MISSOULA — The school season is almost over, and a few athletes around the area are making their decisions about what's next after high school.
Over at Missoula Hellgate High School on Wednesday, four students were honored for their commitments to continue competing at the college level, in sports ranging from basketball, soccer, baseball to dance.
Two of the four signed to stay in Missoula and will head over to the University of Montana as senior Connor Dick will join the Montana Grizzlies men's basketball team. Leena Wachtel will also joined the UM dance team next fall.
"I think there were a lot of things that went into it. There are so many things about playing basketball at the University of Montana that just don't exist anywhere else, and I think ultimately that's why I decided to stay here," Dick said. "It means so much, these are all of my best friends, I've known them for forever so it's awesome to see us all kind of go our own ways being really successful."
"I kind of changed from being ballerina, competitive dancer, to being on dance team and I just fell in love with the style and I love performing in front of people," Wachtel added. "So I was really excited when I finally got the chance to perform in front of so many people, and the Griz stadium is huge and the football games are such a big deal here in Missoula. I'm just so excited for the experience to be able to dance in front of so many people."
Henry Pierce also signed for men's soccer at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, while Roy Combs will head out east to compete in baseball at Miles Community College.
These final signings come as the year winds down and round out a number of standout athletes who will head to the next level, and with graduation right around the corner.
"I'm super excited," Pierce said. "I've always loved high school soccer, especially for the four years that I've played here, and I'm just excited to continue playing soccer and continue my education too."
"At a very young age, I didn't think I was able to stay here in Montana and play baseball and when I learned that I could, I was ecstatic to be able to be a part of a Montana baseball club," Combs added. "It means a lot to me that I can stay home and see my family more often."