On Wednesday, three student-athletes took pen to paper to sign on to play at college.
"You're not only getting an exceptional athlete, you're getting a well-rounded individual," North Principal Michael Gardner said to the colleges in a special signing day ceremony at North.
Here are the three student-athletes' stories:
Jessica Bean, 17, of Tinley Park
Soccer has been part of Jessica Bean's life since she was 4.
After signing on Wednesday, her future will be at Loyola University, where she will play soccer while working toward a degree in criminal justice.
"After how hard she's worked, it's just so exciting to see her go up a level," said Bean's mother Linda.
Jessica previously committed over the phone, but said it didn't seem real until she had the pen in hand.
"It makes it more official in my mind," Bean said. "It's finally coming true today."
Sam Jackson, 17, of Frankfort
As she signed with Quincy University, Sam Jackson's mind was on her late grandfather Tom Rutherford, who started the family's love of tennis.
"He started my mom and my aunt and that's mainly why I'm here," Jackson said.
Before signing, Jackson said she was really nervous, "just knowing that this is it, that I am going to Quincy, that I will no longer be in high school."
While the day was a blast into the future for Sam, her mother Jill's mind went to the past as she watched the young athlete sign.
"It seems like I just had her," Jill Jackson said.
Ross Stremme, 17, of Frankfort Square
Stephanie Stremme has no idea where her son's love of football came from. His father played basketball and his two brothers are more into baseball.
Wherever the love came from in the past, she's glad it's there to help secure his future.
"We talked about it his whole life. For him to get a scholarship to help pay for school and for it to happen—it's just amazing," she said.
Ross Stremme, , will play for St. Francis University.
"He has the potential to be a tight end or even an offensive lineman," said St. Francis Assistant Football Coach Clayton Norberg, who attended the event.
The future Fighting Saint said football started as a whim.
"I tried it out in eighth grade and it just sort of stuck," Ross Stremme said. "I'm excited. I can't wait for college."
Want to see more local athletes' college plans? Read these stories from Wednesday's signing day: