Three Beaver Dam High School girls basketball players officially signed on the dotted line and committed to play women’s college basketball during the NCAA’s early National Signing Day on Wednesday.
Maty Wilke signed or Letter of Intent to attend the University of Wisconsin. For Wilke, the states #1 ranked player in the class of 2021 according to wissports.net, it ended a long recruiting process that started when she was in 7th grade. Wilke told DailyDodge.com that after being recruited by schools all across the nation, she was happy when she realized that playing for her home state Badgers was where she wanted to be. “My process was so long that I thought really hard about it and then it just came so easy to me. And then finally when I made this decision, I thought how did I not make this decision earlier. I’m just excited to hopefully turn that program around and play in front my amazing friends and family. I wouldn’t be here without them.“
Paige Hodgson also signed her Letter of Intent to play college basketball at NCAA Division One Northern Kentucky. The Norse are a team on the rise in the Horizon League, which is the conference that UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay compete in. Hodgson says it was an exciting day. “It was a great day to be surrounded by family and friends as I join the Northern Kentucky family. It means a lot because all three of us (Wilke & Jens) have worked so hard to get where we are. It feels great to finally have your hard work pay off and get to play basketball at a college.”
Natalie Jens was being recruited by both NCAA D1 and D2 schools before settling on NCAA Division Two Minnesota State-Moorhead. Jens told DailyDodge.com that “It’s definitely a dream come true. It was great to share it with the people I love and have gotten me this far. I’m just super excited, the team, the coach, the players, the atmosphere. I’m super excited to find the perfect fit.”
The Golden Beavers are scheduled to start practice for the 2020-21 season on Monday. Beaver Dam won three straight WIAA Division Two state girls basketball championships from 2017 through 2019 and were on the verge of winning an unprecedented fourth straight title when COVID-19 caused the state tournament to be cancelled. The Golden Beavers are considered by many to be the prohibitive favorite to win the D2 state title again this season.
Including this year’s signees, BDHS has now sent ten players on to play NCAA Division 1 or Division 2 women’s college basketball since 2017. They include; Jada Donaldson (Class of 2020, UW-Milwaukee), Aly Van Loo (2019, North Dakota), Tara Stauffacher (2019, Wisconsin), Paige Schumann (2019, Eastern Illinois), Afton Bartol (2018, University of Mary), Kara Crowley (2017, Wisconsin), Cassidy Trotter (2017, Michigan Tech). 2019 BDHS grad Lanie Roedl is also a team manager for the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team.
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Photo: Beaver Dam High School seniors Paige Hodgson, Maty Wilke and Natalie Jens sign their National Letters of Intent to play NCAA women’s college basketball.