BEATRICE - 16 student athletes of Beatrice High School are taking their academic and athletic careers to the next level.

On Wednesday, National Signing Day, Beatrice held a ceremony for their student athletes. Activities director Gus Brown is in his first year at Beatrice and acknowledged the athletes’ work ethics.

“These are hard working kids,” Brown said. “Kids who have put the time in the weight room, gotten stronger and faster.”

For Northern State wrestling commit Trevor Reincke and Iowa Western football commit Caleb Jones, the feeling of finally signing can be summed up in a single sentence.

“It feels pretty good, a big weight off my shoulders,” Jones said.

“It’s like a huge weight off my shoulders,” Reincke said.

And 14 additional athletes are feeling the same way.

Reincke is a two-time state champion wrestler at Beatrice, who chose Northern State, a Div. II school in South Dakota. He chose NSU for it’s success in wrestling, but also for the long-term, as Reinkce intends to study in the Health and Sport Science Program.

“They have a good wrestling team too, and obviously I want to wrestle, but I kind of want a plan B if wrestling doesn’t work out,” Reincke said.

Caleb Jones, a first team all-district, all-state and all conference lineman, de-commited from Mankato State earlier in the week, before landing on Iowa Western. Jones says it was a decision that stemmed from thinking about the future in the sport.

“It was a tough decision, but I think it was right for me, and I got plans to play at the next level,” Jones said. “I think I’ve got what it takes.”

For all athlete, there now comes a period of time between their signing day and the day they arrive on campus to begin competition. For Reincke, it’ll be a time to train and get better, but also heal up from an injury that cut his senior season short. And, like any senior, getting ready for the next chapter.

“First, I’ll be healing and then I’m going to start working out, practice, I’ll be going up to Iowa for the best wrestler,” Reincke said. “I plan on hitting some off season tournaments, but for the most part, just getting ready for college.”

For Jones, it’s all business on getting better.

“It’s time for me to put my head down and start working. Get better everyday,” Jones said.