Four prominent Chi-Hi athletes made their collegiate athletic commitments official on Wednesday as Bayleigh Dresel, Nolan Hutzler, Matt Pomietlo and Luke Schemenauer signed letters of intent with their respective colleges as student athletes.
Dresel will play softball at Marian University, Hutzler and Pomietlo will stay close to home as they play football at UW-Stout and Schemenauer will head north to play baseball at the College of St. Scholastica.
Dresel has patrolled the outfield this spring for the Cardinals while also bringing a steady bat to the lineup. She has battled injuries throughout her high school career but has put it together in her senior season for the Cardinals and now will continue to play softball in college, something she didn’t think would be possible.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my team, my mom and my friends,” Dresel said.
Marian is located in Fond du Lac and competes in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. Dresel is the latest in a long line of Chi-Hi softball players to take their game to the college level, something she attributes to the coaching staff.
“It’s really the teamwork together and the coaching staff,” Dresel said. “They push us every day at practice to be the best we can be.”
Hutzler and Pomietlo will stay teammates on the gridiron as the duo heads to Menomonie to play for coach Clayt Birmingham and the Blue Devil football team.
Hutzler was a three-year starter at quarterback for the Cardinals and quickly fell in love with the school’s campus.
“The thing about Stout is I love the campus. I love being there. If I was not going to play any sports that would be my campus I would’ve gone to anyways,” Hutzler said. “It’s close to home, I can keep in touch with my family very easily and I just love it there.”
Currently the coaching staff doesn’t have a specific position in mind for Hutzler, who said he will show up to Stout ready to work and play wherever he is needed.
“I’m just going to work my tail off,” Hutzler said. “That’s what I’m born to do.”
Hutzler will have a familiar face with him at Stout as Pomietlo will also suit up for the Blue Devils. Pomietlo was a multi-year starter at running back for the Cardinals, earned first team All-Big Rivers Conference and All-Region honors last fall and ran for 1,203 yards and 23 touchdowns.
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Originally Pomietlo was planning on attending CVTC, but instead opted to head to his father Tim’s alma mater Stout and like his dad would like to pursue a career in teaching.
Longtime friends Hutzler and Pomietlo will get the chance to continue together as teammates beginning this fall on the gridiron.
“It’s very great. Nolan’s been my friend since I was in elementary school and to continue my career in college with him is going to be amazing,” Pomietlo said.
Pomietlo could see time at running back as well as a slot receiver and plans to focus on training as he gets ready for the college game in the always-strong Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“I’ve got to continue training hard, work on my stamina more,” Pomietlo said.
Schemenauer will continue to play baseball as he will head for Duluth and hit the diamond with the Saints. The starting third baseman for the Big Rivers Conference leading Cardinals, Schemenauer said he could play anywhere on the infield in college and will head for St. Scholastica with an open mind for it.
“It’s great. I’m just looking forward to going up there, having some fun and playing baseball,” Schemenauer said. “I really like it up there. I’m excited for it.”
St. Scholastica plays in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and has won 23 straight regular season conference championships.
And while the school year for the seniors will be wrapping up in the coming weeks, each are still busy as a part of spring sports teams looking for postseason success. Dresel’s Cardinals open the Division 1 postseason next week and Chi-Hi is always a threat for a deep playoff push.
Hutzler, Pomietlo and Schemenauer are three key players on the Chi-Hi baseball team fresh off a 6-5 walk-off win in 10 innings over River Falls on Tuesday, a contest in which Hutzler had the game-winning hit.
Chi-Hi plays at River Falls on Thursday before facing Eau Claire North twice next week and controls its own destiny in the Big Rivers Conference championship chase.
“We’re just going to take it one game at a time and hope for the best,” Schemenauer said of the title race.