SPASH athletes participate in spring signing day
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT – For a few Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) athletes, May 3 was the day they signed to further their academic and athletic careers.
Emma Barton (UW-Stout volleyball), Ben Omernik (Aurora University soccer), Deacan Koback (Bryant and Stratton College baseball), Tahlia Moe (Lawrence University basketball), Emma Jossie (UW-La Crosse basketball), Tyler Madlena (UW-La Crosse football), Marek Woytasik (Edgewood College tennis), Jenna Breitbach (Northern Iowa girls’ swimming) and Bennett Klisch (Minnesota-Duluth baseball) all had their moment during the signing day.
Senior Josh Opiola, not pictured, also signed for baseball.
With it being a special day for the athletes, family and friends showed up in support of the athletes.
A few athletes stuck around to talk on such an important day.
Jossie mentioned the SPASH girls’ basketball program and how it has shaped her.
“It has definitely been a big impact on my life. Growing up playing in camps, our summer ball league and hoops club. It has definitely had an impact.”
The senior had a historical run in the program, becoming only the fifth girls’ basketball player to surpass 1,000 career points at SPASH.
Jossie also mentioned what led her to UW-La Crosse.
“They have an amazing culture,” she said. “They are team first. Everybody is respected the same, and it’s not just seniors lead. It’s anybody leads.”
Madlena also decided to commit to UW-La Crosse for football.
He took in the moment as this was a dream come true.
“Playing football at the next level has always been a dream of mine, so that’s kind of the most memorable part.”
The senior will always hold the SPASH football program close to him.
“It’s a brotherhood. They mean it when they say it. ‘Family on me, family on three.’ That’s kind of what we live by, and that’s a big part of SPASH football,” Madlena said.
He also said that the coaching staff at UW-La Crosse was the difference in his commitment.
Lastly, Klisch finally cemented his commitment to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
He has been committed for a while, but it took some time to find the right school.
“It took a while. I really had to search to get the school I wanted,” Klisch stated. “Once I found it, it was really awesome to reach out and know that a program like that wanted me.”
Most of the students are finishing up the final sports season of their high school career before moving on to the collegiate level.