Wildcats at the next level: National Signing Day

Willems to run at UW – Milwaukee

Lexi Willems
Lexi Willems

Waconia senior Lexi Willems recently signed a letter to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. In a ceremony at WHS on Feb. 5, Willems committed to running cross country and track for the Panthers.

Willems is a decorated runner, received All-Conference honors 10 times between the two sports. She has participated in the state cross country meet three times, the state track meet once, and the Hamline Elite Track Meet two times. This year she captained the WHS cross country team. Willems has been a member of both programs since the seventh grade and WHS head cross country and girls’ track coach Christian Gilbert said she leads by example.

“We have appreciate Lexi’s athletic performances on the track and through the woods of Minnesota,” WHS head cross country coach Christian Gilbert said.

Also at WHS, Willems is heavily involved in the choral program and is a member of the honor roll, National Honor Society, Conservation Club, Prom Committee, Student Activities Council, and was Waconia High School’s female  selection for the 2014 Triple ‘A’ award. She is the daughter of Brian and Theresa Willems.

The UW – Milwaukee is a Division I school, where the Panthers compete in the Horizon League.


Sinnen commits to Bemidji State

Zach Sinnen
Zach Sinnen

Waconia senior Zach Sinnen signed a letter of intent on Feb. 5 to play football at Bemidji State University.

The six-foot-seven right tackle is a great competitor who is a battle-tested young man with a bright future, according to WHS head football coach Sam Baker.

“He demonstrated great mental toughness this year by dealing with several injuries and playing with a cast on his hand the entire season,” Baker said. “I can’t wait to watch him grow.”

Baker said Sinnen is a hard-working and dedicated athlete.

“I only had one year to work with Zach and it was a very fun year,” Baker said. “He’s a young man that works extremely hard.”

Bemidji State University is a Division II institution competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Beavers compete in the North division of the NSIC with the University of Mary, UM-Crookston, UM-Duluth, MSU-Moorhead, Minot State University, Northern State University, and St. Cloud State. The South division includes Augustana College, Concordia University – St. Paul, MSU – Mankato, University of Sioux Falls, Southwest Minnesota State University, Upper Iowa University, Wayne State College, and Winona State.


Zapf signs to DI Lipscomb University

Jacey Zapf, with parents Jim and Kellie
Jacey Zapf, with parents Jim and Kellie

Senior Jacey Zapf recently signed a letter of intent to play women’s soccer at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

The four-year letter winner is a decorated athlete, with two All-Conference awards, an All-State Honorable Mention nod, along with serving as team captain, and winning the team’s Rookie of the Year, Leadership, and Most Dedicated Player awards throughout her tenure with the Waconia Wildcats.

As a Wildcat, Zapf helped lead WHS to a second place conference finish in the 2013 season and the Wildcats’ best section finish in team history, making it to the section semifinals. Zapf was the second highest scorer in the conference with 16 goals and eight assists.

Zapf is also a member of the Eden Prairie Soccer Club, where she has been a State Cup Champion three times. She is also a special needs volunteer at Grace Church and a youth soccer coach assistant.

The daughter of Jim and Kellie Zapf, Jacey plans to major in Exercise Science at Lipscomb.

Lipscomb University is a Division I institution located in Nashville, Tennessee. The Bisons compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference along with Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Northern Kentucky University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate, and Stetson University.


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]