Ready to give it the old college try

Standout high school athletes getting ready to take their games to the next level

In the first of The Hinsdalean’s two-part round-up of recently graduated high school student-athletes ascending to college sports programs, the new undergrads share both hopes for their next chapter as well as fond memories from their prep days. All but Lucas Smith, a graduate of Nazareth Academy, attended Hinsdale Central High School.

The second installment will appear in the Aug. 24 issue.

Charlie Bergin

Augustana College, baseball

I’m looking forward to: traveling across the states and playing baseball every day.

I’ll remember: the group of boys that all stayed together since we were 10 through senior year of high school.

Remi Bokos

Indian River Sate College, swimming

I’m looking forward to: the warm weather all year round and finding myself with my own independence.

I’ll remember: that you can find a true friend in high school but you have to watch out for the ones that will stab you in the back.

Vidar Carlbaum

Indiana University, swimming

I’m looking forward to: building new friendships that will last long and developing my skills in the pool as well as studying finance at the Kelley School of Business.

I’ll remember: swimming with my buddies during the high school season and winning nationals to make our school the best in the country at swimming.

Ethan Du

New York University, volleyball

I’m looking forward to: exploring the city and making new friends.

I’ll remember: all my teammates and coaches that made Hinsdale Central volleyball one of the best programs in the state

Andrew Gilbert

Johns Hopkins University, swimming

I’m looking forward to: the academic/research side of college and joining one of the campus communities. One called Hopkins Baja builds a car from scratch and races it against other colleges across America.

I’ll remember: my senior year at Central, from Homecoming to my swim season to prom. I was most proud of the fact that I helped build a strong culture of balance and discipline during swim season that made everyone feel included and excited to join swimming.

William Ho

Iowa Western Community College, baseball

I’m looking forward to: the amazing food every day which will be swiftly delivered into my muscles to make me a better athlete.

I’ll remember: the memories with classmates and all the fun times.

Sami Kassir

University of Illinois-Chicago, diving

I’m looking forward to: being part of such a great team, meeting new people and being able to train at a much more intense level.

I’ll remember: being surrounding by such an amazing team at Central, breaking the pool record, finaling at state and being state champs.

Sophia Kim

Johns Hopkins University, tennis

I’m looking forward to: training with and competing with a team all year round. Also, I’m excited to meet new people from all over the world — two of my teammates are international student-athletes.

I’ll remember: winning state back-to-back with the team at Central, because those moments still give me goosebumps when I think about them. Whether playing in my own matches or cheering on my friends at other sporting events, I was always surrounded by people who loved our school.

Carrie Kramer

University of Arizona, swimming

I’m looking forward to: getting to know my team more, working hard and swimming outside every day.

I’ll remember: the amazing four seasons with Hinsdale Central swim and dive with my forever best friends.

Jakobi Lange

University of Southern California, volleyball

I’m looking forward to: the new connections I’ll make during my time as well as getting to compete the next level.

I’ll remember the culture and the joy I got from playing with some of my best friends.

Phoebe Paarlberg

University of South Dakota, swimming

I’m looking forward to: the new team I’m going to be swimming with and meeting many new people.

I’ll remember: every single thing about the girls swim and dive program. It made my high school experience extremely better than without it.

Lauren Priest

Southern Methodist University, swimming

I’m looking forward to: meeting my new teammates and coaches and experiencing all the benefits of the brand new Olympic-sized outdoor swimming facility.

I’ll remember: the incredible experience I had being a part of the women’s swim and dive team at HC and having the unique opportunity to swim in both the old and newly built pool.

Noah Priest

Boston College, swimming

I’m looking forward to: starting training with my new teammates at BC and starting to compete at the college level.

I’ll remember: my senior year swim season and participating in the IHSA state meet.

Kit Schneider

University of Wisconsin, swimming

I’m looking forward to: meeting all the new people at Madison and being a part of such a hardworking and fun team environment as well as the challenge of the rigorous training schedule.

I’ll remember: the loving community that I was a part of at Central. I feel so lucky that I got to be a part of something so special.

Lucas Smith

University of Illinois-Chicago, baseball

I’m looking forward to: playing baseball and competing at UIC.

I’ll remember: the bonds and relationships I created with many people.

Cody Tavoso

Princeton University, wrestling

I’m looking forward to: the incredible education Princeton offers. While I am very excited to be able to compete at the next level, I look forward to finding what field of study I truly love.

I’ll remember: the incredible school spirit that both the students and staff at Central have. Our student body is incredibly passionate and I am grateful for the support I received.

James Theriault

Northern Illinois University, tennis

I’m looking forward to: competing for another four years at a high level while getting an education.

I’ll remember: Coach John Naisbitt and how fun he made tennis for my teammates and me.

Kaitlyn Thick

Tulane University, volleyball

I’m looking forward to: being a part of something bigger than myself and getting the opportunity to continue to play my sport in college.

I’ll remember: the concept of grit the most and continue to use it in college. I learned how to push through our long preseason practices in the hot fieldhouse and push my body to its limits.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean