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On Feb. 9, student-athletes choose which university they will represent during event.

PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - Wilsonville High student athletes inked commitments to play sports in college. (Face coverings were removed briefly for photo.)Seven Wilsonville High School seniors took their next steps this week by signing commitment letters to their future universities and sports teams.

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, families, friends and coaches gathered in the school's auditorium to celebrate future collegiate athletes as they decided how they will spend the next four years of their life.

The national Letter of Intent Day is a tradition in which athletes across the nation officially commit to a sports team they plan to play for in the coming season. This year, amateur athletes are typically honored Feb. 2 but were recognized a week later in Wilsonville due to an overlap with finals week.

"It is really exciting to see what you've been working toward come to fruition," said Jack Johnson, a starter for the school's football team who heads to Washington and Lee University in Virginia this fall.

Where they're headed:

Sydney Bowen, volleyball: Willamette University

Olivia Parry, water polo: Augustana College

Jack Johnson, football: Washington and Lee University

Bailey Waddell, lacrosse: Grand Canyon University

Sophia Klechner, volleyball: Linfield University

Luke Nelson, track and field: George Fox University

Kaetlyn McDougal, soccer: Pacific Lutheran University

PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - Seven students signed off to universities across the country on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

During the honor ceremony, coaches shared a few words about the athletes' hard work and passion for their sport.

Pole vaulter Luke Nelson was acknowledged for his persistence in improving at his craft.

"He's not only going to a great school, but he is going to do some really awesome athletic things," said coach Josh Finick.

Volleyball coach Scott Thompson recognized two players, Sydney Bowen and Sophia Klechner, who will head to Willamette University and Linfield University this fall. He said both athletes exuded purpose and dedication for their team, which translated on and off the field.

"I'm super thankful for everyone who helped me to get here," Klechner said. "I'm excited to meet new people and be in a new environment pushing myself athletically and academically."PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - Sophia Klechner will stay local, securing a spot on Linfield University's volleyball team.

Girls soccer coach Alex Boehm recognized Kaetlyn McDougal.

"I feel like Katelyn plays like an underwater earthquake. She plays with such poise, and is so calm and confident that it is almost deceiving the actual magnitude of the impact she has when on the field," Boehm said.

Girls lacrosse captain Bailey Waddell was recognized not only by her coach but by her dad, Mark Waddell.

"She is super silent if you don't know her very well. But when she gets out on the field, she's tenacious," he said.

Athletic Director Dennis Burke gave honorable mention to the dedication all the students have to their sport, even if it means overcoming obstacles.

Despite the high school not offering a water polo team, Olivia Parry took initiative and joined a Tualatin school's team. Parry also is on Wilsonville High's swim team. She heads to Augustana College in Illinois, where she said she is excited to explore that part of the country and figure out her career path. PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - Despite the high school not offering a water polo team, Olivia Parry took the initiative and joined a Tualatin school's team.

Head football coach Adam Guenther commended the students for all the hard work that secured their next four years.

"My only advice is always keep grinding — embrace that grind. Whatever it took you guys to get here, it's a whole other level going up. But have fun; if you are not having fun, you're doing something wrong," he said.

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