Winter sports signing day

Five senior athletes signed their National Letters of Intent in the West High cafeteria on Feb. 5.

February marks the first national signing day of the new year as high school athletes around the country commit to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level. West High’s winter signing day featured five senior athletes: Cora Saunders, Brody Schilling, Tate Crane, Will Hoeft and Collin Leavy.

Brody Schilling

Schilling will make the two-hour trip west next fall as he committed to play soccer at Drake University in Des Monies, Iowa. Schilling, who has played four years on varsity and won a state championship in 2017, made it official this past summer after the boys’ soccer team capped off yet another successful season as state runner-up.

“[Drake] has a really good soccer program and they have a really good business program which is what I will be going for,” Schilling said. “Overall the school just felt like the best fit for me.”


Brody Schilling ’20 committed to play Division-I soccer at Drake University in Des Moines.

Tate Crane

Crane waited the longest out of any of the signees to make his verbal commitment, announcing via Twitter on Feb. 1 that he would sign to play football at Truman State in Kirksville, Missouri. Crane’s recruiting process was documented on the first episode of The Recruiting Trail, where he disclosed part of his journey as a high school football prospect.

As one of West High’s leading receivers, Crane hauled in 40 receptions for 526 receiving yards and four touchdowns this past season. 

“I thought Truman State was the perfect fit for me academically and athletically,” Crane said. “A great university with many academic resources and a tough football program with an incredible coaching staff.”

Cora Saunders

In Saunders’ first year in a West High uniform the sharp-shooting wing signed on the dotted line to play basketball at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa next fall. Saunders committed via Twitter in early December, sealing her fate in the orange and black.

“I chose Wartburg because I really like the school and they have a very successful basketball program,” Saunders said. “I also really like the coaching staff and the team. It ultimately seemed like the best fit for me.”

Will Hoeft

Hoeft’s recruitment was also documented on an episode of The Recruiting Trail, where he verbally announced his commitment to wrestle and study at Harvard University. Hoeft hopes his decision to wrestle for the Crimson will not only further advance his athletic career, but prepare him for life after college as well.

“I chose Harvard because of Coach Weiss’ philosophy,” Hoeft said. “He not only wants to make people into great wrestlers, but into great men too.”

Collin Leavy

Leavy worked himself into last year’s state-qualifying lineup as a pinch-runner, and will look to take on a bigger role this season as one of the team’s starting infielders. For Leavy, the decision to attend Coe was partially influenced by his academic aspirations.

“I chose Coe because I liked the community feel on the campus as well as offering good options when it came to some of their science programs,” Leavy said. “Athletically they have a solid baseball program that will be fun and challenge me at the same time.”