National Signing Day: Handful of local athletes finalize plans - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse, WISCONSIN (WXOW)

National Signing Day: Handful of local athletes finalize plans

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La Crosse, WISCONSIN (WXOW)    If you were a college track coach on the recruiting trail, it was one-stop shopping at La Crosse Central.

Four Red Raiders put their signatures to partial track scholarships Wednesday.

Sawyer Smith will compete at Wisconsin.

Aaron Klos at North Dakota State. 

Jake Roh and Joe Gasper will be teammates at South Dakota.

The four form the back-bone to the Central team that took second at state last year in division one.

"It's rare to have one person say they are a scholarship athlete. It's twice as rare to have two, you can start doing the math. Four people on one team receiving scholarship money is unheard of. It's never happened before. it's unprecedented. Obviously, it's very exciting for us," said Niels Anderson, Central boys track coach.

It's not everyday a local football player heads to the Big Ten.

But Michael Conway will do just that.

Conway will be a preferred walk-on quarterback for the Minnesota Gophers.

He was an All-MVC first team and the conferences offensive player of the year last fall.

"As an athlete in general you want to be the best and compare yourself to the best. So, I mean I guess when the opportunity of playing in the Big 10 came to me I just wanted to play against some of the best players in the country is definitely an opportunity I wanted to take up on," Conway said.

In La Crescent, another athlete headed to South Dakota on scholarship is Katie Shepardson.

Shepardson was a state qualifier in cross country and track and field for the Lancers.

"I think when I first stepped on campus that was kind of when it was like 'yeah, this is where I want to be.'  So, finally signing I think its just kind of relieving just having it done now and getting to concentrate on this spring and track," Shepardson said.

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