7 athletes commit to their future athletic careers


Asha Lewis

James Murray, Katie Persons, Mike Malewitz, Suzy Deems, Sara Vargo, Ileah Doctor, and Macy Alabitis ’18 plan to continue their sports in college by signing to their respective colleges

Chances are, if you have made it all the way to college athletics, you have dedicated countless hours, sweat, blood, and tears into the sport you play. You have sacrificed relationships, sleep, and time in order to balance your sport,  grades, and personal life. Finally, for eight East students, this effort is beginning to pay off.

On November 8th, eight East student athletes committed to play college-level sports at schools both as near to home as Aquinas, and as far from home as Auburn University. Many of these students signed a National Letter of Intent, thus agreeing to attend their respective college in the fall.

James Murray has committed to golf at Aquinas College, Katie Persons has committed to play volleyball at Auburn University, Mike Malewitz has committed to play football at Bowling Green State University, Suzy Deems has committed to play field hockey at Kenyon University, Sara Vargo has committed to play volleyball at Bucknell, Ileah Doctor has committed to swim at the University of Indiana, and Macy Albaitis has committed to row at Bucknell University.

East’s diverse group of talented athletes share feelings of both excitement and uneasiness as the time draws nearer for them to leave the high school.

“I’m really excited about playing volleyball in college but I am a little nervous about adjusting to the higher level,” Sara Vargo ’18 said. “I know that it will be a lot of work but it will also be so much fun.”

Ana Grunewald ’18 shared a similar view to that of Vargo. Students have found that there is both peace and fears that tag along with starting anew.

“I’m really excited to play with new people and for a new school.” Grunewald said. “I’m just nervous about how different it will be and all of the adjustments I will have to make.”

Suzy Deems ’18 has managed to overlook the jitters she feels towards this new start and has redirected her attention to the new bonds of friendships and adventures that lie before her.

“I am so excited for Kenyon because it is a top tier program, so I am looking forward to to joining their team,” Deems said. “I am nervous to be their starting goalie as their level of play is different than my past experiences. It will be more challenging but I am excited to learn a lot, gain new experiences, and play among the best.”

College athletics hare a privilege that only the hardest workers will ever experience. However, being a student athlete spans far beyond the hours on the field or in the gym. At the end of the day, it means carrying your school’s colors on your back, and representing the school proudly by doing what you love.

‘I am really excited to get down to Bloomington in a few months and start training as a collegiate athlete!” Ileah Doctor ’18 said. “I know it is going to be a huge adjustment and a lot of work but I am ready for it.”

East’s Athletic Director, Timothy Johnson, is sure to remind his students the importance of academic value when choosing a school.

“The thing about going on to participate in college athletics is that the school must be a right fit educationally for you.” Johnson said. “If you were to play your last down of whatever sport it is, and then never play again, would you want to stay at that school? That is what is important. In college athletics you are one play away from having a career ending injury, whether that happens the first day of your first practice as a freshman or never happens.”

These athletes are sure to look back on their time in college with joy and pride for doing what they love with the new friends they have yet to meet.