Seven different Warrior athletes were celebrated for pursuing college athletics in their respective sports.
Sophie Robinson committed to play hockey at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.. She played four years of varsity girls hockey as a defensemen for the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors.
“I love the small town and community there,” Robinson said of why she decided to go to Dartmouth. “The hockey was great, along with the amazing school and there are great opportunities there for me to grow.”
In the 2018-19 season, Robinson tallied six goals and 16 assists for the Warriors as they placed second in the Class 2A State Tournament.
Teammate Gabbie Smith also signed to play hockey at Bemidji State University. Smith scored 20 goals to go along with 19 assists in the 18-19 season.
“It’s exciting to have this moment together,” Robinson said.
Warrior baseball teammates Broc Peterson and Seth Vagts signed their letters of intent to play college baseball.
Peterson will attend University of Minnesota-Crookston and Vagts will go to St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.
“It felt good to have support and everyone be there for us. It’s nice,” Peterson said.
Vagts hit .328 last season for the Warriors and tallied 15 RBIs. He plans to get into the Physician Assistant program at St. Mary’s.
Peterson hit .304 and scored 17 runs. He pitched 29 innings with a 3-2 record and an ERA of 2.41.
Peterson says Crookson was a good fit for him academically and he liked their baseball program.
“I also like the idea of being in a small town,” he said. “It’s just the type of person I am. The competition will be tougher and it will be more competitive, which is what I am looking for.”
Clare Ceynowa highlighted the ceremony as she plans to go to the University of Minnesota to play softball. She also hopes to get accepted in the biomedical engineering program at Minnesota.
Ceynowa knows she is wanted for her power. The challenge playing at the next level will be to find a position for her to play consistently.
“The biggest challenge will be time management with lifting and eating right, getting your studying in, it’s going to be a change,” Ceynowa said. “I’ve been ready to go to college for a couple years now, but it hasn’t really hit me that this will be my last season.”
She has loved the campus of Minnesota since junior high and it was a reason she decided to go there.
“It just felt different,” Ceynowa said about her first trip to the University of Minnesota. “It just really felt like home.”
Gina Wasniewski will head to University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to play soccer. She spent some of her senior season injured, but when healthy proved to be a valuable player for Warriors girls soccer.
In 2019, she played in nine games and notched two assists. At the end of the season, she was voted by the team for the Warrior Way award which highlights character. At Stevens-Point she plans on studying Physical Education
Avery Eckman rounds out the group who were honored. Eckman will attend University of Minnesota-Duluth and hopes to study biology.
“They were a lot closer to home than some other schools I was looking at,” Eckman said of why she chose to play for the Bulldogs. “I am just excited to play with other girls who have worked hard to get the next level like I have. Just play at the next level where everyone is the best of the best.”
The higher stakes and fast pace is the biggest challenge Eckman faces as she goes to play for UMD. She is known for her hammer as he tallied 344 kills her senior season with the Warriors. She wants to become a more all-around player at college.
“Everyone notices the big hit because it makes the most noise,” Eckman said. “But you can’t forget about a good pass. I have been working on improving my defense a lot and that might go unnoticed.”
College: University of Minnesota-Crookston
College: St. Mary’s University
College: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
College: University of Minnesota
College: University of Minnesota-Duluth
College: Bemidji State University