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 email@example.com.
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 Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."