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Woodbury athletes sign Letters of Intent

Four Woodbury High School athletes signed National Letters of Intent Nov. 8 in a ceremony held at the school. Signing was basketball standout Rachel Hakes, softball stars Amanda Dickmeyer and Kaitlyn Rocco and swimming champion Lucia Rizzo. John Molene / contributor

Four of Woodbury's best signed National Letters of Intent Nov. 8 in ceremonies held at Woodbury High School.

Softball stars Amanda Dickmeyer and Kaitlyn Rocco and basketball ace Rachel Hakes all signed letters of intent. Woodbury student Lucia Rizzo, who competes for the Riptide Swim Team, also signed a national pledge.

Hakes will attend Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., next season. Dickmeyer will play softball at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. Rocco signed with Northern Kentucky. Rizzo will swim for Iowa State University.

Amanda Dickmeyer

"Amanda is what I might call a rare force in the sport of softball," said Woodbury softball coach Michelle Welch. "She is not only talented but has a love for the game and a drive to compete that goes unmatched. Amanda has been a tremendous leader on and off the field and has been a backbone in our program's success."

Dickmeyer said the selection process was a little stressful, but she felt comfortable with Augustana after visiting.

"There's just an unexplainable feeling of comfort and you just know that you're going to fit in," she said.

Dickmeyer could play any spot in the middle of the infield as a freshman, she said. "Who knows, we'll see. Probably a good chance of either short or second base."

Kaitlyn Rocco

"Kaitlyn is a powerhouse when it comes to softball," said Welch. "Her swing is wicked awesome. And whether behind the plate or in the outfield her throw is second to none. ... Her work ethic on and off the field pushes others around her to be better."

Rocco said she felt at home at Northern Kentucky.

"The coach really made me feel like she wanted me," she said. "As soon as I walked on campus I just knew. It was just a feeling I had. Once I went to that school I just knew I wanted to play for that coach."

Rocco believes she can start in right field as a freshman at Northern Kentucky, then switch to behind the plate as a sophomore.

Rachel Hakes

"Rachel Hakes has been the cornerstone of the Woodbury girls basketball program for four years now," said Woodbury girls basketball coach Megan Kirchenwitz. "She's had a tremendous career as a Woodbury Royal. Rachel has been a four-year starter and three-year captain for our program. For the past three seasons she has been consecutively been voted all conference in the SEC. Since she was a ninth grader, Rachel had led our program in statistical categories of scoring, rebounds and steals."

Hakes, who projects as a point guard in college, says she "fell in love" with the coaching staff at Fairfield University on a visit in June.

"They have such superior character and their emphasis on academics and athletics just made it the right fit for me," said Hakes. "And it's a school where I'm able to play at in reasonable time.

"Once I went on my official visit I knew right away it was the place for me," Hakes added. "And so I wasted no time and committed the next day."

Lucia Rizzo

"We're very excited that Lucia will be attending Iowa State University on a swimming scholarship. They're very lucky to have her," said Riptide coach Mike Parratto in a statement. "She's a nationally-ranked swimmer and a leader on the team as well as a many time Minnesota state finalist, champion and national qualifier."

Rizzo has been a standout for the Riptide team. In the Minnesota Senior State Swimming Championships in March she scored 193 points, winning the 1,650 and swimming the anchor leg on two winning relays and one third-place relay.

Rizzo visited a couple of schools. Iowa State was her last visit.

"So on my last one I had already gone through the process and I knew what I was looking for and when I got there I just loved the teammates, I loved the coaches and the campus is beautiful, great academics," she said. "It just seemed like the whole package."

Rizzo picked Iowa State over the University of Minnesota, Indiana and Nebraska.