Class of 2024 Kits to Commits

Class of 2024 Kits to Commits
Jocelyn Leigh
Jocelyn Leigh

Throughout her four years on ETHS’ varsity soccer team, Jocelyn Leigh has shown her dedication to community. The keystone forward has been instrumental in the team’s success—being on the field for 2022’s run to state and 2021 and 2023’s regional championships. Her powerful shot and relentless speed have propelled her to success on Lazier Field. For the next four years of her soccer career, Leigh will play at the Division 1 level at Loyola University.

“[This season has] been amazing,” Leigh said. “I’m really impressed with the team, and everyone’s really stepped up. We have a great dynamic, everyone talks to everyone. There’s no divides. I’m just excited to see where we go from here.”

Leigh began her soccer career with AYSO at a young age, encouraged by her parents. Though she participated in many activities, soccer was what she carried through high school.

“I tried a lot of sports, but soccer was always the one I wanted to go back to and the one I stuck with,” Leigh said. What made soccer so special? “It’s just a feeling I don’t get from playing another sport.”

As a freshman, Leigh made her varsity debut at ETHS. Now, as a senior, she’s leaning into her leadership position. While Leigh’s dominant gameplay grants her respect on the field, her strong character is what makes her a captain that others can depend on.

“I feel like my role has switched from being very oriented on the outcomes of the games to thinking of how I can give support in any way to any player so that they feel that they can always come to me,” Leigh said.

At college, Leigh intends to study sociology, history or literature, aiming to pursue a career that allows her to help others.

Family is a priority for Leigh—one bonus of attending college in her home city is that it allows her loved ones to continue attending her games.

“I just fell in love with the coaches [at Loyola]. They had reached out to me the first day you could and they kept following up. They were just so sweet,” Leigh said. “[Loyola’s] close to home. My mom and my sister have never missed a game.”

Jonny Harwood
Jonny Harwood

After his sister inspired him to play soccer years ago, Jonny Hardwood will pursue the sport at the collegiate level,  as a commit at UW-Stevens Point. The fall of 2024 will be the very first time UW-Stevens Point has a men’s soccer team that will play at the Division III level, giving Hardwood the opportunity to make huge impacts on the future of the program.

“It’s a brand new program so I can set history.”

Hardwood’s plan to “set history” sparked from an early age.

“I started playing soccer because my older sister was playing AYSO and I would go to their practices and stuff,” Hardwood said, “I played AYSO extra and then we got banned so we all just joined Jahbat.”

Hardwood concluded his high school soccer career this past fall when the team lost to New Trier in the Sectional semi-finals. Despite this devastating loss, the boy’s team had an otherwise successful season and finished 4-1-1 in conference. In Hardwood’s eyes, it went beyond the mere success of the team, and it was the bond he had with his teammates that impacted him most. The tradition of shaving their heads at the start of the season was a highlight.

“When we all went bald it was just really fun and brought all of us together,” Harwood said.

Harwood suggests that while leaving teammates, friends and family will be  difficult, it is a necessary transition. Hardwood’s time at ETHS was filled with long-lasting relationships and involvement in activities.

“I’m going to miss being able to see people so easily. I see most of my friends on a daily basis whereas when we go to [college]  it’s going to be harder to see people.”

As Hardwood navigates this bittersweet moment of leaving Evanston, he is also looking forward to the new opportunities UW-Stevens Point offers. UW-Stevens Point is offering a men’s soccer program for the first time and Harwood is ready to seize this opportunity and make his mark on the debut team.

Besides soccer, Hardwood will be studying Business Administration as he intends on pursuing a career in the sports business field. Through his participation in the Sports Business Club, Harwood discovered  where his academic interests lay. Overall, Hardwood is excited to start at UW-Stevens Point in the fall, and continue his studies while playing soccer.

“I’m looking forward to just being away from home and gaining new experiences [and] meeting new people,.” Harwood said.

Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley

Sarah Polley was just thirteen-years-old when she first started running track. Five years later, Polley will soon lend her talents as a triple and long jumper to Illinois Wesleyan University, with a major in education. With a population of 1, 527 students as of 2023, Polley knew that the small school environment was for her, even if she wasn’t intending to run track when she first visited the campus.

“Since it is my mom’s alma mater, it’s always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to go [Illinois Wesleyan],” Polley remarked. “When I met the track coaches they offered me a spot on the team, and it was exciting when I realized that there was a possibility that I could run in college.”

Although she is excited for new opportunities in college, Polley will miss the connections that she has made over the past four years, both with teammates and coaches here at ETHS.

“I’m extremely grateful for coach Michele Burke, for pushing me to get out of my comfort zone, and my friend Mya [Hubbard], who I’ve been jumping with for four years, we’ve truly been through the ringer together.” Polley reflected.

In the track off-season, Polley splits her time between practices with her coaches, and being a varsity gymnast for the past four years, as well as taking rigorous courses during her time in high school.

“Finding that balance between school and athletics in high school is really something that I wanted to carry into my first collegiate season, as well as connecting with my new teammates.” Polley said.

As Polley enters her first collegiate season, she plans to carry everything that she has learned from her high school seasons, as well as entering a position of new growth and not getting stuck in her comfort zone.

“I definitely want to improve and jump further and longer, and hopefully set new PRs,” Polley remarked. “I also want to get further out of my comfort zone, since I’m usually nervous to try something new.” 

Emmett Robinson
Emmett Robinson

After four years of high school football, Emmett Robinson will be continuing his football career at North Central College. While he had offers from higher division schools, Robinson opted for North Central, which sat at the No. 1 spot in the NCAA Division lll polls this past fall.

Robinson is looking forward to this next step. However, he reminisces about the bonds that he has created from kindergarten flag football, all the way to his senior season as a Wildkit.

“Football has kept me grounded and brought me a lot of friends,” Robinson said. “I will definitely miss high school football and the good chemistry of the team. I know college sports are a lot more business.”

The coaching staff at North Central College was another big attraction for Robinson. After playing for years under great Evanston coaches, he grew to understand the importance of having a supportive coaching staff and believed that it could not be overlooked while making his decision.

“I had a great connection to my coaches, especially my receiver coach, Coach Taylor. He is a mentor for me,” Robinson said. “A majority of my decision to play at North Central was the coaching staff.”

Robinson’s love for the game goes beyond his connection to coaches and teammates. Spending his next four years as a collegiate athlete only made sense for the young athlete.

