Baylee Zeiger signs with JWCC to play soccer

Baylee Zeiger, second from right in front row, poses with her family and soccer coaches after signing a letter-of-intent to play soccer at John Wood Community College on Tuesday at Korf Gymnasium.

HANNIBAL — Hannibal graduating senior Baylee Zeiger signed her national letter-of-intent to attend and play soccer for John Wood Community College on Tuesday at Korf Gymnasium.

Zeiger plans on majoring in nursing at John Wood Community College.

“Definitely their academics and also soccer (led me to sign with JWCC),” Zeiger said. “I enjoy watching soccer and watched a few of their games. They are really good, a great team and it’s a great opportunity for me to play soccer.”

Besides soccer, Zeiger also played golf and basketball at Hannibal.

Zeiger was named a Second Team All-Conference player as a midfielder in the North Central Missouri Conference this past season.

At Hannibal, Zeiger proved to be a versatile player. She started out as the starting goalkeeper for junior varsity as a freshman, shifted to forward during her sophomore season and played center midfielder as a senior.

“I think that time here has really helped her develop as a whole player, which I think will be very beneficial at John Wood,” said Hannibal girls soccer head coach Eric Hill. “I think they will be able to use her wherever they need her and she’ll step in and give it everything she’s got.”

John Wood Community College women’s soccer head coach Hayley Womack said Zeiger will be a great addition for the Blazers and should be able to contribute right away.

“We are excited to have Baylee,” Womack said. “Having her get to recognition that she got as a midfielder for Hannibal this year, we are just excited for her to slide into that role for us. I think she’ll mesh well with the other local kids we have coming in.”

Last season’s roster contained six Quincy High School alums, along with one Quincy Notre Dame alum.

As the Blazers enter their fourth season, Womack said she has tried to emphasize signing local players in the past couple of years.

“(Recruiting) has its ups and downs, that’s for sure,” Womack said. “This year, we have a lot of local kids coming in, so that’s something that we are super excited about.”

Hill said Zeiger should be a consistent player and bring a calming presence to JWCC.

“She was always one of our hardest workers,” Hill said. “She always gave every bit of effort that she could out on the field. I think that’s something that will carry over to the college level well for her.”

Zeiger said scoring the last goal in a few games was something she was proud of during her Hannibal career, and added that she enjoyed the camaraderie with the team.

“We go to the Camdenton Tournament every year,” Zieger said. “Just being able to get closer to the girls and playing harder teams is simply fun. It gave us a nice challenge.”

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