high school track, Harrington hopes to continue perfecting his technique before competing for Concordia.

Addie Hubbard will also compete in college track and field, joining the Eagles of the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse. While there, she hopes to continue a pedigree of skilled, nationally recognized jumpers.

"I'm a triple jumper, and they have three very good triple jumpers that I am excited to learn from," Hubbard said. "They competed in nationals and they all placed in the top seven."

Reid Pierzinski will also continue his track career as he heads to South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., joining former Patriot teammate Chloe Bermel as a member of the Jackrabbit team. The three-time state champion has also had a stellar cross-country career, but knew he wanted to continue to pursue track greatness, and do so as a Jackrabbit.

"The coaches and team members were all really welcoming, and the facilities are awesome. Everything felt right when I got there."

Grace McGuire has committed to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, preparing to compete for the Tommies' track team. Though she is an accomplished skier - having qualified for the state tournament four times as a member of the Brainerd Warriors - track has always been her favorite sport, and one in which she thought she could continue to excel.

"When I was touring, it was where I thought I would fit in best," she said. "I love the campus and the atmosphere, and the track team is really good there."

Rachel Friberg will join Harrington and Kristin Skog at Concordia College, but will do so as a member of the school's cross-country team. In the meantime, she hopes to use her final season of track as a means to improve her abilities.

"(Concordia) has really good academics," she said. "When I went there, everyone was so nice. I love the campus too."

Two Northern Lakes Lightning hockey players have committed to play hockey at the collegiate level, and both are heading to the Atlantic coast to do it.

Sydney Tietz joins the Rams of Suffolk University in Boston to continue her hockey career.

"I knew I wanted to become a physical therapist, and Suffolk was the only school that had my program. Boston is one of my favorite cities, so I knew that was where I wanted to go ... I'm going to finish out my softball season, training really hard and do everything I need to do to get better each and every day."

Chelsea Skluzacek will take the ice as a member of the University of Southern Maine Huskies next season.

"I really like the east coast. We went out there just a few weeks ago and it felt like home. It felt like Duluth, but on the ocean. It's a really friendly area, too."

On the gridiron, halfback Deven Psyck intends to join the offense at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, after graduating.

"I went on a tour there, and it just felt like home," Psyck said. "It is a great community with great vibes ... My main focus is staying in shape for camp."

Austin Young will continue his football career as well, and has committed to play wide receiver for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Before reporting to camp in August, Young plans to focus on improving his speed and increasing his 40-yard run time.

"When I visited (River Falls), I loved the coaches," he said. "The football program's pretty good there, and I knew it was a place I could fit in nicely."

Lastly, Zach Sjoblad will join the basketball team at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth to play for the Saints.

"They have a great academic program for me, and the campus is awesome," Sjoblad said. "The basketball team is pretty good, and it just felt right."

On National Signing Day in February, senior Calvin Maske signed a letter of intent to play football with the Dragons of Minnesota State University Moorhead, bringing the senior class' total of future college athletes to 13.

Dan Determan

Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.

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