Athletes commit to play at the next level

Athletes+commit+to+play+at+the+next+level

Daniel Gonzalez-Arevalo, Reporter

Senior year for many students comes with great change and transition. Many seniors deal with preparing for college and trying to enjoy their last few moments at their school and in their hometown. For athletes, there also comes another challenge in deciding if they would like to continue to play their desired sport in college.

While not every athlete gets the opportunity to play sports at the next level, those who do have to decide where they would like to play depending on the amount of offers they recieve. Senior tennis player, Jonah Schloneger, has a general idea of what college he would like to attend based on previous experiences.

“I am yet to sign to a college, but I am currently considering Friends University, a team that I practiced with every week in the fall and loved to be around,” Schloneger said. “I also have offers from Bethel College and Bethany College.”

Despite getting introduced to the sport at what some might say is a very late age, Schloneger has advanced in his ability to play tennis since he started in seventh grade. Schloneger states that no matter what college he decides to attend he will be playing tennis at the collegiate level. Contrary to Schloneger, senior Evelynn Bartley has participated in dance since a very young age.
“I do dance, and I have been dancing since I was really young, probably around kindergarten,” Bartley said. “I became more serious about it around fifth grade.”

Despite participating in dance since kindergarten Bartley was still uncertain about whether she wanted to dance at a collegiate level. Bartley states that she has always had the desire to dance in college but was never sure as to which college she would attend to dance. However, Bartley now knows her target destination for her sport and remains excited to attend.

“I always wanted to dance in college, but I wasn’t sure if I would,” Bartley said. “I am dancing at Baker University on their dance team and I am very excited since it will be fun dancing at a new place with new people.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, spring sports athletes had their 2020 season taken from them due to safety precautions. This greatly affected Schloneger as he was working towards winning a state title. However, now that he has the opportunity to play sports at the collegiate level, he is aware that he will have many more opportunities to compete even after high school.

“After losing my junior year tennis season due to COVID, it has been stressful trying to prepare for one final senior season, knowing that it is my last chance as a high school player,” Schloneger said. “Because of my offers to play tennis in college, I can be sure that high school tennis won’t be my final opportunity to play, and that regardless of how this year goes I will get many more chances.”

Despite having the opportunity to play his desired sport in college, Schloneger does not take it for granted. He remains grateful for everything the sport has taught him and how to carry himself.

“Tennis has changed not only my entire perspective of sports but has affected my views on life,” Schloneger said. “Playing this sport in college will be an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”

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