Southwest Minneapolis signees

Meet the Washburn and Southwest student-athletes who have signed with college programs

Washburn High School signees
Photo courtesy of Washburn High School

It may be the heart of winter, but some of Southwest Minneapolis’ best high school athletes are already gearing up for next fall, when they’ll begin their college careers.

Fifteen Washburn and Southwest students have signed with college sports programs for next fall. (A 16th, Washburn’s Darley Florvil, who won Minnesota’s Class 2A Mr. Soccer award this past fall, has college offers. Seven of the students will compete at the Division I level, six will compete in Division III and two will compete at the junior college level. Most of them have played their respective sports for years, though at least one just recently picked it up.

Here’s a closer look at those student-athletes:

Jameson Charles

Jameson Charles  |  Washburn High School

Sport: Soccer

College: North Carolina (Division I, Atlantic Coast Conference)

A four-year varsity player and a captain as a senior, Charles finished his Washburn career with 18 goals and 59 assists and capped his career by leading the Millers to the Class 2A state semifinals in 2019. Charles was also a first-team All-State selection and a Star Tribune first-team all-metro selection as a senior.

Helena Gutzmer

Helena Gutzmer  |  Washburn High School

Sport: Rowing

College: Tulsa (Division I, American Athletic Conference)

Gutzmer rows for the Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club, of which she is a team captain. She will join two other Minnesotans on the Tulsa team. She has competed in multiple regional races and helped her team take first place in races last year in Duluth and Minneapolis.

TK Marshall

TK Marshall  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Football

College: North Dakota State (Football Championship Subdivision, Missouri Valley Conference)

Marshall started four years at running back for Southwest and was a three-year captain. As a senior, he rushed for over 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns and was named a finalist for the Mr. Football award, given annually to the state’s top high school player. Read more about Marshall.

Luke Rimington

Luke Rimington  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Soccer

College: Hamline (Division III, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

Rimington, a two-year varsity player, was a captain and the starting goalie for the Lakers as a senior, helping them to a 10-win season. He said a highlight of his career was the team’s 1-0 win over Washburn in October. Rimington also had a combined 11 saves in Southwest’s two wins over South this past season.

Joe Virnig

Joe Virnig  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Football

College: St. John’s (Division III, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

Virnig, a defensive lineman, didn’t start playing football at Southwest until he was a junior. He became a starter by the end of his senior season, after sitting out his entire junior season because of an injury. “He is quite the success story of hard work paying off,” Southwest coach Josh Zoucha said.

Peyton D’Emanuele

Peyton D’Emanuele  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Swimming

College: Notre Dame (Division I, Atlantic Coast Conference)

D’Emanuele’s high school career included seven all-state honors, two all-America honors and Southwest’s first girls state swimming title since 1977, which she won in the 100-yard butterfly at the 2018 Class 2A state meet. She also broke five school records and five district records and swam for the Eden Prairie-based Aquajets Swim Team.

Sam Isaacman

Sam Isaacman  |  Washburn High School

Sport: Soccer and swimming

College: Carleton (Division III, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

Isaacman played two years on Washburn’s varsity soccer team and tallied seven goals and seven assists in 2019. He has been on the varsity swim team for four years and is a team captain.

Gwen Nelson

Gwen Nelson  |  Washburn High School

Sport: Fencing

College: Cleveland State (Division I, Midwest Fencing Conference)

Nelson started fencing when she was 10 and competes with the Center for Blade Arts (formerly the Minnesota Sword Club). Her club has won the state high school championship three years in a row. A memorable moment of her fencing career was when she made it to the fourth round in a national fencing tournament.

Ben Stites

Ben Stites  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Wrestling

College: Case Western (Division III, University Athletic Association)

Stites, a two-year captain, has wrestled for Southwest since eighth grade and made the varsity team as a freshman. He qualified for state in the 120-pound weight class as a junior and had a 23-10 record this season heading into the section tournament. He’s eighth on Southwest’s all-time wins list and had a 71-54 career record as of Feb. 11.

Olivia Waguespack

Olivia Waguespack  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Gymnastics

College: Ithaca (Division III)

Waguespack competes with TAGS Gymnastics in Eden Prairie and has been participating in the sport for 10 years. She competes in all events and last year qualified for the U.S. Western Gymnastics Championships.

Hannah Fox

Hannah Fox  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Volleyball

College: Case Western (Division III, University Athletic Association)

Fox, an outside hitter and defensive specialist, played varsity volleyball for three seasons. She was a captain as a senior and helped the Lakers take second place in the Minneapolis City Conference. She has also played for the Bloomington-based Mizuno M1 club volleyball program.

Anika Johnson

Anika Johnson  |  Washburn High School

Sport: Swimming

College: Colorado State (Division I, Mountain West Conference)

Johnson has been to state multiple years for the Millers and took 12th as a senior in the 200 free while also swimming in the 200 medley relay. She also competes on the Richfield-based Piranhas Swim Club and holds five club records.

Elle Niebuhr

Elle Niebuhr  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Swimming

College: Minnesota (Division I, Big Ten)

Niebuhr was a five-time participant in the Class 2A state meet, where she took third in the 500 freestyle each of the past three seasons. She finished her high school career with six school records and four school district records, and she also earned six all-state honors and four all-America honorable mention honors. She has also competed with the Edina Swim Club.

Doug Sutton

Doug Sutton  |  Southwest High School

Sport: Football

College: Iowa Central (National Junior College Athletic Association)

Sutton played varsity football starting his freshman year and was a two-year captain and a three-time all-conference selection. He was part of a Southwest defense that shut out four of its eight regular-season opponents this past season, helping the team to a 7-3 record.

Kesha White

Kesha White  |  Washburn High School

Sport: Basketball

College: Florida Southwestern (National Junior College Athletic Association)

White, a center, is a co-captain who began playing varsity basketball as a sophomore. She has averaged over 13 points and 12 rebounds per game this season and had helped the Millers to an 11-10 record heading into their final game of the season, set for Feb. 20 against Southwest.