Athletes from Regis, Chippewa Falls finalize college plans

Several high school athletes from Regis and Chippewa Falls put pen to paper on their college futures Wednesday. 11 athletes — six from Regis and five from Chippewa Falls — across several different sports signed their National Letter of Intent to solidify their college commitments.

Among the six Ramblers making their college decisions final was Brayden Albee, who will play football at Division III Carroll University in Waukesha. Albee was an WFCA All-Region selection on the defensive line in 2023 and was also a state tournament wrestler.

Albee chose Carroll due to the small-school feel and felt the coaching staff reminded him a lot of Regis’.

“It’s exciting,” Albee said. “It’s been a long journey and I’m just thankful for my family [and] everyone that’s pushed me to where I’ve gotten.”

A teammate of Albee’s on the wrestling team was Chase Kostka, who will continue his career on the mat at Division III Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kostka was also a state tournament wrestler this past season at 138 pounds.

“Something just clicked when I went down there,” Kostka said. “The team was great, the coach was really friendly to me and it just felt like they had something going down there and I wanted to join it.”

Two members of the Regis girls basketball team also signed their NLI’s at the ceremony. Ashley Chilson and Ava Highman were integral parts of a Ramblers squad that went 21-6 and won a regional final for the first time since 2016, something they had pushed for all four years while they played at Regis.

Chilson committed to NAIA Ave Maria University in southern Florida back in November. She was an All-West Cloverbelt first team selection after averaging over 15 points and 10 rebounds a game this past season.

The Regis senior says she chose Ave Maria due to its strong marine biology program which is what she’ll be majoring in.

“I’ve worked for this my entire life pretty much,” Chilson said. “It’s really good to see that dream coming to fruition and to see my hard work paying off.”

Highman was an all-conference second-team selection this past season and will play collegiately at Division III Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Highman committed to the Norse in March, saying she felt like she belonged there after meeting the coaches and the team.

“It’s always been one of my dreams to play college ball,” Highman said.

Rounding out the group were a pair of girls soccer teammates in Colleen Callaghan and Annabelle Schroeder. The duo make up the main offensive threat for a Regis/McDonell squad that made it to sectional finals last season and is 8-0-1 so far this year.

Callaghan will stay close to home and play for St. Norbert College, a Division III school in De Pere. Callaghan said her decision wasn’t a difficult one as St. Norbert felt like home immediately and that she didn’t really look anywhere else.

The Regis/McDonell senior is excited about the future, but is also focused on what the Saints can accomplish while she’s still with the program.

“We’ve had a pretty successful year so far,” Callaghan said. “We hope to make it far this year. It’s just great to be able to have such a great team that works with us. They’re all so cohesive and work really well and can’t wait for the rest of the year.”

Schroeder will be going the Division III route as well as she’ll play collegiately at Lake Forest College in Illinois. The senior mentioned the school’s academic and athletics programs as reasons for picking the school.

“It’s good to know that our four years of hard work in high school paid off,” Schroeder said.

Five Cardinals put pen to paper

Chippewa Falls had five athletes of its own finalize their college decisions. All five are staying relatively close to home and officially signed the dotted line after several of their high school coaches spoke about them to open the ceremony.

Carter Bowe was one of the Cardinals that signed their NLI. The multi-sport athlete will play football at Division II Minnesota-Duluth. Bowe committed to the Bulldogs back in October and will play defensive back at the next level.

Bowe has two older brothers at UM-Duluth and is excited to join both them and a football program that has seen plenty of recent success. Chippewa Falls head football coach Chuck Raykovich pointed out that the Bulldogs are selective in their recruiting and that isn’t lost on Bowe.

“It’s pretty special knowing that they take their time in selecting their group,” Bowe said. “I’m lucky to be a part of something like that.”

Jordan Chen will continue her cross country and track career at UW-Eau Claire. Chen ran as an individual at the state cross country meet this past season.

Also continuing their cross country and track career was Ben Cihasky who will run for UW-Stevens Point. Cihasky also advanced to cross country state as an individual last year.

Jakeb Lequia has been committed to play baseball at Milwaukee Area Technical College since October and sealed the deal on his commitment Wednesday. The righthander will pitch for the Stormers.

Capping off the Cardinals class is Taylor Mosher who is set to play volleyball at UW-Stout. Mosher was a part of a Chippewa Falls program that won back-to-back Big Rivers Conference titles and even made the state tournament in 2022.