BY KAYLA GATES
Whether it’s practicing for a soccer game, training for a softball tournament or warming up for a swim meet, playing a sport requires intense effort and dedication. However, Cooper City High School students are proving that an athlete’s hard work can pay off in the long run.
For most athletes, a sports career rarely extends beyond high school. Few are fortunate enough to secure an opportunity to play in college. With increased admission competition and higher acceptance standards among universities, playing at the college level has become difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, a handful of students have beaten the odds, accepting athletic scholarships and committing to colleges for their sport.
These college commitments encompass athletes of all varieties, with girls in softball and swimming accepting offers to continue their passion after high school.
For senior Olivia Lewis, college is just around the corner. Lewis, who is the captain of Cooper City High School’s varsity soccer team, plans to pursue the sport in the years to come. She recently committed to the University of Central Florida, who offered her a scholarship to attend following high school. The college is a division one school, with a large student body and athletic program. Lewis will be trading in her black and red for black and gold next year.
Sophomore Skylah Klein has shown that college considerations can occur at any age. Klein verbally committed to play soccer for the University of Miami, just before the start of her freshman year. The college, which is a division one school, expressed interest in recruiting Klein for their soccer team. Although the commitment is not official, Klein expressed her excitement in becoming a Miami Hurricane in the years to come.
“I would have never thought of going to an Ivy League school, but soccer has brought me all this way.”
“Since my early childhood years, soccer has always been a very important part of my life,” Klein said. “I look forward to furthering my academic and soccer endeavors at the University of Miami.”
Sophomore and soccer player Karlie Schlosser has already begun to make plans for college as well. Schlosser has committed to Brown University, a division one and Ivy League school. Although her agreement to play soccer for Brown is only verbal, Schlosser doesn’t hesitate to show her Bear pride.
“It’s crazy to think that I’m going to a high academic school while playing extremely competitive soccer,” Schlosser said. “I would have never thought of going to an Ivy League school, but soccer has brought me all this way.”
Yet another young athlete with major plans for the future is freshman Carina Lageyre, who verbally committed to Duke University in October. The college is not only a division one school, but is one of the best in the nation for women’s soccer. Lageyre attributes the accomplishment to her work with the United States women’s national soccer team, which has attracted many college scouts and commitment offers. Although college may be a long way off for Lageyre, her talent has already opened up a path to a possible career in soccer.
“I cannot wait for this amazing opportunity,” Lageyre said. “I couldn’t have done it without all of my friends, family, coaches and teammates supporting me along the way.”
While Cooper City High School’s female soccer players have exceeded expectations, the praise can be shared among many other sports. These college commitments encompass athletes of all varieties, with girls in softball and swimming accepting offers to continue their passion after high school.
“I’m very excited to get the chance to play the sport I love in college.”
Softball players have made major contributions to recent college commitments. Senior Michelle Adelman committed to play softball at Tufts University, a division two school in Massachusetts. Senior Jasmin Herrera also committed to Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. The girls will be representing their respected schools following graduation.
Junior and softball player Brenna Lokeinsky has begun her college planning as well. Lokeinsky has been a part of the Cooper City High School softball team since her freshman year. She verbally committed to play for Eckerd College in September. The division two school is located in central Florida, near Tampa Bay.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that takes tons of hard work and dedication to the school and the team,” Lokeinsky said. “I’m very excited to get the chance to play the sport I love in college.”
For senior Kathleen Golding, swimming has helped to shape her future. Golding is a member of the Cooper City High School swim team as well as the South Florida Aquatic Club. She committed to the University of Florida, a division one school, last year. Golding is eager to take her place as a Florida Gator following graduation.
“Swimming in college has been a goal of mine ever since I was a little girl, and to have the opportunity to represent the University of Florida and swim at the collegiate level is such a wonderful opportunity,” Golding said. “I am truly blessed to have this [chance].”
Although student-athletes must demonstrate extreme skill and dedication, their hard work has not gone unnoticed. College commitments have paved the way for students of all ages to pursue a career in their sport. The Lady Cowboys have shown that Cooper City High School contains no lack of athletic talent.
Photo by Kayla Gates