Listen to this article

Preps coordinator Colin Likas caught up with a few standout athletes who signed their letter of intent on Friday to continue their athletic careers in college:

Bailey Dowling, St. Joseph-Ogden 

Alabama softball

Bio blast: Dowling was committed to the Tide before she even entered high school — in June 2016 — and has put forth a banner prep career since. She already holds the IHSA career record for home runs and helped SJ-O to a second-place showing in Class 2A as a freshman.

What Dowling said: “I’ve been waiting for this day for four years, and I’m so glad that I can officially call it home. ... (My plan is to) live in the moment. Enjoy the journey. I’ve done everything possible to get to this point in my life, and I plan on continuing with the mindset.”

Capria Brown, Schlarman 

Dayton women’s basketball

Bio blast: The last remaining high-schooler of five starters who led the Hilltoppers to consecutive Class 1A state championships in 2018 and 2019, Brown decommitted from Xavier in March and chose the Flyers in September amid offers from Illinois, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers and others.

What Brown said shortly after her verbal commitment: “I love the campus. I love the family atmosphere. And then I love the players. They’re easy to bond with. Picking Dayton, it wasn’t a hard choice for me, but then it was (because of the other offers).”

Katelyn Young, Oakwood 

Murray State women’s basketball

Bio blast: A force in volleyball and shot/discus throwing as well, Young decided upon the Racers in April 2019 and now will try to add a fourth News-Gazette All-Area first-team girls’ basketball honor to her personal list when the Comets start play later this month.

What Young said: “To be committed means all the time and hard work has finally paid off. All the coaches and trainers that spent their time to get me where I am was worth it. I hope all of those people share in my excitement. I can’t thank all of those people enough.”

Mattie Lieb (left center) and Emelia Ness (right center), Monticello

Illinois State women’s track and field

Bio blast: Each girl was integral to the Sages’ best-ever team state finish earlier this year, when Monticello snagged third in Class 2A. Both were on runner-up 800-meter relay and fourth-place 400 relay units, while Lieb placed fourth in the 200 dash and eighth in the 100 dash, and Ness ranked second in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles.

What Lieb said: “Before heading off to college, I want to have a solid season. With the college decision out of the way, I’ll be able to focus on my times individually and helping my team be successful. I’m really looking forward to my final season as a Sage.”

What Ness said: “It means a lot to me — not only to get the opportunity to run track at the Division I level, but also to be able to go to the same school my dad went to.”

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).