Student-athletes prepare for college competition

The Feb. 5 Southeast Missourian Sports section was full of photos and career information on several area athletes.

No, the pictures were not of amazing catches, throws and kicks. These athletes were signing their names -- to compete at the collegiate level.

It's exciting to see young athletes excel in the classroom and on the field of competition. It's not every high school athlete who goes on to college sports. Fewer join the professional ranks. But for those athletes who go on to play in college, it can be the mechanism that helps them receive a post-secondary education.

Among the athletes who signed were several who chose to stay close to home and play for Southeast Missouri State University. Kudos to the university for not only scouting talent elsewhere but also noting the local athletes who can help the Redhawks win.

Several of the athletes also made the list of Semoball Awards finalists. The Semoball Awards is the premier sports awards show in the summer that recognizes the best of the best in Southeast Missouri high school sports. Learn more about the awards at semoball.com/awards. You can see the full list of fall finalists on semoball.com, and be sure to read the upcoming profiles to run in March that will appear in the Southeast Missourian, Standard Democrat, Daily American Republic, Daily Stateman and Daily Dunklin Democrat.

Congratulations to the athletes who signed with colleges and to those who have yet to sign but will do so in the coming months.