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High school athletes seek to play in college

Hoffman+carries+the+ball+with+poise+to+slice+through+the+Trinity+defense.+
Hoffman carries the ball with poise to slice through the Trinity defense.

Hoffman carries the ball with poise to slice through the Trinity defense.

Submitted by Hayley Hoffman

Submitted by Hayley Hoffman

Hoffman carries the ball with poise to slice through the Trinity defense.

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Playing a collegiate sport at any level is a prestigious honor. Competition for a spot on all teams is intense and requires numerous practices, workouts, and time spent alone.

Athletes aspiring to earn a spot someday start playing their respective sports at very young ages. Their love grows as they get older and can be seen in the work they put into the offseason and their goals for the full-time season. Managing school, friends, and practices are all apart of what comes with being an athlete. Collegiate sports are all some students dream about.

Looking to play hockey into college, junior Adam Zukowski says “My ultimate goal as a hockey player is to further my education into a division 1 college and playing hockey for them.”

Zukowski has been playing hockey since he was seven. Zukowski made the SPA boy’s varsity hockey team as a ninth-grader and will never forget playing in the Xcel Energy Center.

“Playing in the Xcel center was incredible and has only made me realize I want to play in areas like it when I get out of high school and then out of college,” Zukowski said.

Submitted by Adam Zukowski
Zukowski takes the ice.

Zukowski realizes that his dreams are the same as many others throughout the country. To give himself a fighting chance Zukowski trains tirelessly.

“During the off-season, I train almost every day at the MAP (a training program at St. Thomas) and with private coaches and also skating with SPA,” said Zukowski.

While Zukowski is just beginning the recruitment process, senior Hayley Hoffman reflects on her process which leads her to St. Olaf. Hoffman, a star member of the Girls Varsity soccer team and nominated for the 2017 second team all states plans to further her education and play soccer at their division three program. A similar trend tends to follow Zukowski and Hoffman as soccer player Hoffman started playing soccer at the age of six.

“I think I always knew that I wanted to play a college sport, but didn’t know I wanted to play soccer until high school,” said Hoffman. Hoffman reflects that the recruitment process was nothing like she thought it was going to be.

I got in touch with the coach during my junior year and went to a prospect camp. From then on out we just kept in touch with where we are today,”

— Hayley Hoffman

“My recruitment process wasn’t too bad. I knew I wanted to stay in Minnesota and play at a D3 school. Having family connections to St. Olaf, it seemed like a good fit. After that, I got in touch with the coach during my junior year and went to a prospect camp. From then on out we just kept in touch with where we are today,” said Hoffman.

Finally relieved that she has reached her goals, Hoffman couldn’t be more excited about where she will end up.

“I’m really looking forward to experiencing college soccer and meeting new people,” said Hoffman.

For other high school athletes seeking to play in college like Zukowski, all it takes dedication and time but is possible for anyone. Hoffman’s advice is “to get in touch with the coach early and let them know you’re interested.” 

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