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LETTERS OF INTENT: Pair of area athletes sign letters of intent

WINDOM -- With the school year almost over for most area high school students, two local seniors, Brandon Thongvivong and Jeff DeCock, have signed letters of intent to continue playing their respective sports at the college level.

Windom standout baseball player Brandon Thongvivong signed with Morningside College to play baseball with the Mustangs under head coach Brian Drent earlier this week.

"The coaches in the area identified Brandon as one of the most talented baseball players in Southwestern Minnesota," Drent said. "He is very athletic and that is one of the things we look for at the college level. We love how he uses his athleticism and how hard working he is."

Thongvivong has been strong for the Eagles so far this season, including a 2-for-4 day at the plate with three RBIs against Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove on April 5.

"He is a very good hitter and we will be counting on that from him early on in his college career," Drent said. "With the guys we have on the field now, he is probably a year away from starting in the middle infield for us."

Even with his power at the plate, Drent feels Thongvivong still has a long way to go to become a well-rounded college ball player.

"He is close to being ready right now, but his arm strength is something he will have to work if he wants to play on the left side of the infield," Drent said. "Consistency at the plate will also a big thing for him to improve."

The Mustangs finished 37-21 last season, which was good enough for second place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. So far this year, Morningside is sitting in third place in the conference with a 20-21 overall record and a 10-6 record in the GPAC.

"A lot of our position guys are underclassman right now, but this year's recruits will be really important for our program to continue to move forward," Drent said.

Red Rock Central basketball star, Jeff DeCock, signed a letter of intent last week to play basketball next season for the Iowa Lake Lakers.

"Jeff is a very athletic guard who can play numerous positions. His versatility has allowed him to be a very good high school player," said Lakers head coach Troy Larson. "He is a great young man who I am looking forward to coaching."

DeCock, was selected to the All-Conference team three years in a row, while his team named him MVP the last two seasons.

With a total of 1,376 points in his high school career, DeCock became second on the RRC all-time scoring list. He also picked up 383 rebounds, 351 assists and 162 steals in his career.

The Falcons' single-game scoring record fell this season when DeCock put up 42 points in a game while going 16-for-16 from the free throw line, which landed him in the top 10 in state history for most free throws in a game.

In his senior year, DeCock averaged 22 points, 6.5 rebounds and two steals a game. He also averaged 71 percent from the free throw line this season.