Top sports stories 2009, No. 3: Signing on the dotted line
While the Wingers have struggled in recent years (see No. 4), Red Wing boasts a host of Division I recruits. Four Red Wing students either signed letters of intent or provided verbal commitments to major Division I programs this year.
Junior Pat Kelly was the first, verbally committing to play baseball at Nebraska. Kelly caught the Cornhuskers' attention in August at the prestigious Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.
Kelly, one of the few juniors-to-be in attendance, played every infield position except first base during the six-game showcase and didn't commit an error. He finished with two hits.
Rose Alleva followed, committing to continue her hockey career at Princeton. According to Wingers coach Scott Haley, college coaches were enamored with Alleva's speed and agility on skates.
Entering Tuesday's game, the senior led Red Wing with 29 points (18 goals, 11 assists).
Seniors Turner Eckstrom and Kim Hovey are both scheduled to compete for the Gophers next season. Eckstrom signed a National Letter of Intent to dive at Minnesota while Hovey has given a verbal commitment to the track and field program.
Eckstrom made his mark in August in Moultrie, Ga. In the 16- to-18-year-old Junior National Diving Championships, Eckstrom finished 21st in the 1-meter springboard preliminaries. At the USA Diving Age Group Championships Eckstrom finished eighth on the 3-meter springboard.
Hovey's shot put of 45 feet, 1 3/4 inches was the 35th best in the country among female prep athletes in 2009, according to the DyeStat Web site.