Izzy Haverkampf sings a National Letter of Intent to play women’s soccer at Northland College in Ashland during a press conference in Rhinelander Wednesday, Feb. 5. (Photos by Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
In this August 2019 file photo, Jackie Wells, left, and Alex Oestreich play together during a Rhinelander High School girls’ tennis match. The two will both announced Wednesday that they will play collegiately at Loras College, a NCAA Division-III school in Dubuque, Iowa.
2/8/2020 7:35:00 AM Signing day notebook
Haverkampf, Oestreich and Wells commit to D-III schools
Rhinelander High School girls' soccer player Izzy Haverkampf said she had a number of options of where to attend college, but only one school had the perfect combination of what she wanted to pursue academically and athletically.
That's why Haverkampf is heading to Northland College in Ashland where she will play women's soccer.
"I'm going into environmental studies and Northland is really an environmentally-conscious school," she said Wednesday during as she signed her National Letter of Intent in a press conference at RHS. "They've developed so many environmentally-sustainable programs and I'm just really excited to continue my academic career there as well.
"I looked into like seven or eight other colleges. I got into nine colleges total and I thought, academics come first and that's what made the choice very clear."
Haverkampf was Rhinelander's leading scorer last year as a junior, totaling 14 goals and five assists while earning unanimous first-team All-Great Northern Conference honors.
"She's one of those players we can rely on - hard work, dedication, she shows up to a lot of open gyms," RHS girls' soccer coach Richard Kotula said. "She makes sure a lot of her peers know about the sport and encourages them to play the sport, be good teammates and be successful not only on the turf but also in life."
Haverkampf will join the Lumberjills women's soccer team, which competes in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. Northland went 2-12-1 overall in 2019 under head coach Justin Sexton. At Northland, she will cross paths with one of her former Great Northern Conference rivals, Kaylee McPeak, who was the GNC's offensive player of the year for Ashland High School in 2018.
"The coach and the team were really welcoming and made the choice very clear," Haverkampf said.
Oestreich, Wells make jump together to Loras College
Best friends off the court and doubles partners on it, it seemed only fitting that seniors Alex Oestreich and Jackie Wells would continue their tennis careers together at Loras College, a NCAA Division-III school in Dubuque, Iowa.
The two went 20-10 together this season, their first paired together as a doubles tandem. They finished second in the GNC in the No. 1 doubles flight and qualified for the WIAA Division I sectional meet.
"I think it will be a good thing for both of us to continue playing together," Oestreich said during Wednesday's signing.
Rhinelander coach Bob Heideman said the two took divergent paths during their high school career. Oestreich was a starter her freshman year and played No. 1 singles as a junior before making the switch to doubles. Wells' game took a little more time to develop. She broke into the varsity lineup at No. 3 doubles as a junior before making the jump to the top flight as a senior.
Heideman said the bond Oestreich and Wells shared off the court was apparent in their play on it.
"That's where they should be, together as a doubles team," he said. "I think it's one of those things, the magic of sports where two people can come together and they add up to more than their individual parts. That's what they did their senior year. In doing so, they lifted the whole team. I'm hoping they can keep that magic together as they take their skills and their friendship to the next level."
The Duhawks compete in the American Rivers Conference. They went 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the ARC during the fall portion of the 2019-20 schedule. The spring portion of their season will begin this coming Friday.
Both Wells and Oestreich said they were undecided in terms of a major, but both expressed interest in working in the sports field. They also indicated they plan to dorm together in college.
"So it will be like sleepovers every day, which will be nice," Wells said.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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