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May 12, 2022
Will Travis’ childhood dream was to play at a high level in soccer. From joining his first team at age 7, rising through the Team Evanston and Eleven United club programs, and being a two-year varsity defenseman, that aspiration has become a reality, as Travis is headed off to Princeton University in the fall.
Travis’ recruiting process, similar to all college-bound athletes, was completely different from what it would’ve looked like pre-pandemic.
“I started out emailing and doing a mass email out to a bunch of different schools to see which schools are interested in me, and which schools I’d really be interested in. I really wanted to prioritize academics, and if I was able to play soccer there, that’d be ideal. COVID altered the recruiting process for me because usually, a coach would come to a tournament or something, but that obviously wasn’t available right at the time. So I went to a lot of IDP camps over the summer, and I went to their [Princeton’s] camp and they liked me and I really liked them. My brother also goes there. It was kind of an obvious choice for me.”
Throughout his time at ETHS, Travis has grown as an individual player but also built a strong foundation with his teammates– one that helped the Kits reach the sectional finals this season in the IHSA playoffs.
“The importance of relying on your team and realizing it’s not a one-player sport is huge. Everyone has different skills. I’m certainly not the best finisher on my team or anything– we all bring something different to the team and recognize how that can all work together.”
Although Travis’ season ended in the fall, understanding that his entire high school experience is coming to a close has hit him.
“It’s a feeling of nostalgia and just a little bit of sadness because I’ve grown up here my whole life. I’ve known a lot of these people around me since elementary school. It’s been like my whole life. I’m looking forward to this completely new chapter, but I’ll definitely just miss all the people and my teammates.