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Standout prep athletes across Western Montana sign letters of intent

Six Sentinel High seniors were recognized Wednesday for signing letters of intent to compete in college athletics.

The first Wednesday of February gets a huge circle on the calendar for high school senior athletes across the country. It marks national signing day today. One of the biggest days in the life of any athlete as they make it official where they are headed for college athletics.

At Sentinel High this morning six athletes across four different sports were recognized.

"It just takes a lot off your shoulders and you feel pretty good about the whole process," said Kalob Kneib who will play football for Dordt College next year. "There's a lot less stress."

"I've been dreaming about going to the University of North Carolina for about two or three years now," said Emily Malone who is set throw javelin for the Tarheels. "So it's definitely a huge relief."

"I've been playing since I was eight years old so to continue that is really an exciting opportunity," explained Amber Hickethier, headed to play softball at Clark College.

"It's a really young program," said Ben Larson, headed to play soccer at Multnomah University. "There's a possibility of getting a lot of play time a as freshman which is really encouraging."

"It feels absolutely amazing," beamed future Minot State football player Brian Jakubowski. "You know I have to thank all the coaches I had here, coach Oliver and coach Anderson. I'm absolutely thrilled, it's a huge honor to take that next step into collegiate football."

"I love competition," said Piper Woodward who has signed on to play soccer at Northern Oklahoma. "I'm a very competitive person so I can't wait and it's just really exciting."

At Hellgate early this morning there were nine athletes across six different sports recognized. Congratulations to Elle Becker, Will Dauenhauer, Abigail Donald, Jessilyn Ecklund, Nicole Johnsen, Justin Lane, Darragh Mahns, Hunter Martell and Isaac Schmidt.

At Missoula Loyola a pair of Rams signed their letters of intent to play college football.

"Feeling great, I'm confident about my future and about the coaches and stuff at Tech," said Braeden Beck, a future Montana Tech football player. "I'm just excited for my football career to continue."

"It's definitely a relief," said David Koppang who will remain in Missoula and suit up for the Grizzlies. "It's also exciting at the same time. It's been a goal and a dream of mine to be able to play here and the fact that I actually am going to is exciting, really exciting."

In Kalispell today, congratulations to Cody Hartsoch. The Glacier senior signed his NLI to play offensive line for the Montana Grizzlies.

"To finally have it done and get to play for the Griz is amazing and it feels awesome," said Hartsoch.

And at Flathead High this morning two Braves signed on for college football. Quarterback Taylor Morton is headed to Dillon to compete for Montana Western. Tight end Austin Demars is also headed for the Frontier Conference set to play for Rocky Mountain College in Billings.

Congratulations to all our local athletes who are taking the next steps towards college athletics.

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