Four SPASH athletes sign letter of intent on signing day
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — Dreams are meant to come true at some point in your life. For four area athletes, putting ink to paper on Nov. 9 was just the beginning. TJ Schierl (Ohio State wrestling), Riley Pechinski (UW-Green Bay golf), Konnor Pilger (UW-Milwaukee swim), and Brittany Beadles (Winona State Track and Field) signed a letter of intent to their schools next fall.
TJ Schierl- Ohio State Wrestling
Emotions were sky-high for the senior athletes and their families. With excitement drawn on their faces, all four athletes can’t wait to compete at the next level. Starting with Schierl, he explained what was going through his mind.
“Just super excited. I am very grateful for the opportunity. It’s just amazing,” he said with a smile. “It has been my dream ever since I was a little kid, ever since my brother went there.” His brother Fritz Schierl competed at Ohio State in wrestling from 2016-17 to 2021-22. He ended his collegiate career 72-28. Schierl expects nothing to come easy once he steps foot on campus competing in the Big Ten.
“I’m expecting a lot of struggle the first few years,” he explained. “I think I’m prepared, get in the right mindset, stick with my faith and my family and the support surrounding me. I’m excited to take on the challenge.”
Riley Pechinski- UW-Green Bay Golf
Schierl wasn’t the only signee not backing down because they signed to a D1 school. Riley Pechinski, the 2021 WIAA girls’ golf state champion, inked her commitment to the Horizon League. She is ready to compete at the next level.
“A very exciting day, obviously,” Pechinski stated. “I could not be prouder of myself for all the work that I put in. But it’s not done yet.”
The senior had a couple of other schools from Wisconsin and Missouri recruit her, but she ultimately chose Green Bay because of the closeness.
“I just chose Green Bay because of the family and culture,” she explained. “My brother’s there, and I know most of the girls on the team, so it’s just welcoming.”
Her goal is to win Freshman of the Year in the Horizon League.
Konnor Pilger- UW-Milwaukee Swimming
Konnor Pilger, Pechinski’s classmate, also signed with a Horizon League team. He will compete in swimming at the next level at UW-Milwaukee in the fall. Pilger hopes to contribute to a goal-oriented program like the Panthers.
“They have great coaches, a great program, and have big goals,” he said. “They are trying to get back to winning conference, and I just want to be part of a team that has a common goal.”
Pilger’s goal in Division one swimming is to be a top-five point scorer in the Horizon League.
Brittany Beadles- Winona State Track and Field
Lastly, multi-sport athlete Brittany Beadles signed papers for Winona State Track and Field. Like Pechinski, Beadles felt welcome during her recruiting period with Winona State.
“It’s a great atmosphere to be around,” she said. “The teammates are going to be competitive, and the coaches made it enjoyable, knowing that I could compete at the next level for them.”
Beadles finished by saying she wants her future team to push her to be the best runner she can be.
Each athlete wraps up their high school athletic career in the winter or spring and then moves to the next level. If you have other local sports stories, you can contact Jacob at [email protected]. You can also follow him on Twitter at JacobHeid_15 for updates on local sports news and events.