A quartet of diamond stars from the Illinois Quad-Cities are striking scholarship gold today.
Alleman's Cody Sedlock, Morrison's Kaitlyn Finneran and the Moline duo of Jordan de los Reyes and Matt Brill all are using the first day of the NCAA's Early Signing Period to sign scholarship deals with Division I colleges.
Sedlock, who helped pitch Alleman baseball to a state runner-up finish in Class 2A last spring, is scheduled to follow through on a verbal commitment with the University of Illinois at 3 p.m. in the school cafeteria.
De los Reyes, an Illinois State-bound slugger for three consecutive state softball trophy winners, has a signing ceremony at 2 p.m. at Wharton Field House with Brill, who is taking his baseball talents to Appalachian State.
Also at 2 p.m., Drake officially inks Finneran, who played for Morrison's 2011 state softball champs.
A fifth local diamond star, Rock Island's Jake Scudder, won't be signing with Iowa Western baseball until later this year, when the junior college signing period starts.
Sedlock committed to the Illini in August. The All-Stater posted a 10-3 pitching record, with 108 strike outs and a 2.91 earned run average. The senior also hit .377 with 13 doubles and 33 RBIs as an outfielder.
De los Reyes verballed with ISU last spring, before she and three other Redbird recruits finished third in a state title defense. The All-State performer hit .354 and had a team-leading 8 homers and 49 RBIs for a squad that included current ISU freshmen Brittny Drish, Kaitlyn Knary and Hayley Marlier.
Brill, who committed to Appalachian State in late September, after reaching the Legion World Series with Moline Post 246, led the Maroons to a regional title during the high-school season, hitting .384 and fanning 31 batters in 15.2 innings of relief work.
Finneran, an All-Three Rivers Conference performer, finished with a team-best .485 average last season, including 11 doubles, four triples, 32 RBIs and 35 runs scored.
Football players, such as Rocky's Iowa-bound Derrick Willies, won't be able to use the week-long Early Signing Period, either. The NCAA's Winter Signing Period for gridders starts on Feb. 6.
In all, 17 local high-school athletes have announced plans to utilize the Early Signing Period.
Also among those signing on the dotted line today are softball's Chloe Miller (Wisconsin) and Pleasant Valley classmates Gabby Stecker (Illinois swimming), Kaycee Kallenberger (Eastern Illinois basketball) and Anna Cullinan (Western Illinois golf).
Signing ceremonies also are scheduled at Assumption and Sterling.
Assumption's pen party is for Kyle Springer (Indiana wrestling) and Billy Daniel (Truman State basketball).
Sterling's recognizes Jennifer Rahm (Iowa rowing) and Keanu Interone (Utah swimming).
Davenport North's Hope Scheffert also signs with Iowa State softball on Friday.
Muscatine boasts five athletes inking today or Friday.
Included are basketball's Leti Lerma (Bradley), baseball's Derek Burkamper (Nebraska), softball's Megan Butler (Upper Iowa) and the swimming duo of Haden Calegan (Pittsburgh) and Travis Greenwald (Denver). Know of a local athlete committing to play sports in college? Share the good news with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where they're going
-- Athletes from area schools and conferences signing with colleges this school term:
Baseball: Matt Brill, Moline (Appalaichan St.) Derek Burkamper, Muscatine (Nebraska) x-Jake Scudder, Rock Island (Iowa Western) Cody Sedlock, Alleman (Illinois)
Softball: Megan Butler, Muscatine (Upper Iowa (D-2)) Jordan de los Reyes, Moline (Illinois St.) Kaitlyn Finneran, Morrison (Drake) Chloe Miller, Pleasant Valley (Wisconsin) Hope Scheffert, Dav. North (Iowa St.)
Basketball: Billy Daniel, Assumption (Truman State) Leti Lerma, Muscatine (Bradley) Kaycee Kallenberger, Pleasant Valley (Eastern Illinois)
Wrestling: Kyle Springer, Assumption (Indiana)
Swimming: Haden Calegan, Muscatine (Pittsburgh) Travis Greenwald, Muscatine (Denver) Keanu Interone, Sterling (Utah) Gabby Stecker, Pleasant Valley (Illinois)
Golf: Anna Cullinan, Pleasant Valley (Western Illinois)
Rowing: Jennifer Rahn, Sterling (Iowa)
Football: x-Derrick Willies, Rock Island (Iowa)
*-Junior college transfer from Black Hawk; x-Note: 2012-13 verbal commitments; #-Note: 2013-14 verbal commitments.
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.