“If I didn’t continue playing football, I would just feel lost in a way,” he said. “I can’t see myself playing any other sport to be honest. It is really my whole life.”

Besides football, Robinson has a passion for history. He plans on majoring in Secondary Education but is willing to explore many of his other interests in the years to come. Looking back on his journey, Robinson will always remember the joy the Kits football team has brought him.

“Hanging out with my teammates in and outside of practice meant a lot to me. Especially because it was my last year [as a Wildkit,] it was a great experience to have that chemistry.”

Oliver Hassard
Oliver Hassard

Despite not formally competing in track until highschool, Oliver Hassard starred in track and field throughout his time at ETHS, and has now earned a Division I scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania to compete at the next level.

After placing 14th at state in the high jump, Hassard realized during the summer of his senior year that he wanted to pursue running in college. After getting positive responses from several schools that he reached out to, Hassard knew that his dream could become a reality.

“Last summer, I was like,  ‘You know what? I love running track. I want to see where I can go in the future,’” Hassard said.

Because Penn was the first school to show significant interest, Hassard never really experienced the full recruiting process– something unique for a Division I athlete.

“I had a few other visits lined up, and a bunch of phone calls. But out of all the people that I emailed, Penn responded first. I got my first phone call with Penn and I got a visit in early September. I committed on the visit,” Hassard said.

On top of running track, Hassard also starred on the soccer field at ETHS, playing a pivotal role in the Kits’ run to sectionals in the fall. Hassard started playing soccer even before track, and emphasized the major impact that one of his soccer coaches had on him early on.

“[This coach] was not only a great soccer player, but a great guy,” Hassard said. “And he sort of taught me really what it’s like to dedicate yourself to a sport.”

Although track isn’t inherently a team sport, Hassard pointed out that some of his fondest memories of running track were the team camaraderie and culture. One example of this was in the infield of the track after sectionals last year, where Hassard and his teammates were purely talking for almost an hour.

“All the stress was gone, sectionals were over, and we just got to relax and just hang out. It was a great time,” Hassard stated.

While Hassard will miss Evanston, he’s excited for what the future will hold in Philadelphia.

“It’s a great place [Evanston], like location wise it’s great. There’s so many opportunities that you can have, and people here are really nice,” Hassard says.

Eron Vega

Evanston’s star pitcher and third baseman Eron Vega has had the taste of success since he first stepped foot on the ETHS diamond. His talents and academics will be taken to Denison University in Granville, Ohio next fall.

“[I fell in love with baseball] my freshman year. My first high school season, as a freshman, [I] got called up for varsity to play in the playoffs. Being [a part of] that team and seeing the team dynamic made me fall in love with the game and made me truly care about it.”

Vega’s official visit in September left him more than impressed. He fell in love with the atmosphere, along with Dension’s efficient way of flourishing their players. Ultimately, turning down the option to represent the Buzzard’s wasn’t an option.

“When I went to visit Dension it was a beautiful campus. Their program is really well known, they are known to develop their players really well and to move them to the next level. I thought I had the best opportunity to go play there, that’s what made me choose Dension,” Vega affirmed.

As Vega nears the home stretch, his focus outside of the diamond is already well-defined. Passionate about both science and mathematics, he will be majoring in physics this fall. Vega is delighted to start this new journey.

“I’m most looking forward to what everybody calls a college experience, you know. Just being away from home, kind of a new life, new chapter of life, and experiencing new experiences. Being with new friends and making new friends, I’m just all really excited for all that. And the baseball games of course”.

Walking away from the mound and the facilities, Vega is nothing but grateful for what the game has provided him.

“Baseball has given me friendships that I know will [last] forever,” he said. “My best friends play baseball alongside me. I’ve been playing with them since we were [just] 10 years old. It creates bonds through a love around one game. That’s what I love about baseball.”

Wildkit baseball will forever be cemented in Vega’s heart, and in turn, he left his mark and legacy on the diamond.

“My advice is to work hard for everything, but winning is not guaranteed and loss is going to happen,” Vega said. “You have to learn to push through and learn to handle that, because [once you do], you’ll win at the highest level.”

Kailey Starks
Kailey Starks

Once Kailey Starks was introduced to FAAM—a nonprofit organization for basketball and cheerleading in Evanston—by her older brother Avery, Starks’ journey into basketball took off and she never looked back. From there, she joined Full Package Athletics, a developmental basketball club, and put in the hard work that enabled her to join varsity as a freshman.

At the start of her high school career, Starks was dominant, showcasing talent as a combo guard. A four year varsity player and member of the dynamic senior trio that took over the court this past season, Starks will continue basketball at the Division I collegiate level at the University of Detroit Mercy next fall, pursuing a degree in business administration.

For Starks, the decision to play at Detroit Mercy was made the first time she visited the campus. Despite offers from Illinois Wesleyan, Wittenberg, Denison and Trinity Christian College, Starks knew that Detroit Mercy was where she belonged.

“[Detroit Mercy] was just home; it felt right,” Starks reflected. “The coaches and players were so honest and open, and really wanted me to play there. My family and I knew that this is where I would spend my next four years.”

Although Starks is ecstatic about playing at the next level, she reminisces about the bonds that she has made during her high school basketball career.

“I’m definitely going to miss the culture of my team,” Starks remarked. “My teammates and coaches, especially Coach Johson here at ETHS, have helped me become the player that I am today, and without them, I wouldn’t have developed as much as I have.”

As she leaves the ETHS program that has been her home for the past four years, Starks has some overarching advice for the underclassmen that will lead the team.

“[The seniors] were once in the position that [the underclassmen] are in now, and it’s scary,” Starks said. “Overall, I would say to not take anything for granted. Keep working hard, and your hard work will start to pay off.”

McHenry Mason
McHenry Mason

Since his early days, McHenry Mason has had a love for the game of baseball. Despite obstacles, Mason found a way to live out his dream and play at the collegiate level. With a great repertoire of pitches, Mason will be teaming up with the Kenyon Owl’s Division III baseball program.

“When I was eight-years-old, [I] started playing tee-ball and just fell in love with the game,” Mason said. “It didn’t come naturally [though]. For [EBSA] travel, [I] made the A team then made the B team in eighth grade. Now we’ve just been grinding [ever since].”

The last name Mason isn’t new to Kenyon. With a sister who attends Kenyon College and plays lacrosse, Mason had no hesitation calling Gambier, Ohio  his second home. From the jump, Mason hoped to find a place that would fulfill his aspirations, both academically and athletically. Kenyon, being a prestigious liberal arts school, was especially appealing,  and therefore, he stayed in communication with the coaches for over a year.

