Seniors jump to next level for college sports


Eva Perez-Greene

Future College athletes show off their gear From the left, seniors Andrew Chuniard, Nancy Moyers, Mary Naas, Jordan Moradian, Isaac Forsgren, Jackson Lea, Dozie Nwaneri, Haris Hussein, and Dean Isaacson pose with their future college gear. The entirety group will be playing sports in their freshman years “I really enjoy playing soccer and I really wanted to continue playing soccer at a high level,” Senior Isaac Forsgren said.

Lauren Boettcher, News Editor

Sports often provide entertainment, a social environment, or a way to build your college resume. They provide students with leadership roles within the school and build a skill set that will last far beyond high school.

In college, however, the playing field changes drastically. As university freshmen experience independence and learn to adapt to increasingly demanding academic coursework, student athletes need to also find a way to balance campus life with competitive athletic programs.

According to the NCAA, while 8 million students participate in high school sports, only 460,000 will play a sport in college. According to Senior Dean Isaacson, participating in athletics in college eases the transition: “You basically already know a bunch of people, and by meeting them you’ll get to create friendships that could last a long time.

Also, by having friends within the team you can make new friends through those friends.”
Many seniors have made the decision to continue their athletic pursuits in college, with varying reasons for involvement.

Isaac Forsgren has committed to play soccer at Loyola University in Chicago. “My two older brothers played soccer in college so that probably boosted my interest but the bigger aspect is just that I really enjoy playing soccer and I really wanted to continue playing soccer at a high level,” Forsgren said.

Family connections run true for Molly Fiedler as well, who will be joining the Gophers at the University of Minnesota playing D1 soccer. Fiedler’s brother Matt (‘13) pitches for Gopher baseball at the U of M, starting 12 of 21 games in his freshman season last year.

Dean Isaacson has committed to playing soccer as Hamline University Piper in St. Paul. “I wanted to play there because the coach said that I might be able to start as a freshman. I thought that was awesome because no other coach had told me that that was even a possibility. I was a little close to home compared to the other schools that recruited me,” Isaacson said.

Luke Bishop will play Football with the Macalester College Scots during his time at the school. “The main focus of my college process was academics, not athletics. However, Macalester is a very good school that has a top-notch football team. [Macalester] also has a pre-architecture program, which is perfect for me. Most liberal arts schools don’t have pre-architecture programs,” Bishop said. “I guess I didn’t necessarily choose to play football at Macalester; I chose to study there. Football is just a part of my experience at Macalester —it’s not the main focus.”

Two record-setting runners for the Spartans, Mary Naas and Mike Destache, will continue Track and Cross Country in college.

Naas has committed to run at Wellesley College, a liberal arts school in Massachusetts. “My mom, my two cousins and my aunt went there so I grew up hearing about the college and visiting. They also have really good science programs and I am interested in pursuing some kind of science major,” Naas said. Naas feels comfortable in her ability to balance academics and athletics at Wellesley: “College athletics tend to be more intense and time consuming, but I’ll just have to get used to it and make time.”

Mike Destache will run at the University of Iowa. Destache believes that “[Sports] keep you out of trouble, teach you more responsibility, help you make friends, make your overall experience better, keep you active.”

Jackson Lea will run as a Grinnell Pioneer. “I enjoy the sport and want to continue running and competing,” Lea said.

Students choose to continue their athletic careers in college for many different reasons. They do it because it keeps them in shape, or because they need something to do in their free time, but whether they go D1 or D3 with their sport, members of the Class of 2015 will continue playing the sport they love at the collegiate level.