DEWITT — As he sat at the row of tables on the auditorium stage with 11 of his classmates, reality started to settle in on Chris Keitel.
His high school days are almost done, and the challenge of college awaits.
“It definitely makes me feel a lot more mature,” Keitel said. “It’s a step that I’m ready to move on to a new career and play football.”
A dozen Central DeWitt High School seniors, including Keitel, were recognized Wednesday afternoon at the high school in a ceremony in which they announced their college plans.
As athletic director Kurt Kreiter told them that the memories they would create in their college careers would eclipse those of their high school days, the tudent-athletes could feel the ceremony serving as a bridge to the future.
“High school is pretty much over,” Mitch Green said. “It’s exciting.”
Green, Keitel, AJ Smith and Mitch Kirby all plan to continue playing football. Keitel will play at St. Ambrose, while the other three are headed to Iowa Conference schools — Green to Simpson, Smith to Coe and Kirby to Wartburg.
Baseball players Austin Lechtenberg and Jake Thumann will join Kirby at Wartburg; volleyball standout Cori Peterzalek is headed to Mount Mercy; softball players Morgan Oldsen and Brooke Posey are going to Loras and Black Hawk, respectively; runners Rem Meggers and Mitch Federspiel will remain teammates at the University of Dubuque; and bowler/baseball player Lucas Perdieu is going to attend William Penn.
“The opportunity to bowl (in college) is amazing in itself,” Perdieu said. “Five or 10 years ago, it was even relevant as a high school sport. Now, scholarship opportunities in bowling have opened up for me and others.”
Lechtenberg acknowledged, though, that it could take time for opportunities to open up at the college level.