“My sister goes there so that was obviously a factor. She helped me with the recruiting process,” he said. “I was looking for a small Division III because I knew that’s where my skill level was and just loved the campus. [In the] summer of [my] junior year, I emailed the coach introducing myself, and then when I went for my sister’s parent’s weekend, I set up a meeting and continued to talk to [the coaching staff] until I committed in November of my junior year.”

Mason, despite having a fixed mind on baseball, is uncertain about his major, knowing the lax regulations of study at Kenyon. He has decided to major in Economics, as the department is open to him redirecting his studies later in his time at Kenyon.

“I chose my major a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “I had zero clue. I was focused on the baseball side of [the school] and it’s really flexible at Kenyon so if I don’t like it I can switch pretty easily”.

Eager to showcase his talents at Kenyon, Mason has something to prove with the obstacles he’s been through and roadblocks he has been met with along the way.

“[I’m looking forward to] having the underclassmen fall ball, [because] it’s a time for us to prove ourselves and show the coach what we really got,” Mason said. “[During my career,]  there [have] been a lot of ups and downs. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been down a lot, but this year I’ve been proving to people what I’ve always had in me. I’m just excited to show Kenyon what I really got.”

The wide-range pitcher will leave ETHS with plenty of memories and moments he will never forget.

“[My advice] is to get your name out there. Don’t be afraid to show your skill, [because] people will always doubt you,” Mason said. “To be the best you can be, you just have to really grind. It’s a process [and] everyone starts somewhere. I committed [when I was] on JV so that just shows anyone can do it if you stick to it.”

Henry Rouch

Baseball had always been one of Lafayette commit Henry Rouch’s passions, but if you ask him, he wasn’t that great until later in his high school career.

“I played travel and house ball in middle school and although I always loved it, I never was really that good,” Rouch said. “I was one of the worst kids in our age group for [Orange Cats]. And in high school, I didn’t even really pitch freshman year. I was on Frosh Soph at the start of my sophomore year.”

But suddenly, things clicked for Rouch before his junior year. Already equipped with a 6’4” frame, Rouch became significantly stronger and played all offseason for Elite Baseball Training, a club baseball program out of Chicago. His fastball velocity drastically increased from 80 MPH to 90 MPH before his junior year high school season, earning him a lot of attention from top collegiate programs around the country.

“When I hit 90 [MPH], it was in a recruiting video and my club team and I posted it on twitter. In the first week after it was posted, I had like four or five Division I coaches text and call me,” Rouch reflected. “It didn’t feel real at first because six months ago if you had asked me about baseball, I didn’t even know if I wanted to play in college.”

One of those schools was Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. In April of last year, Rouch toured the school with the coaching staff and was offered a scholarship– his first official Division I offer at the time. However, what resonated with Rouch about the Patriot League program was how supportive the Lafayette coaches were after the pitcher had a rough summer season before his senior year.

“I didn’t have a great [last] summer season but the [Lafayette] coaches were very insistent through the ups and downs that I’d figure it out,” Rouch stated. “It was pretty clear to me that they wanted me for who I am and didn’t want me to be perfect.”

Rouch verbally committed in mid-August of 2023 and signed his letter of intent in November. On the academic side, Rouch is planning to major in computer science.

While Rouch is looking forward to next fall, he knows that Evanston has unfinished business to attend to in the remainder of this season.

“I’ve always been thinking of a state championship with this group,” Rouch said. “We need to believe that we belong there.”

Charlie Kalil
Charlie Kalil

When Charlie Kalil started his first ever varsity game as a sophomore, it was a scary, but integral experience for the middle infielder.

“That was intimidating. It was hard playing with guys that were two years older than me that I looked up to for a couple years,” Kalil said. “It was definitely a learning experience but I was very grateful to play [varsity] then.”

But over time, Kalil has grown into a leader that current members of the Evanston baseball team look up to. From starting nearly every game last season to breaking the all-time Evanston doubles record in a single-season (13) and being a key part of Evanston’s record-breaking season in 2023, Kalil earned himself interest from a number of collegiate programs during his junior year. One of those schools was Division III Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.

“When the high school season ended last year, I was lucky enough to attend a high academic camp in Chicago. I played really well and was approached by a couple Division III schools and a couple Division I’s. When it whittled down to it, Claremont was the best opportunity academically and I loved the coaches,” Kalil stated.

As a strong student academically, Claremont McKenna’s prestige stood out to Kalil immediately. But the combination of a competitive program with a great coaching staff– led by former Cornell head coach Bill Walkenbach– tipped the school in Kalil’s favor. Kalil verbally committed to the Stags in September of his senior year.

“I’m really looking forward to school itself because it’s known to have very good professors, and I’m really excited to learn from them. I’m also really excited to play for Coach Walkenbach,” Kalil said. “He’s just a guy that breathes baseball. Listening to him talk about baseball has been really exciting.”

Kalil is planning on majoring in either history or political science at Claremont. While he’s excited for what his future holds, he understands that it will be bittersweet leaving his Evanston teammates and friends.

“[I’m going] to miss the guys that I see and hang out with every day. I’ve played with most of the guys on my baseball team since I was 10, 11 years old,” Kalil stated. “Even when the season ends, I’m still seeing those guys every day. After this summer, it’s going to be a weird change.”

Declan Boutross
Declan Boutross

6-foot-4 Wildkit offensive lineman and Marty Leoni Award winner Declan Boutross will attend Division 1 University of Dayton next year after over a decade of time on the gridiron.

“I started playing when I was seven years old,” Boutross said. “I just enjoyed playing [football] and all the coaches were just fun to be around.”

Throughout the recruitment process, Boutross found that the comfortability and student life he found during visits to Dayton were top-notch appeals for him.

“I visited in November, and I really enjoyed the campus and the coaches. Then, I went on my official visit in late January. That’s where I really got to meet the coaches and some of the players, and saw the campus. All the players said I would fit in there and I felt like I fit in really well.” 

Dayton has been following up with Declan for months now, showing continued interest in the versatile lineman.

“I did talk to them prior for a bit in the summer when I was going to camps. On top of [that], I sent them my midseason film, and that’s when they let me know they wanted me to come on a visit in the fall.”

Academically, Declan is searching for the right major as he stands undecided; nevertheless, Declan is still focused on academics as the Flyers hold their players accountable.

