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High school athletes sign National Letters of Intent

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Anna Peplowski
Holt Geltmaker

(HOI) -- Wednesday was National Signing Day for high school seniors in several sports. Athletes in central Illinois and around the country signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) for sports such as basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, and swimming.

Illinois Valley Central's Holt Geltmaker signed with Illinois to play baseball. He's part of an eight-player class for the Illini, which features five players from the state of Illinois. According to the University of Illinois, Geltmaker is the 43rd ranked recruit in the state.

Geltmaker said, "Illinois is an outstanding school that will provide me with many opportunities. Coach Hartleb, Coach Christ, and the rest of the coaching staff make great connections with their players and do everything they can to help them succeed."

Metamora's Anna Peplowski is also Big Ten bound, she signed her NLI to Indiana University's swimming team. Peplowski was a four event sectional champ this year.

Normal U-High's Abby Knight will be staying close to home for college. Knight signed her NLI to play softball at Illinois State.

"Abby has a tremendous upside and will help in several roles on both sides of the ball. Her versatility will bring depth to the middle infield and she will provide power to our offense from the left side of the plate," said Illinois State Softball Head Coach Melinda Fischer.

Bradley saw Connor Hickman sign his NLI to play basketball for the Braves. Hickman is a 6'3" guard from Bloomington, Indiana who averaged 15 ppg, 3 apg, and 4 rpg as a junior.

"Connor has championship DNA and talent that will be a very good fit within our university and program. He is an all-around guard that has tremendous feel for the game and can make a lot of winning plays," said Bradley Basketball Head Coach Brian Wardle.

Illinois also landed a basketball recruit out of Indiana. Luke Goode signed his NLI with the Illini. Goode is a 4-star recruit from Fort Wayne, Indiana who averaged 17.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, and 3.1 apg as a junior. Goode signed onto Brad Underwood's team over the likes of Michigan State, Iowa, Louisville, and Stanford.

"Luke is the ideal fit for our needs in this class as a wing with size who can really shoot it. He has extremely high basketball IQ and is a versatile player who can also handle it and pass. He is an outstanding student and will excel here in the Gies School of Business. Luke not only fills a need on our team, he also fits our culture. He is always in the gym and the weight room, and has a bright future because of his work ethic," said Underwood.

November 11th is the initial signing day for athletes to sign their NLI's and athletes can still sign in the coming days and months.

This the beginning of the "Early Period" for Division I basketball signees, which goes until November 18th. The "Regular Period" goes from April 14, 2021 - May 19, 2021. For football, the "Early Period" goes from December 16, 2020 - December 18, 2020 for Division I signees. The "Regular Period" is from February 3, 2021 - April 1, 2021 for Division I and August 1, 2021 for Division II. All other athletes in Division I and II sports can sign from November 11, 2020 - August 1, 2021.

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Holden Krusemark

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