For a very select few, it's still football season.
And the winter sports season, filled with hope for basketball players, wrestlers and swimmers, will have its first official day of practice Friday.
But while people are already putting up Christmas decorations, a ceremony at Whitehall High School on Wednesday had people thinking spring.
At a signing ceremony, Zephyrs softball standout Madison Kelly and baseball stalwart Jacob Wloczewski announced that they will continue their careers at the Division I Ievel — Kelly at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn., and Wloczewski at Binghamton (N.Y.) University.
Kelly, a two-time Morning Call all-area selection at shortstop, said "Division I was always my dream. They also have a good accounting program, which is what I want to study, and they have great facilities. I liked everything about the school."
She also considered Villanova and Saint Joseph's and is happy that her decision has been made long before her senior season begins.
"Last year was a little stressful with all of the phone calls," she said. "Now, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can just go play and have fun again."
Kelly hit .412 last season with 28 hits, seven doubles, five triples, 13 RBIs and 15 stolen bases while shining defensively at shortstop.
Whitehall coach Alexis Berg-Townsend said it is exciting to have her first Division I player in her six years with the program.
"We started this process with Madison and her family when she was a sophomore," Berg-Townsend said. "She thought it was going to be a never-ending process, but you see today that it has come together. It's her hard work that made this day possible."
In addition to her play at Whitehall, Kelly earned exposure while playing for the Jersey Inferno Gold, a high-powered tournament team that also features Parkland catcher Jordy Augustus, a junior who has verbally committed to South Carolina.
Like Kelly, Wloczewski also benefited from travel-team exposure.
He has been a member of the nationally ranked Triple Threat Bearcats of Boyertown since he was 11. Roxanne Wloczewski, Jake's mother, said that once "Binghamton started to show interest in him and we found out they were the Bearcats, I knew that's where he was going."
Jake said that it was more than just the nickname that swayed him toward upstate New York.
"It's a great fit athletically and academically," Wloczewski said. "The coaches made me feel so welcome. And they have a new field that's really beautiful."
Wloczewski, a right-handed pitcher and shortstop, also visited Pitt, Boston College, East Carolina, Radford, Longwood and the University of Virginia.
"He's one of our hardest workers; he's baseball year-round," Whitehall coach Shaun O'Boyle said. "He liked the school, he liked the pitching coach. It's unbelievable how much he has matured in the four years he has been here."
Binghamton is interested in Wloczewski as a pitcher, but O'Boyle said he could play anywhere in the infield.
Last season, Wloczewski played shortstop, third base and pitched for the Zephs, who advanced to the District 11 Class 4A semifinals before losing to Liberty.
According to O'Boyle, the three-year starter hit about .340 and was 4-2 as a pitcher with an ERA in the "low to mid 2s."
•Another area baseball standout who made his college future official was Jacen Nalesnik, Lehighton's three-time all-area catcher.
Nalesnik is headed to Sean Leary's program at Lehigh University.
"He fits at Lehigh because he has been a great player for us since he was a freshman and he's No. 1 in his class," said Lehighton coach Brian Polaha, who also coaches him with the Northern Yankees in the Tri-County League. "His father, B.J., went to Lehigh, and either way, he's going to come away with an outstanding college degree."
Nalesnik, who is also a record-breaking football player at Lehighton and a basketball player, said he received interest from Ivy and Patriot League football programs.
"But there was no doubt he wanted to play baseball," Polaha said.
Last season Nalesnik hit a team-best .425 with four doubles, three triples, five home runs, 35 runs scored and 25 RBIs in helping Lehighton reach the District 11 Class 3A finals for the second time in three years.
•Other signings Wednesday included Bethlehem Catholic basketball player Matt Husek making official his previously announced commitment to Holy Cross; Nazareth lacrosse player Grant Searfoss committing to Maryland, Baltimore County; Pleasant Valley baseball player Daniel Hrbek signing with Radford University in Virginia and PV softball player Hailey Marini committing to Bloomfield College in New Jersey.
In addition, two Parkettes gymnasts will receive college scholarships. Ajiea Hargrave of Allentown, a home-schooled student, will attend Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., and Kellie Wanamaker from Warren Hills in Washington, N.J., is headed to the University of Arizona.