After playing three sports throughout most of their middle school and high school careers, Drew Schoeberl and Alex Algee will focus on one at the collegiate level.
The Columbus North seniors are headed to play college football, and they made things official Wednesday in a signing ceremony at the school. Schoeberl will play at Columbia, and Algee is headed to University of Indianapolis.
“It’s kind of a culmination of what I’ve been dreaming of as a kid wanting to go play college football,” Schoeberl said. “I’ve just been excited all day.”
The pair were among five Columbus athletes — four from North — to take part in a signing ceremony. North’s Ty Bentham will play soccer for Fredonia (New York) State, North’s Ben Rankin will run cross-country and track for Grace College, and Columbus East’s Andrew Thomasson will play soccer at Drake.
Schoeberl and Algee, who compete in track and field in the spring, are back playing basketball this winter after a year away from the game. Schoeberl, who caught eight passes for 70 yards as a blocking tight end, committed to Columbia last month.
Ivy League schools do not offer athletics scholarships, but Schoeberl is getting a full-ride academically. He is planning to enter Columbia Business School but also is thinking about engineering.
“You can’t get a better education,” Schoeberl said. “I love the coaching staff and the football program. I’m definitely excited about it.”
Algee caught 40 passes for 813 yards and nine touchdowns as a big-play wide receiver. He had scholarship offers from St. Francis, Taylor and Marian and was offered roster spots at Butler and Dayton.
Although UIndy offered only a roster spot, Algee is hoping to earn a scholarship. He plans to major in sports management.
“It’s a really good fit for me academically,” Algee said. “I love the school. I like the coaches and the atmosphere.”
Rankin picked Grace over UIndy and will receive a scholarship from the Winona Lake school. He is thinking of majoring in social studies or political science.
In the fall, Rankin finished 49th in the state finals and was The Republic Boys Cross-Country Runner of the Year.
“I really liked the positive atmosphere (at Grace),” Rankin said. “Everyone I’ve met there has been really positive.”
Thomasson and Bentham were All-State soccer players as seniors. Thomasson led the Olympians with 21 goals and 11 assists in earning first-team All-State and The Republic Boys Soccer Player of the Year honors.
Thomasson, who committed to Drake last summer, is planning to major in pre-med.
Bentham was the Bull Dogs’ starting goalkeeper the past two years after moving in from Westfield, New York. He posted a 0.42 goals-against average as a junior and a 1.15 GAA this season.
In a return to the area where he grew up, Bentham plans to major in sports management at Fredonia State.
“It was local to me when I used to live in New York before I moved here, so it was kind of like the hometown college,” Bentham said.