December 11, 2013 - Three Lady Wolves are ready for the next step after signing their names to colleges next fall.
Sami Stelpflug is heading to University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; Brianna Frakes, Robert Morris University; and Katie Chadwell, Oakland University.
"I am proud of any athlete who signs," said Clarkston Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Avenall. "It is a great testament of their high school career. They played hard and have done some good things and they get continue on the college level."
"I am excited," Stelpflug smiled about joining the women's swim team in Milwaukee.
She was looking at University of Kentucky and Oakland University when she went on a a recruiting trip at Wisconsin.
"I fell in love with the school, the team, the coaches and just the environment," Stelpflug said, adding her brother and relatives are in the area so it is already a home away from home.
She is undecided for her course of study since she is looking at different options including interior design and veterinarian.
"It is a wide range," she smiled.
Stelpflug began swimming when she was 7-years-old and finished her senior year helping the Clarkston Girls Swim & Dive team to take eighth place at the MHSAA Division 1 State Championship.
She took sixth place in the 100-yard breaststroke, 1:06.22; and seventh place in the 200-yard IM, 52.65. Stelpflug, along with her sister, Megan, and teammate Kathryn Culver and CJ Hughes took seventh place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Sami added swimming for Clarkston will help her as she goes to the college level.
"I definitely learned a lot of team aspects and how to be a good teammate and a good person," she said. "I learned a lot of different aspects of how to be a better person and a better athlete."
For Frakes, playing for Clarkston Varsity Volleyball since she was a sophomore prepared her for tough competition as she heads to Robert Morris University.
"The speed changes completely," she added. "It will help me with the speed college volleyball will bring."
She added the volleyball program also taught her how to be a leader, be on a team, balance her time and have a team family.
"I have learned a lot from Coach Avenall through the years. It has been a good experience. It has gotten me ready."
Signing to Robert Morris was a big relief, she added.
"I am super excited to continue my volleyball career," Frakes smiled.
She talked to over 100 schools when she began the process before she went through the long process of narrowing it down.
Robert Morris University stood out to her for the atmosphere and the academics.
"When I went there I had the feeling it was the right school," Frakes added. "I loved the team. I loved the coach. I knew it was going to be perfect."
Frakes began playing volleyball in elementary school when her mom and her sister got her started. Her mom coached her for a while and her sister began playing before Frakes joined.
"They are my role models coming into volleyball," she added. "They helped me because I got to watch my sister and learn stuff from her and my mom helped me through it. She knew a lot of the stuff to do to become a good player."
Frakes is planning on studying business because it is one of her strong suits.
Chadwell is leaning towards studying social work when she goes to Oakland University in the fall but is still unsure.
"Social work is a field you can help people," she explained why she might go into that field. "That's what I want to do - help people."
She added she felt great about signing to become a Lady Grizzly and not having to worry about having to apply to colleges.
Chadwell began playing volleyball in seventh grade after starting at Basketball America.
Through the years her coaches in the Clarkston program have helped out and also with teamwork.
"It will help prepare with team bonding," she said, adding it will help with the competition she will see as well. "College is always competitive even more competitive than high school. I am really excited for the competition and getting better and competing in college."
Frakes and Chadwell were captains for the volleyball team this year. The two, along with their teammates, scored their seventh consecutive OAA Red league title and district title.
"They have been solid players since they were sophomores," Avenall added. "They made it to the final four team in their sophomore year as starters. They continued to progress over the last three years. They are a big reason why we have won the league the last three years and why we have won the district championship the last few years."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.