The class of 2018 is moving closer and closer to the inevitable end of their high school careers. With each day disappearing behind them, seniors creep towards handling the infamous stress of college applications. Squished between the workload of writing multiple essays, personal statements, and keeping up with deadlines, most seniors are within arm’s length of the first college application submissions. However, for only a handful of students, this seemingly imminent stress isn’t applicable to them: they’re already “college committed”.
Most students find themselves immersed in the pool of applicants either during the early decision submissions around November or in the regular decisions in January. But for those who have considered collegiate level sports, the recruiting process has been an even longer anxiety-filled journey, beginning as early as first semester sophomore year. Although they may have seemed to get a headstart at college applications, their road to becoming scouted, selected, and finally committed has been far more extensive. By building portfolios, filming games, compiling highlight tapes, and sending hundreds of emails over several months – playing the waiting game – college committed student athletes have given their all.
At SAS, students are exposed to an array of different sports. From spectating and competing for IASAS during the school year to being required to have 1.5 credits of physical education for graduation, it is safe to say that most students are or have been involved in some form of sport during their time at SAS. But in spite of this pervasive exposure to sports, there are only a selective few who go above and beyond to continue their athletic interests after high school. To highlight this year’s class of 2018, there are already five athletes on collegiate level rosters across the US: Kilani Daane for beach volleyball, Lucy Carpenter and Rebecca Kuehn for indoor volleyball, and Riya Ahuja and Rishi Bhat for golf.
So what exactly is being “college committed”? How can a student be committed to a university months before the normal deadlines? According to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), an organization that regulates over 1,000 institutions in their athletic admissions process, a senior’s “college commitment” basically translates to having a non-binding verbal agreement between the student and an institution. Through this agreement, students can be bound to a university on the basis of their combined athletic aptitude and academic rigor.
Prominent competitors on the court and course, our senior student athletes have endured hundreds of hours tackling workouts and after school practices on top of studying for APs and honors classes. “Practice is expected, it isn’t a chore or a burden for student athletes,” said senior Chase Meredith. While Kilani Daane, Lucy Carpenter, and Rebecca Keuhn are all heading towards playing Division 1 and Division 2 volleyball at Tulane University, Pacific University, and Rollins College, respectively, Riya Ahuja and Rishi Bhat are set to play Division 1 and Division 3 golf at the University of Wisconsin Madison and Claremont McKenna College.
After several interviews with these students, the passion and drive for their individual sports was found evident in their transcriptions, but on top of this they all shared the same reflection and gratitude to the clubs and coaches that instructed them along the way (you can watch their interviews linked here). Quintessential examples of “The Eagle Way”, these students have set an example for their teammates and friends. Senior Laleh Lodhi says “[Riya’s] sacrifice and dedication for golf are like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” and Junior Elysia Chang says “ this year’s volleyball trio [Kilani, Lucy, and Rebecca] were some of the most inspiring people both on and off the court.”
Throughout their journeys, our senior student athletes have relentlessly practiced the SAS core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness, and compassion. So while they all head towards playing collegiate level sport next Fall, their influence in high school will continue to affect students until the next generation of student athletes comes along.
Congratulations Kilani, Rebecca, Lucy, Riya and Rishi!