Local athletes celebrate spring signing day

 Local high school athletes signed National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Traverse City Central’s Ashley Ko will run for Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois next season.

“It just fit everything I wanted in a college, because I wanted to have the competitive Division 1 running, but I didn’t want running to be my life, and I wanted to grow academically and athletically,” Ko said.  “It just fits everything.”

Ko will study psychology then plans to start her pre-med track.

It’s been a long road for Grayling senior Jake Hinkle.  The golfer was in a coma for days after a deadly car accident in 2013 involving the Grayling golf team.  Hinkle has not only returned to golfing competitively but he will take his talents to Albion College next year.

Chris Gillissie has been setting the standard for Elk Rapids wrestling.  He was the first Elks wrestler to earn All-State honors and he is now the first grappler in the program to sign a National Letter of Intent to wrestle in college.  Gillissie will compete for McKendree.

“It means everything, it’s a ticket for my degree, for my education, basically my life,” Gillissie said.  “It feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest.  I’ve been working for it for countless years, countless hours, drills, everything and finally it all pays off in the end.”

A pair of ladies in Roscommon will take their volleyball skills to GLIAC squads.  Logan Hutek will play for Lake Superior State University next season and Reagan Moffit will play for Saginaw Valley State University.

“It wasn’t really on my radar and then I was convinced to visit it and as soon as I got there it kind of blew me away,” Moffit said.  “It’ll be a lot to get used to because I’ve never been on a volleyball team that Logan has not been on.”

“We’ll be able to play each other and the high school team for next year said that they are going to come watch us play against each other,” Hutek said.  “So I think it’ll be fun.”