Three BEA athletes sign college letters
Three Blue Earth Area Buccaneer athletes made their decisions on where to attend college – and what sport to play – last week Wednesday.
The three – Kate Hassing, Nick Lee and Nathan Carr – are all three-sport athletes and each considered several schools and sports programs for their post high school careers.
Hassing signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Minnesota – Duluth and participate in track and field for the Bulldogs.
Lee signed with South Dakota State University in Brookings, S. D., and will play as a tight end for the Jackrabbits.
Carr will also play football, signing with the Mustangs of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. He will play wide receiver.
BEA Athletic Director Rob Norman says this is the first time they have had three athletes sign with colleges on the same day.
“We hold a signing ceremony for athletes who sign with a Division I or II school,” Norman says. “Most years that is one or two kids.”
Garrett Anderson already signed earlier this year, so this makes four at BEA this year.
Hassing says the UMD Bulldogs have an all-around solid track and field team, especially in sprints – the area she will specialize in.
She considered Augustana and the University of Minnesota, but decided on UMD because they have the best combination of academics and sports.
“It felt like the best fit for me,” she says. “They have a great pre-med program there.”
That is important since Hassing plans on pursuing a career as a family practitioner medical doctor.
Hassing says UMD has an all year long track program, running both on an indoor and outdoor track.
“We are very happy for her, and very excited,” Hassing’s mother Sue says. “It is good to have the decision made.”
Nick Lee looked at the UMD football program, as well as Augustana (where his brother Jake plays football) and the University of Minnesota.
But, like Hassing, he decided the program at South Dakota State fit him the best.
“I will red-shirt the firstyear,” Lee says. “They have a great senior tight end this year, but they plan to use me a lot the following year.”
The coaching staff really recruited Lee hard. The head coach has been in Blue Earth three times to visit him.
Plus, the tight end coach, Tim Triplett, had a connection to the Buc athlete. Triplett’s father was Lee’s father Bill’s football coach at the University of South Dakota – “a few years back,” William Lee recalls.
Nick Lee says the Jackrabbits use the tight end a lot in their scheme, and were looking hard for someone to fill that position.
Nathan ‘Nate’ Carr also looked at other schools, including Augustana.
He even looked at going to Minnesota State University-Mankato to participate in track.
But, in the end, SMSU in Marshall seemed like the best fit for him.
“They have an excellent ag program there,” he says. “I plan on majoring in either agronomy or agri-business.”
Carr also liked the football program there, especially the coaches.
“They are rebuilding the program, after going 6-5 two years ago and 5-6 last year,” Carr says. “But they are going to work hard at it.”
Carr will figure to make an impact, since the speedy wide receiver led the Bucs with long pass receptions which usually resulted in touchdowns.
Three Buccaneer coaches spoke at the signing ceremony – Tom Plocker, Randy Kuechenmeister and Gary Holmseth.
Plocker has coached all three in track and praised the three as both outstanding athletes and as terrific people.
Kuechenmeister coached both Lee and Carr in football, and says he knows the two will be outstanding additions to the college programs they will be joining.
Holmseth, who currently is coaching Lee and Carr in basketball, also not only praised the three Bucs as outstanding athletes, but also their hard work off the field and in the classroom.
“You three have worked hard both in sports and in school,” he says. “Now you are reaping the rewards of this hard work, and you certainly deserve it.”