BY MAYA SCHNEIDER —
As the year draws to an end and the seniors finalize their college decisions, a small portion of them are considering taking their athletic talents with them to the universities where they will study.
According to LeVar Ridgeway, athletic director, a number of students have already declared their intent to play collegiate sports, with potentially more on the way.
“Right now eight … have confirmed but a few are still looking for a home … It could be upwards of about 15, which is exciting for us,” Ridgeway said.
Morgan Florsheim is taking her multi-year state qualifying times in running to the Ivy Leagues next year. “I am going to Brown University next fall and I am doing women’s track and cross country,” Florsheim said.
Eva Jorn will continue the sport she has competed in for eight years in college. “I will be swimming at Denison University,” Jorn said.
Joining Jorn and Florsheim from the class of 2016 are six other seniors who will take their athletic skills into the NCAA. Ava Miller and Squeaky Washington will play soccer at UW-Parkside and Nova Southeastern respectively; Annie Leo, Jada Stackhouse and Joe Lock will play volleyball at UW-Parkside, Cornell and Benedictine, respectively; and Nathan Raskin will play tennis at Concordia.
Ridgeway said that this number of student-athletes continuing in college is great for Shorewood. “It’s extremely impressive,” Ridgeway said. “I think it speaks to the great coaches we have here at Shorewood, being able to get them ready for that next level athletically … also to the school academically. You have a lot of big time schools that some of the student athletes are going to.”
Both Jorn and Florsheim agreed that the process of finding a school was long but rewarding. “It was a pretty long process … I started back in fall of junior year,” Florsheim said. “I contacted coaches and then kept in contact … This summer I was able to have some phone conversations and then in the fall I did three official visits and then decided from those.”
“[The process] was kind of hard, I actually used the school’s website and I just went through the database there,” Jorn said. “I didn’t think I wanted to go to such a small school … I ended up visiting there and I liked it by far the best of all the other schools.”
According to Ridgeway, searching for a college as an athlete is a little different. “When you’re in a sport you hope that a college coach will reach out to you, that they have interest in you coming there to do a sport … It’s important to find somewhere that has a spot for you. Then also you look at your options and see what school academically best fits,” Ridgeway said.
Jorn said location was a big condition of her decision. “I wanted a school that was closer to here, but not super close … I was looking a lot in Ohio and Iowa and Michigan,” Jorn said.
Additionally, when she visited she found the Denison swim team to be a good fit. “I liked the coaches, what they thought about swimming … I like the team a lot, they seemed kind of like the one here,” Jorn said.
Florsheim also said the team at Brown was a catalyst to her final college choice. “The team’s going to be a big part of your life for four years,” Florsheim said. “It felt like I fit in with the girls and could see myself there for the next few years.”
Both athletes see academics as a large part of the next four years as well. “I really wanted a good balance between academics and athletics … some of the schools I visited put a little too much emphasis on the athletic side of things,” Florsheim said.
“I’m ready to move on education wise,” Jorn said. Ridgeway attributes much of the success of Shorewood athletes to the athletic program as well as their academic preparation.
“It speaks to the athletics and the academics,” Ridgeway said. “We appreciate the hard work that they all put in … representing the school and also the athletic department and the coaches well.”
With the committed students and the ones still deciding, these student-athletes are sure to see success in their future, according to Ridgeway. “We look forward to tracking them and seeing what they’re going to do beyond [high school],” Ridgeway said.