“[The culture] is very strict. They really focus on academics and that’s what I like,” Boutross said. “It’s a lot like a brotherhood; when I get there I have to attach something to my key that’s called a Link. That means something to the whole team and it’s like we’re all a chain.”

Declan’s high school experience formed a great deal of memories and friendships. He is grateful for the teammates and people that surround him.

“Honestly, I feel like in high school you definitely can build relationships and become friends with everyone because everybody’s building all the time. I’m totally gonna miss that, [and] I’m also going to miss the connections I built with teachers here.”

Tackling the next four years at Dayton, Declan leaves young football Wildkits with some advice.

“You really have to work hard and make sure you advertise yourself,” he said. “Also make sure you stay on top of things with school.”

Yohanness Jean-Francois

Outside linebacker Yohanness Jean-Francois, known to most as “Yoyo,” is continuing his football journey at Roosevelt University. Despite his success on the gridiron for the past couple of seasons, Jean-Francois didn’t always have his sights on becoming a college football player. The linebacker would manage to progress from a beginner in tackle football to a college-level player in just four years. After suggestions from those around him, Jean-Francois began playing his freshman year for fun. It would be later on that he fell in love with the sport and reached the next level.

“Freshman year was just to have fun because I was still playing basketball, but once I realized I had potential [in football], I began to take it seriously,” Jean-Francois stated.

Although staying in the Chicagoland area, Jean-Francois is excited to live by himself and experience more independence at Roosevelt. Although some could guess that the handful of former Kits on the Roosevelt football team convinced Yohanness to choose the school, it was the higher-level competition and the opportunity to get playing time early in his collegiate career that helped him commit.

“I have a chance to be starting early and getting a good amount of playing time,” Jean-Francois said.

Despite ending his time with the Kits, Jean-Francois learned important lessons that he’ll take with him as he goes to Roosevelt. From his experiences in the program, he learned the value of effort, especially in practice.

“I learned to always try your hardest and to give your 110% every practice. That’s what I feel the coaches instill in us.”

One of Jean-Francois’s most exciting times in his playing days at ETHS was the exhilarating 26-22 home win this past fall.

“My favorite memory was the New Trier game,” Jean-Francois said. “[There were] packed stands and there was a spotlight on me.”

Jean-Francois will also fondly remember the friends along the way at his time in Evanston, the friends that came from football, and the ones that came before. He emphasizes the special bond that formed when he first started playing.

“What I’ll miss most is the close friends that I made while playing here. [Those are] a lot of guys that I’ve been playing with since freshman year. Even the ones that started as freshman but [didn’t end up] on varsity, I still made bonds with them.”

Jean-Francois will never forget the friends that he’s stuck with before he even imagined playing college football. He acknowledges that their future is at a crossroad, and is excited for what’s next for all of them.

“We’re all taking different paths, and I’m proud of us for that. I feel like we’re all gonna be successful.”

Max Taufen

2x state qualifier Max Taufen has loved swimming since age 7. After making state his junior year in the 50m freestyle, 200m medley relay, and 400 freestyle relay, Taufen garnered interest from Division III Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota in between his junior and senior year. After hearing the experiences from past teammates and older friends, it was clear to Taufen that continuing to swim at the next level would be a great fit.

“I liked swimming and thought that I wanted to continue doing so. Over the summer between junior and senior year, I was deciding if I wanted to swim in college. I knew some people not specifically at Macalester, but people that play sports in college, so I decided to take some visits,” Taufen said.

After Taufen reached out to Macalester, they responded in the summer before his senior year. After his visit, it was a no-brainer.

“I just really liked the people and the coaches [at Macalester]. I thought it would be really fun to continue,” Taufen stated.

In addition to swimming at Evanston, Taufen is on the water polo team and has swam for the YWCA Flying Fish throughout high school. One thing that Taufen has enjoyed about swimming at Evanston is the competitive environment, which is evident as three of his teammates are also swimming in college.

“It’s competitive with [our team]. It was especially nice when I was looking at colleges and being able to have other guys on the team that were going through the same process,” Taufen said. “It’s fun having people to compete with like that, too.”

Taufen is currently undecided on a major, but is planning to study something in the STEM field.

Shea Lucas
Shea Lucas

After her older sisters started playing soccer, Shea Lucas decided to follow in their footsteps. For the past four years, Lucas has been an essential part of the ETHS girls soccer program, and continues to guide the Kits through their season as the starting goalkeeper and captain. Her dedication to the sport has contributed greatly to the team’s success and she will be continuing her athletic ambitions at UW-Stevens Point in the fall.

“I started playing soccer with my two older sisters. My mom put us in soccer and I wanted to stick with it,” Lucas said.

This passion for the sport from such a young age has driven her soccer career and has led her to being one of the greatest leaders on and off the field for the team.

“I think a good highlight of my ETHS career is being captain this year and having my coach trust me in that role,” Lucas said. “I have loved playing at ETHS and all the different players you get to play with and how they work, [and]meeting new people every year.”

Lucas’ dedication and leadership was seen by many scouts, specifically the UW-Stevens Point coaches, which catapulted Lucas into the recruitment process.

“They let my head coach know that they could really see me on their team and that they have a spot for me if I wanted. It took me a couple months to try and figure it out and look at all the other campuses and colleges but I knew that it could be a really good school for me so I decided to commit there,” Lucas commented.

At UW-Stevens Point, Lucas will not only be continuing her soccer career but also entering the education field, a passion of hers that she has always had.

“I’m majoring in special education. I think special education has always been a part of my life and I’ve had many different experiences with it,” Lucas said. “I also knew that Stevens Point has a really good education program so I want to just pursue the special education side of it and see where it takes me along the way.”

As Lucas prepares to attend Stevens Point in the fall, she anticipates meeting her team and engaging in new experiences away from home.

“I’m most looking forward to meeting others at the school and having the college experience of living on your own,” she said. “I’m [also] really excited about meeting my soccer team because it looks like they have so much fun.”

With guidance from the Evanston girl’s soccer program and Stevens Point coaches, Lucas looks forward  to reaching new heights in the fall.

Jacques Phillipe
Jacques Phillipe

Jacques Philippe’s first year of tackle football was far from normal. While the world rapidly shifted with the COVID-19 pandemic, the newest form of the football uniform was the mask, making it much harder to pick up a sport if it was your first year playing.

“The Covid year was really difficult. I was around a bunch of people I didn’t know and we were wearing masks,” Philippe stated.

