National Signing Day taking place without sports


Picture by Alexa Mahoney

Swimmer Karley Sonennberg poses with her sister, Kendyl, during National Signing Day on Nov. 11

Gianna Feminis, Co-Editor in Chief and Sports Editor

With all of the uncertainty surrounding athletic seasons, athletes are faced with yet another change to their schedule: National Signing Day.

“At National Signing Day, you sign your national letter of intent to play for that specific school and accept any athletic scholarships you may have been offered,” senior soccer player Allie Kroll said. 

National Signing Day usually takes place in the auditorium and features numerous athletes signing their letter of intent for Division 1, Division 2 and NAIA. Division 3 athletes sign their commitment. Coaches, family members and friends are invited to attend.

“I have been working towards this goal of being a college athlete my whole life, so it was very special to me to be able to celebrate with people who helped me achieve that goal,” Kroll said. 

Usually, there would usually be a full audience, but because of Covid-19 protocols, there could only be up to ten people supporting the athlete. Masks were required as well.

“The restrictions were that we set each signing 30 minutes apart,” Athletic Director Ron Lear said. “Each student and family stayed in a certain area waiting for their turn, then went through the ceremony, then exited out a separate door.”

There is typically a fall, winter and spring National Signing Day offered for North senior athletes. The first one was held on Nov. 11. Softball player Brooke Knox committed to Marian University, Kroll committed to Northern Michigan University, swimmer Karley Sonnenberg committed to McKendree University and gymnast Cassie St. Clair committed to Western Michigan University.

“There were less signing in the fall, but I think that is because athletes can’t go and see potential schools during the pandemic and colleges are not able to see athletes because there were no contests last spring and only a few sports that happened this fall,” Lear said. 

Not only were there very few college visits, but there were also very few athletic competitions this fall. Golf, tennis, and swimming were some of the few sports allowed to be played. 

“For swimming it was pretty much normal except that there were no relays, which is sad because relays are the most fun at meets,” Sonnenberg said.  

More student athletes are expected to participate at the winter signing day which is set to take place on Feb. 3. Athletes Payton Bishop (basketball), Adam Smith (football), and Kanon Woodill (football) announced their commitments through social media platforms.

“I am excited to sign my letter of intent to Aurora University because I believe that they truly are the best school for me to further my academic and athletic career,” Bishop said. 

Smith is planning to commit to University of St. Francis (Ind.) and Woodill is planning to commit to Northern Illinois University.

“We try to make it a special day for both the athletes and the parents,” Lear said. “Our athletes have committed themselves to their sport and their school and we are extremely proud of them.”