BIG RAPIDS – Big Rapids celebrated six senior student-athletes with a national signing day on Monday.
John Yonker and Connor Vennix will continue their baseball careers at Taylor (Ind.) University and Glen Oaks Community College, respectively, while Halle Stork will head to Purdue Northwest for women’s soccer. Kaitlyn Ray is taking her basketball talents to Mid-Michigan Community College and Morgan Pippin will play women’s hockey at Davenport. Breanna Crosson will also play hockey at Stevenson (Md.) University.
“I think Mid’s a really good fit for me, so I’m really excited,” Ray said. “I’m generally excited that I get to play the sport of basketball, and I get to move on to the next level and play at the higher level so that’s what I’m most excited about.”
Crosson joins an NCAA Division III program that went 15-8-5 last year as a member of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference.
“The coach is a very good coach, she played Division 1 at Boston College so she knows her stuff,” Crosson said. “They’re a very hard working team and it should be a good four years.”
Pippin is taking her talents to Grand Rapids and joins a team that went 5-21-1 in 2017-18.
“The last four years when I’ve played out of hometown Big Rapids, there haven’t been very many people that really know that I play hockey,” she said. “Seeing this many people here to support that is just amazing.”
Vennix is heading to a Glen Oaks program that went 13-24 a year ago and is off to a 14-21 start this season.
“Well, I’ve played baseball, I’d have to say my whole life,” Vennix said. “I’ve probably only missed a few practices, I go to every practice. I’ve always wanted to be higher than just high school.”
Yonker will travel south to Indiana and will join a program that is enjoining a 40-12 season in 2018.
“It’s nice to celebrate all the hard work and all the late nights,” Yonker said. “Our baseball team practices usually eight o’clock to ten o’clock at night. After putting in all the late hours to get in here and move on to the next level.”
Stork joins a Purdue Northwest women’s soccer program that just recently completed its first year as a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“I think that it’s exciting to show that support from the community, and everyone who helped us throughout the way,” Stork said. “They’ve shown their support here too as well.”