J.D. Harris remembers attending a signing ceremony last year in which several Columbus North football players formalized their college decisions.
Wednesday afternoon, Harris and senior teammate Tristan Bailey were participants in a ceremony, along with Bull Dogs senior baseball player Tyler Finke.
“It’s surreal, really,” Harris said. “After seeing everybody sign last year, and then having it this year, it’s crazy that high school is almost over. It’s almost time to get there.”
Harris, who verbally committed to Northern Illinois in June and signed Wednesday morning, led North with six interceptions this season in earning Class 6A All-State honors from the Indiana Football Coaches Association. The cornerback, who also played some wide receiver and returned kicks, was an IFCA Junior All-State selection last season and set Bull Dog career records with 14 interceptions for 215 return yards.
Bailey caught 40 passes for 601 yards and eight touchdowns this season to help North to a 9-2 record. He had verbally committed to Illinois State in July and signed his letter-of-intent Wednesday.
“It feels awesome to know that I’m going to a college that is going to set me up for the rest of my life,” Bailey said. “It’s great to know that it’s finally actually official that I’m going.”
Finke is headed to Snead State Community College in Alabama. His brother, Evan, played for Snead State the past two years and now is at Purdue-Northwest.
Tyler Finke batted .394 with six doubles, 34 runs scored and a school-record 38 stolen bases and shared the team’s Web Gem Award in helping the Bull Dogs to sectional and regional titles. The shortstop hit .426 with 11 RBIs as a sophomore.
“To play college baseball has always been a dream, so (signing is) really exciting,” Finke said.
Columbus East football player Tyler Thomas signed Tuesday with Indiana Wesleyan. He was a two-way starter on East’s Class 5A state championship football team this fall. He was a two-year starter at tight end and also played defensive tackle this season, making 38 tackles, including a sack and four tackles for losses.
Indiana Wesleyan just started its football program. It’s first game in school history will be Sept. 1.
“I really like that fact that it’s a start-up program,” Thomas said. “It’s a new facility, and I like how I can come out and play against people that are my age for a starting position.”