Despite the odd circumstances, Philippe quickly fell in love with football and was fueled to work hard and play as much as possible. Philippe had played flag football in the District 65 elementary school league, but his passion launched in his first high school games.

“I remember playing in my first ever game. I played every single snap and I didn’t take a step off the field,” Philippe said. “All the appreciation I had for the game, all the hard work, and the learning just kept growing and growing throughout the year.”

Philippe’s devotion to the game led him to play any position he was asked to play. In his sophomore year, Philippe was exclusively a wide receiver. But for the past two seasons on varsity, Philippe has played safety. While the senior was motivated by the excitement of representing Evanston, he hadn’t exactly thought about the chance to play college football. That was, until the end of his junior season, when he was recruited by Pomona-Pitzer.

“I love Pomona because of the coaches there, and that was a big thing because the defensive backs coach is another brown guy from the Midwest like me.”

Besides having a positive experience with the coaching staff, Philippe is happy about Pomona’s academic rigor, but also the climate in Claremont, California.

“[Another thing is] academics. My parents have always stressed that,” Philippe stated. “I’ve always done pretty well in school, and it’s the best place for me academically as well. And it’s in California [where] the weather is great.”

Pomona’s diverse climate encouraged Philippe to spend his next four years there.

“I’m excited to meet a lot of new people. Evanston is diverse and a great place but [I’m excited about] the geographical, racial, and socioeconomic diversity as well. I think it’ll be cool to meet a lot of different people with a lot of different stories and to continue expanding myself.”

Philippe believes that Evanston and the city of Claremont have similar values and traits, but he says he’ll miss the bonds and experiences he’s made at ETHS.

“This building has raised me for the past four years and taught me a lot of different lessons. I’ve met a lot of people, and that’s something I’ll miss.”

Zuri Ransom
Zuri Ransom

After playing four years on varsity as a power-forward and big at ETHS, Zuri Ransom will continue to play basketball at the collegiate level, starting off her freshman year at Ball State University, with a major in kinesiology.

For Ransom, the decision to play at Ball State was made easy the moment she visited the campus for the first time.

“[When] I first visited Ball State, it felt like home,” Ransom reflected. “The players and coaches took me under their wing right when I got there, and that made my decision right there for me.”

Coming from a long line of athletic family members and basketball coaches, Ransom grew up playing basketball as well as a bunch of other sports. Up until 6th grade, she was a multisport athlete, when she fully committed her time to playing basketball.

In the offseason, Ransom plays for AAU, a club league, and trains with Full Packages Athletics, a developmental basketball company, where she has been since third grade.

This past season, the Kits were able to make it to the IHSA regional final, led by the senior trio of Ransom, fellow Division I commit Kailey Starks and Arianna Milam-Pryor. Ransom accredits the team’s success to the connection that they were able to build over the season, and remarks that it will be the thing she misses most about the ETHS basketball program.

“The bond that the upperclassmen built with everyone was just instant,” Ransom said. “Soon, they will have to take over the team, so just helping them learn through the season, since [we] were once in that position as well, is just so special.”

Once Ransom finds the balance between school and athletics in college, she has two goals: to be one of the highest conditioned players at Ball State, and receive playing time for her hard work.

“Over the summer, I’m going to work on my conditioning and endurance, so when the season rolls around, I am able to play the game that I love, while also putting in the hard work,” Ransom said.

Colin Swanson
Colin Swanson

Wildkit captain, 2x CSL All-Conference, and 1x All-State Defenseman Colin Swanson had his eyes on the prize from a young age. With guidance from family members with deep lacrosse backgrounds, it was certain Swanson would be a star playing in a Wildkit jersey.

“I have two older brothers, and as soon as I started playing sports, I started playing lacrosse,” Swanson said. “It was always my favorite. As I got older, I started taking it more seriously and I was always practicing with my brothers. I think that’s what really made me like it.”

Even with experienced roots, Colin’s recruitment process wasn’t easy. However, after an official visit, Swanson is excited to lend his talents to Denison University next fall.

“It was a pretty long process for me. I visited a lot of different schools. When I went to Denison, I felt a good connection with the coaching staff and [it] had everything I was looking for [in terms] of a good team culture and good academics,” Swanson said. “[Denison has] a great program that can compete in the tournament every year.”

Heading down to Granville, Ohio after graduation, Swanson plans to major in economics. He is eager to start a brotherhood with the Big Red lacrosse team when he arrives on campus.

“I’ve already met most of the [players] in my class,” he said. “It’s gonna be a lot of fun [to] get closer with them and play together.”

It’s more than lacrosse to Swanson– not just a stick, helmet and a ball. It’s a gateway that unlocks opportunities, bonds and life lessons. That gateway that has provided him with a second family.

“[Lacrosse] is a big part of my life. It helps me strive to be a better person in all aspects. Academically, it really pushed me so I can look at better schools and physically, it helps keep me in shape. I’ve also been able to create a lot of good friendships through the game with people at Evanston and also all over the state, and [even across] the country. I’ve been able to travel a lot, [and] I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do [that] without lacrosse.”

As his high school experience nears the end, Swanson has no regrets exiting with him, and he is grateful for the coaches that have remained by his side.

“Coach Fournie, the other coaches and the rest of the team really helped me build up [confidence] when I was a freshman, which allowed me to be a better player when I got older,” he said.

Colin will be representing ETHS at the highest level of NCAA Division III lacrosse as he rolls into the Big Red program.

“[My advice is to] just have fun with it,” Swanson said. “Don’t worry about the pressure of coaches and everybody watching. Enjoy yourself, and it’ll work out”.

Tymek Wlodek
Tymek Wlodek

Back in his freshman year, Wlodek’s friends were trying to convince him to join the ETHS water polo team. A swimmer for his entire life, he was ready to try something new and give water polo a shot for the spring season. But when Wlodek’s first season began, he wasn’t given many opportunities.

“I was on the end of the bench during my freshman year,” Wlodek said.

After climbing the ranks on the junior varsity team in his sophomore season, Wlodek earned a starting spot on the team. For Wlodek, this is when he first fell in love with the game. This was the season he will remember the most looking back at his time on Evanston water polo.

“Even though I wasn’t on varsity, it was just a really fun time. It wasn’t stressful, I just got to spend time with my friends,” Wlodek reflected.

Wlodek worked hard in the summer to set himself up for his first year on varsity. He earned a starting position and played well throughout the season. He put in 13 goals on the year and had 41 steals. Wlodek credits his increase in production to how hard he worked in the previous summer.

