BY TRAVIS DAVID
PALMYRA — Wednesday was not a holiday, but for a few Palmyra senior student-athletes it was the next best thing.
Seven Panthers made their college destination official by signing their Nation Letter of Intent to continue on to the next level both academically and athletically, on the day which is known as National Signing Day.
A quartet of football players signed on the dotted line in addition to a baseball player and a pair of track and field athletes.
Stalwarts on the gridiron, Ross Arch, Abe Haerr, Weston King and Brody Lehenbauer all made their pledges known — Arch signed for wrestling — while Bennett Stice signed on the diamond in addition to Lady Panther track and field athletes Drew Billups and Lydia Szarkia rounded out Wednesday’s college signings.
Arch is the lone athlete continuing his career at the Division I level, as the first Panther wrestling state champion will be headed to Northern Illinois University.
Haerr will take his talents to Division II Lindenwood University.
King, who was the most heavily recruited of the Panther athletes, decided on the University of Central Missouri.
Lehenbauer joins his teammates in the Division II ranks as he selected Missouri S&T.
Despite not having a junior season due to COVID-19, Stice picked up and accepted an offer to Lindenwood University.
The versatile Billups, who has dabbled in just about every sport Palmyra has to offer, including wrestling, will continue her track and field career close to home at Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Szarkia finished a stellar cross country career as one of the most decorated Panther harriers will be joining Billups at H-LGU on the track and will also join the Trojans cross country team.
NOTE: Full stories for each individual signing will follow in the next couple of weeks.