Almost a full year has passed since Cooper Trinkle committed to play baseball at the University of Evansville, so he was more than relieved to finally be able to sign his national letter of intent on Wednesday.

The middle infielder was one of seven Columbus North seniors to participate in a signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon in the school’s cafeteria. Trinkle, who plans to major something in business related like accounting or finance, actually did the official signing in the morning.

“It’s nice to get a weight off my shoulders,” Trinkle said. “It’s kind of a dream come true. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. My dream was always to play D-I baseball, so to sign today is nice.”

As a junior, Trinkle batted .416 with six doubles and two triples and led the Bull Dogs with six home runs and 27 RBIs in earning first-team All-State honors.

Two of the athletes signed with Ball State. Holly Anderson, who was the state medalist in golf last month, verbally committed in June to join her sister Sydney on the Cardinals women’s golf team.

Holly Anderson plans to major in interior design or something business related.

“I’m really excited to go there,” Anderson said. “I’m really happy to get (the signing) over with, so it’s not as stressful during the second semester of school.”

Maliah Howard-Bass was one of two North girls basketball players to commit to colleges last month. She is headed to Ball State, where she will major in exercise science.

Last year, Howard-Bass led the Bull Dogs with 18.6 points a game and averaged 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals. She led North to a 27-2 record and Class 4A state runner-up finish and was selected first-team All-State and as an Indiana Junior All-Star.

“It’s a dream come true just knowing that I still have four more years to pursue the sport that I love,” Howard-Bass said. “It’s nice to get this out of the way because I’m not as stressed out. I can get everything done and just focus on schoolwork and this upcoming season.”

Another basketball player, Imani Guy, will play at Southern Indiana and major in business.

Guy averaged 9.3 points and 5.8 rebounds and led the Bull Dogs with 3.2 blocked shots last season. She was a second-team All-State selection and a Junior All-Star.

“I’m really excited,” Guy said. “I’ve always wanted to play college basketball. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. All my friends and family and my teammates are here to support me.”

Darby Coles was another North senior athlete to commit last month and sign on Wednesday. She is headed to Marshall to swim and will major in business.

Coles finished 25th at state in the 100-yard freestyle and swam on the sixth-place 400 freestyle relay and 14th-place 200 freestyle relay teams as a sophomore. Last year, she swam on the 200 medley relay team that finished 22nd at state.

“It’s super relieving just to know where I’m going next year and have it all out of the way so I can really focus on the season this year and not have to worry about the extra aspect of (choosing a college),” Coles said.

Mackenzie Rooks is the latest North senior athlete to choose a college. She picked Manchester, where she will play volleyball and major in business management with a minor in finance or major in communications.

This season, Rooks set a school record with 426 digs. She was a South Junior All-Star last year.

“After I visited Manchester, I really knew that I liked the coach and the school a lot, especially how laid back the coach was,” Rooks said. “After talking it over with my parents, I just knew it was the best option for me, especially academically.”

Bryce Turner committed late last month to play golf at St. Francis. He is a two-time All-Conference Indiana player.

Turner plans to major in business management/operations.

“I liked the small campus feel,” Turner said. “I also felt like I fit well with the team, and I like the courses they play and practice on. I’m really excited about playing college golf because I know it’s going to be different. I’m excited to travel different places and just be in the college atmosphere.”

Five other North seniors have made verbal commitments. Football players Mitchell Burton (Miami-Ohio) and David Redding (Western Michigan) and girls soccer players Chloe Chambers (Franklin), Marina Hughes (St. Francis) and Charlotte Verbanic (Hanover) plan to sign during a ceremony in early February.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5628.