“I wasn’t old enough to work at the beach so I had a lot of time on my hands. All I would do was swim, play polo and exercise. This was the time where I really jumped ahead of a lot of players,” Wlodek said.

After the season, Wlodek reached out to a bunch of schools he thought he might have interest in. When division two Mckendree University head coach Colleen Lischwe responded in the summer, Wlodek set up a meeting and a visit date.

“I initially emailed Mckendree because one of my old coaches had previously coached with the Mckendree head coach,”  Wlodek said. “It was kind of my top pick from the start. I just feel like I really fit in there… their colors (purple and gold) are also really cool.”

Wlodek’s major is currently undecided. The biggest thing he is looking forward to about going to college is independence and having the chance to meet new people.

When reflecting on his time at Evanston, Wlodek is proud of the way he worked up the ranks of the program. From a kid who barely touched the pool to being the leader of the team in his senior year, he worked hard to earn respect from head coach Kevin Auger.

“He respects me more than he would have if I just came in as a really good freshman. He respects me because of how much I worked to get where I am rather than starting talented,”  Wlodek explained. “He has seen my progression all four years.”

Manny Holloway

There is a common theme between wrestling and Manny Holloway, and that is that he “just kept coming back.” Inspiration from his dad propelled him to enter the sport in seventh grade, and he has not left the mat since. His father continued to play a role in Holloway’s drive to compete in college, initially becoming motivated by a CBS Sunday Morning Special and furthering his interest in Central College that was eventually sealed by a commitment.

In reflection of his time on the ETHS wrestling team, Holloway describes, “I just enjoyed getting better in that room every single day and working out small, minute details to a technique. Watching that overtime, [and seeing it] build up into better things, that was probably my favorite part.”

His strong work ethic on the mat has translated to his success.

“A highlight [of] my season was making it to the regional finals, but that highlight was also a low point because I slipped a disc in my back,” Holloway said. “Within a couple seconds, it went from being a highlight to probably the lowest point in my season at the time.”

Although Holloway’s season was cut short due to injury, his advancement to the regional finals in itself shows that he is ready for the collegiate level and all that Central College has to offer.

Aside from athletics, Holloway is planning to pursue a major in exercise physiology. This school not only satisfies athletic hopes, but also is appealing through “the individualized attention with the academics.”

Continuing to describe his decision to attend Central College, Holloway explains, “I’m definitely looking forward to the people that are on the campus. We did get a new coach, so that will be interesting. I am excited to meet some of my teammates as well.”

Although Central College holds an exciting opportunity for Holloway, he speaks to what he will miss about wrestling at ETHS.

“I always liked the duel environment, that was always fun,” he said. “There were some days when it was quieter than others, but there were other duels where it was pretty electric.”

As Holloway moves to college, he has memories that he is sure to “just keep coming back to.” He explains that there were some duel meets that were “nerve racking in the moment, but looking back, you’re like, ‘I was out there and that was fun.’”

Noah Cryns
Noah Cryns

Prior to his first semester of freshman year, Lindenwood commit Noah Cryns saw baseball as a passion, but nothing more than that.

“I had always loved baseball but I had never thought of it as a long term path. That all changed when I met my teammates freshman year,” Cryns said. “They were all so motivated and competitive about everything they did. That mentality got to me.”

“By the end of freshman year, I had made it clear to myself that I wanted to pursue baseball in college.”

As a freshman, Cryns looked to pursue his baseball career as a catcher but things took an unexpected turn when the athlete suffered a bad knee injury at the end of his sophomore campaign. This injury, however, would turn out to be a blessing in disguise as it forced Noah to abandon his role as a catcher in favor of pitching.

“I’d never seriously pitched before, but I was naturally gifted at it from the start. I was able to develop my fastball quickly. From there on, it was all down to coaches [Chris] D’Amato and [Frank] Consiglio for turning me into what I am today.”

When Lindenwood, a Division I school in the Ohio Valley Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, came calling, Cryns could not say no. Over the course of the 2022-2023 academic year, Lindenwood reclassified from Division II to Division I, offering athletes like Cryns an opportunity to compete at the highest level of college baseball.

Cryns has played club baseball throughout high school alongside teammates Charlie Kalil, Eron Vega, and Henry Rouch for Elite Baseball Training, a program based out of Chicago.

“I think a major turning point for me was when I was lucky enough to make Elite. They are a top program and they play in tournaments with a bunch of scouts present. I think that’s what did it for me,” Cryns remarked.

Cryns is excited for the next chapter in not only his baseball career, but his life. The senior hurler hopes that he can continue to be involved in baseball after college.

“I want to stay in baseball after college, whether that’s through playing, coaching, or sports medicine,” Cryns stated. “I just want to be involved in the sport.”

Sophia Taylor

When Sophia Taylor joined the Evanston High School Hockey team for junior year—after years of playing for a Tier l team outside of school—she had a few worries.

“I’ll never forget the first time I stepped on the ice with the girls,” Taylor said. “I was so nervous because I didn’t want them to be like, ‘You can’t just join the team, that’s not fair.’ When I got on the ice, they were so nice and welcoming and so supportive. And I was like, ‘Oh, this isn’t so bad after all.’”

Evanston girl’s ice hockey is still a fledgling program. With just one team (opposed to the boys’ three), girls varsity benefits from Taylor’s experience and leadership. After beginning her hockey career around the age of five, she played with the Wilmette Braves, then took the next step to Tier l when she joined Chicago Young Americans at age 12.

“I have never not liked hockey,” Taylor said. “I never had a moment where I wanted to quit.”

Though she’d played defense for years, she moved into the center position as a 15-year-old, where she’s able to cover more ice than any teammate. Her integral role provides stability for less experienced teammates.

Taylor will continue her hockey career at Chatham University, where she intends to study exercise science or sports management.

“The recruiting process was so difficult,” Taylor said. “But when I met the coach [at Chatham], he was super nice and personable and I didn’t feel intimidated at all. There was a great environment when I went to visit, and the girls that are already on the team are really nice.”

Balancing the rigor of the practices, games, and tournaments of two different teams can be strenuous, but Taylor’s dedication and organization have established a reliable routine. Along with work on the ice, hockey provides opportunities to give back.

“[Chicago Young Americans] does this fundraiser called Pink in the Rink,” Taylor said. “We do it every January, and we raise money for breast cancer while we play our rival team, Chicago Mission. This year, [Chicago Young Americans] raised around $10,000.”

