- Few schools in the Northwoods can say they've matched Lakeland Union's athletic success in recent years.
On Wednesday four athletes that have played major roles in that success signed letters of intent to compete in college.
"It's nice to just know where I'm going," said Lakeland senior Grant Gibson.
Gibson, Jack Garcia, Kailey Godfrey, and Kav FitzPatrick officially signed letters of intent to compete in college.
Gibson owns two individual school swimming records and was a part of two relay records. He'll head to St. Norbert College where he'll be a part of the first season ever for the school's swim program.
"I get to be the start of a big program, and just try to tear up the record board, and I can break those while they're still young," said Gibson.
Fellow swimmer Jack Garcia also owns several Lakeland records, and tallied four podium finishes at state this year.
He's set to swim at UW-Milwaukee, where he'll compete against his brother Nick, who swims for UW-Green Bay.
"It's a lot of fun swimming with him [at Lakeland Union]. It will be a lot more competitive this time around," said Jack Garcia. "We'll definitely be texting each other back and forth before the meet, having a lot of fun."
The swimmers aren't the only ones moving on to the next level.
Coming off just two years of golf experience with the Lakeland boys team, Kailey Godfrey will play for the women's team at St. Cloud State University.
She says her trip to state with the T-Birds last year gave her a big advantage.
"Going to state definitely built my resume, so college coaches would look at me, and the experience of playing in those bigger tournaments will help me next year, in playing division-two golf," said Godfrey.
But Wednesday's gathering celebrated another accomplishment, as Kav FitzPatrick was recognized as a WIAA Scholar Athlete.
"After my siblings were both so close, it's another accomplishment I'm so proud of," said FitzPatrick.
FitzPatrick was chosen as one of just 16 male athletes across the state to receive the honor.
He's a multi-time state champion in cross-country and track that also excels in the classroom.
But like he often does, FitzPatrick deflected credit to his coaches, his teachers and his teammates.
"I wish it was something that I could celebrate with them as well, because they've helped me certainly on the athletic side, but [also] academically," said FitzPatrick.
FitzPatrick signed his letter of intent to run cross country and track for UW-Madison.
Written By: Mark Spillane