Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12
Three Hodags sign their letters of intent
Story By Griffin Stroin
Local Sports Published 11/16/2021 9:42PM, Last Updated 11/17/2021 4:01PM
Rhinelander - It was a very proud day for the city of Rhinelander. Three Hodags were able to sign their letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Malia Francis signed with Liberty University to continue her swimming career. It has been quite the week for Francis. Last Friday, she won multiple state championships, including a new state record in the 100-yard backstroke. Signing her letter of intent today was the cherry on top.
"It is super cool," Francis said. "It's nice because I committed verbally over a year ago, so to have it be official finally is really cool and it gets me even more excited to get out there next year."
Joe Schneider will be continuing his baseball career at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Heading into his junior year, Schneider was not sure if he would be able to play baseball at the collegiate level, but after a great season with the Hodags and an even better off-season, he was able to make his dream a reality.
"The coach that I had for a long time was my travel ball coach this year during the summer," Schneider said. "I had plenty of other offers to go D3 in the Wisconsin area schools, but it was so close and we grew that bond over the summer so I just ended up picking him."
The final student athlete who signed was Jacksen Smith. Smith will be playing basketball at the University of Wisconsin - Superior next winter. Heading into his senior year of high school basketball, Smith is happy to have this major decision made already, so now he can just focus on winning for the Hodags.
"We have a lot of goals for our season this year and I just felt like for me it was better to get it out of the way," Smith said. "And get a conference championship, so that's the big thing."