Braden Grimm
Braden Grimm

At just five-years-old, Braden Grimm stepped foot on the baseball field for the first time after his dad signed him up for tee-ball. Through this foundational experience, Grimm developed early bat-and-ball skills and a love for the game. A smooth-fielding second baseman, flame-throwing pitcher and two-year varsity player at ETHS, Grimm is lending his skills to Minnesota State University next fall.

Despite his early introduction to the sport, Grimm’s path to collegiate baseball wasn’t well-defined from the beginning. As he progressed through high school, he excelled on the diamond, but the idea of playing at the next level was simply a distant thought. However, after an official visit to Minnesota State, Grimm couldn’t pass up the opportunity to represent the Mavericks on the mound.

While baseball has ushered in periods of physical and mental exhaustion, Grimm affirms that it has offered a support system that makes the grueling moments worth it.

“I love the coaches, the environment and [the] people,” he said.

The highlight of his baseball career is defeating New Trier twice last season before the Trevians sent Evanston to a premature exit from the IHSA state baseball tournament series in the sectional championship.

“It was very memorable,” Grimm said. “I want to [face] them in the playoffs.”

At ETHS, Grimm diversified his high school experience as a member of Evanston’s golf and bowling teams.

“Golf taught me to be calm and how to handle pressure, and bowling taught me patience.”

Wildkits baseball has instilled in Grimm a deep commitment to community that he will carry with him as he takes this next step.

“Evanston baseball [has] shown me the importance of always supporting your teammates.”

Thomas Ferguson
Thomas Ferguson

College baseball for Thomas Ferguson has always been a dream. He has been playing baseball since he was four years old, and developed a love for the game early on. When Ferguson took an official visit to Haverford College in September of his junior year, he knew that was the place he wanted to make his dreams a reality.

“As soon as I walked on campus, I knew if I got an offer I would be committing here,” said Ferguson referring to his official visit.

After reaching out to many schools, Ferguson ultimately narrowed down his decision between Macalester and Haverford. While he liked both schools, Ferguson was confident in his decision.

“I really liked everything about Macalester but I think Haveford is going in a better direction as a program. They’re really looking to compete at a national division three level. That was the coach’s big selling point,” Ferguson explained.

While Ferguson is looking forward to entering this new stage of his baseball career, he is also excited about Haverford’s pipeline to major league baseball jobs. Ferguson’s intended major is currently economics.

“This one professor teaches a sports economics course, and she has a lot of connections to MLB jobs,” Ferguson added. “There is a disproportionate amount of Haverford alums working in MLB jobs. I am very interested in doing that after I graduate.”

During Ferguson’s freshman year, he was both an infielder and a pitcher. It wasn’t until that summer that he realized he had more of a passion for pitching.

“I was equally skilled at both pitching and hitting, but I just liked pitching a lot more,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson made the varsity team as a sophomore. During both his sophomore and junior year, he wasn’t given a lot of opportunity to prove his talent and blossom for the Kits.

During his junior and senior year summers and the club baseball season was when Ferguson was really able to showcase his skills. He played at Top Tier throughout his offseasons in high school and really developed as a pitcher.

When looking back at his time at ETHS, Ferguson will most remember the bonds he created with his teammates. Even though he hasn’t left yet, the nostalgia has already hit the senior.

“The biggest thing I’m going to miss is my teammates. I already miss past teammates that are now playing in college. The environment on the team was just so fun,”  Ferguson reflected. “We are teammates but those guys are also some of my closest friends.”

Damarion Timberlake

After a great senior season for Evanston, running back Damarion Timberlake has made his decision. The senior standout will be continuing his football career at Lake Forest College after putting in a significant amount of work over the past few seasons.

Originally hailing from the south side of Chicago, Timberlake first fell in love with football after joining the organized flag football team at Lincoln Elementary School in Evanston, which would be his first time ever playing organized sports.

“[I] immediately fell in love with the game,” Timberlake said.

After playing tackle football in 6th grade for the first time, Timberlake knew he wanted to play at ETHS due to the influence of a lot of the older players in Evanston that he looked up to.

That dream became a reality last season.

In the 2022-23 season, Timberlake played a fairly large role on offense which built trust in him from his teammates, the Evanston coaching staff, and the community. He finished that season out with 55 carries for 216 yards, along with 3 touchdowns. His performance throughout the season earned him spots at multiple collegiate prospect camps, where he ended up performing well and receiving his first offer from Lake Forest.       With his offseason work, and a bigger role being left to him this season, his performance and statistics only increased.

Timberlake finished the season as a CSL all-conference player and an 8A All State Academic player with 633 rushing yards for 8 touchdowns, as well as 10 receptions for 173 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. The tailback turned heads back in September against New Trier, after scoring an improbable game winning touchdown in the final minute.

“All the families in the stands cheering the team on was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Timberlake stated.

When Timberlake got the offer from the Division III school, it was a no-brainer.

“I really liked the coaching staff, players, and the school’s campus. It just felt very welcoming and the coaches were very proactive in my recruitment process,” Timberlake said.

On the academic side, Timberlake is planning on pursuing a degree in communications or public relations.

“[I] want to stay in the sports realm of things,” Timberlake stated.

Timberlake is looking forward to his future, especially as he looks to stay in shape during the summer before his freshman season.

“I’ll be working [this offseason] to save money for when I leave for college, as well as keeping my body in shape for the season,” Timberlake said.

Timberlake had some wise words for the Evanston community, which he hopes to leave a positive impact on as new Evanston athletes join the football team.

“We all want to win, but if you don’t all strive for the same thing there will never be success.”

Lucas Macy

Lucas Macy, who has announced his commitment to swim at Kenyon College in Gambler, Ohio next year, has been swimming since he was little.

“I fell in love [with swimming] in seventh grade, but I’ve been swimming competitively since I was about seven-years-old, and I’ve known how to swim since I was four. From [age] seven to twelve, I was just kind of doing it because my parents had me do it. Once I got into seventh grade, I started having fun doing it, [and I] wanted to practice [more].”

The love for swimming moved with Macy from Plymouth, Michigan, where he grew up, to Evanston, where he moved with his family in seventh grade and began swimming for the Northwestern club team, NASA and then ultimately ETHS.

After an illustrious career in the water for the Wildkits, including the ETHS record for the 500-meter freestyle, the next step was for him to find his next pool. Macy considered Division 2 and Division 3 schools that would test him most athletically.

