Madison La Follette senior defensive end Gary Barnes has committed to play football at Southwest Minnesota State, according to a Twitter announcement from La Follette Football.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Barnes was a first-team all-conference selection in the Big Eight Conference in 2018.

Barnes was a second-team choice on defense on the Wisconsin State Journal/ All-Area football team.

Southwest Minnesota State is an NCAA Division II program in Marshall, Minnesota.

La Follette Football tweeted: “Congratulations to Lancer DE, Gary Barnes who accepted a scholarship to play football at Southwest Minnesota State next year. We are very proud of you.”

Verona’s Sophie Alexander makes college choice for volleyball

Verona senior Sophie Alexander has announced her decision to play volleyball at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, according to a release from Augustana.

Alexander plans to enroll this fall at Augustana, where she will become part of coach Kelly Bethke’s volleyball program.

The 5-foot-11 Alexander was a three-year letter winner for the Wildcats, coached by Kelly Annen.

Alexander earned second-team All-Big Eight honors as a senior this past fall. She had 223 kills, 36 blocks, 60 digs and 11 service aces for Verona.

In club play, Alexander earned all-tournament honors at the 2017 Nike President’s Day Classic in Louisville, Kentucky. She also was named an all-star at the UW-Platteville camp.

Bethke will be in her sixth season at Augustana in 2019 and has guided the Vikings to a 96-60 record during her first five years—a .615 winning percentage that ranks second-highest in the 45-year history of the program.

Augustana is an NCAA Division III program.


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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.