“[Kenyon] was the most competitive swimming school that I was really talking to. I was talking to mostly D-2, and D-3s. I wanted to go to the top D-3 school for swimming and also a good academic school. Kenyon is arguably the best swimming school for D-3, so that’s why I picked it.”

Lucas is undecided for his college major, hoping to land somewhere in the science department.

“[I’m looking forward to] the environment of the swim team. I know on my visit it was super nice and it was just a lot of fun, it seemed like a great place to grow as a swimmer and a student.”

As Lucas swims away from ETHS Aquatics, he has finished a great journey freestyling his way through the high school experience, leaving a piece of his heart in that memorable ETHS pool.

“[My advice to young swimmers] is just go to practice and stay on top of your work. I feel like that’s all you can do. Just try your best.”

Cadel Saszik

During his four years at ETHS, Cadel Saszik participated in both swimming and water polo. But experience matters, and when Saszik will embark on his college journey at Grinnell College next fall, he will be a part of the men’s swimming team. Although Saszik enjoys water polo, he credits his parents’ experience in swimming as a reason for continuing to swim at the next level.

“My parents were the biggest influence, both my parents swam in high school, so it is kind of natural for me to follow what they did,” Saszik stated, reminiscing on how he started swimming.  Being a strong liberal arts school, Grinnell’s academic reputation stood out to Saszik. He plans on majoring in something in the STEM field, most likely in computer science or math.

The vibe of the swim team currently at Grinnell spoke to Saszik, who thoroughly enjoyed his official visit.

“I think I’ve had a really good experience with the swim team here,” Saszik stated. “I like a lot of the players. When I visited Grinnell, it was pretty similar to what we had at ETHS, and I was happy with that.”

Even though Saszik will miss his close friends and teachers from high school, he’s excited for what the future will hold.

“It’s [exciting] to start fresh. I think it will be cool to go to college out of state,” Saszik stated. “It’s going to be a completely new experience. I really have no idea what to expect.”

Cade Likhite
Cade Likhite

Growing up playing soccer, basketball, football, baseball and now lacrosse, Cade Likhite has always been an athlete. But when it came to playing a sport in college, Likhite didn’t know what he wanted to pursue at the next level until midway through his high school career.

“I always knew I wanted to play a sport in college but I never thought it would be soccer,” Likhite said. “But during my sophomore year, I decided that now is the time to completely focus on soccer and fully lock in on the recruiting process.”

Likhite was contempt on making varsity going into his junior year summer. With many other talented goalies in his class, Likhite turned his training up a notch in hopes of making the team.

“I knew I had a shot of making varsity… it was a long shot. I really worked hard that summer, made sure I was in really good shape, ready to do the Cooper (two mile run in under 12 minutes),” Likhite said.

When Likhite made varsity during his junior year fall, his career and chances of playing at the next level instantly shot up.

“That was definitely one of my highest moments at ETHS. All my hard work paid off,” said a proud Likhite.

Over his two years on varsity, with two other hard working goalkeepers in the class, head coach Franz Calixte primarily rotated the goalies during the regular season. During both postseason runs though, Likhite got the notch and started.

“I was really lucky to have Alex and then Milo this past year. Each one of us would start on a different high school team,” Likhite explained. “Everyone pushed each other day in and day out but it was definitely always a fun environment.”

The recruiting process for Likhite didn’t crystalize until deep into his senior year. While he had a lot of offers at the division three level and a few division one offers, Likhite wasn’t initially attached to one school or another.

After emailing and networking with more schools this year, Likhite got in touch with Stonehill College head coach Jim Reddish. During winter break of this year, Likhite went to a camp there and would go on to receive a division one offer there shortly after.

“I didn’t think I played that well at the camp but he must have seen it in me. He reached out to a few of my coaches and then I ended up getting the offer,” Likhite explained.

“I was ready to commit [and] I was just ready to be done with the process. I was really happy it was finally happening.”

For Likhite, this new opportunity is exciting but he also remembers the great burden becoming a Division 1 athlete came with.

“I put myself through not only a lot of physical pain, but also mental pain,” Likhite reflected. “There were many hard drives back from games that were difficult. Sometimes I used to ask myself, ‘Is it worth it?.’ I am happy it all worked out.”

Julio Epting
Julio Epting

Julio Epting started his soccer career as a three-year-old after his mom put him in a recreational league to keep him busy. After that, his passion for soccer never disappeared. He was both a strong varsity player at ETHS and also a major contributor at Jahbat, a local soccer club.

Epting knew he wanted to play at a collegiate level from a young age and strived to grasp any opportunities that came his way, especially during his time at Jahbat.

“I played high school for a few years but not all four years,” Epting said. “I really enjoyed playing for the high school but I focused on clubs which gave me more experience and a shot at playing at different higher levels that exposed me to college recruiting.”

The opportunities that both Jahbat and ETHS soccer provided him led to his decision to play Division III soccer at Beloit College.

“I was looking for a small liberal arts school with a small student-teacher ratio and it was perfect,” Epting said. “I’m looking forward to soccer obviously and a fresh start somewhere.”

At Beloit, Epting plans to pursue majors in Business Management and Sociology.

“I’ve always liked business and entrepreneurship, [and]  I took a Sociology class this year which I really enjoyed,” he said.

Epting describes Beloit as a “perfect fit”—something all college-bound students strive to find. For Epting the decision was easy, but he still reminisces on his time at ETHS and playing soccer in Evanston. Memories of winning state at Jahbat, playing with the varsity team at ETHS and seeing friends are cherished.

“I’m going to miss seeing my friends [that] I’ve grown up with since elementary school,” he said.

Sydney Ross
Sydney Ross

Sydney Ross was just three years old when she started playing soccer. After four years of high school soccer at Evanston, the senior midfielder will head to Swarthmore College next year to continue her academic and athletic journeys.

“I loved the team of coaches, but also the community at the school itself,” Ross stated. “[Swarthmore] has a great academic program and provides many opportunities that will help me as a student.”

Although continuing her soccer journey is exciting for Ross, she will definitely miss her team and the high school soccer experience.

“[I’m] going to miss the people on the team. Some of these girls I’ve been playing with for over a decade now, so I’m going to miss my team a lot,” Ross said. “Showing up and being with the team each day, whether it’s practice, games or team dinners is a community I’ll miss.”

Ross is excited to start anew at Swarthmore and take her passion and the sport of soccer with her.

“I’m excited to just keep playing the sport I love, with a great team at a great school.”

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