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Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

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Humans of WEGO: Hurdling out of home

Adeline Draper is a home-schooled Varsity track and field athlete committed to continuing her athletic career as a Trojan.
Senior+Adeline+Draper+is+now+one+of+West+Chicago+Community+High+Schools+most+celebrated+athletes+-+an+interesting+feat%2C+as+she+is+homeschooled+for+all+but+physical+education+class.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Adeline+Draper%29
Photo by Stephanie Waller
Senior Adeline Draper is now one of West Chicago Community High School’s most celebrated athletes – an interesting feat, as she is homeschooled for all but physical education class. (Photo courtesy of Adeline Draper)

Any high school student’s dream setup is one where they can wake up, grab their computer and school work material, and start their school work right from the comfort of their bed, thus eliminating the burdens of catching the bus, catching up with the pace of other students, or even slowing down to avoid burnout. Every student’s dream is to have the perfect balance of the flexibility of choosing how much school work they want to do.

Senior Adeline Draper has made this dream a reality. Being homeschooled her whole life, Adeline has the liberty of creating her school schedule however she pleases. Despite having to get a certain amount of work done, she can pick and choose to sleep in and do it later, or altogether skip a day and double the amount of work the next day.

“It’s always been very flexible, which is my favorite part about it,¨ Draper said. 

Teammates Kali Waller and Adeline Draper attend the state championship last year. (Photo courtesy of Adeline Draper)

However,  senior year (for the first time), Adeline has been forced to take at least one class at WEGO to continue to be on the track team, this class being tenth-period gym. Adeline has always created a sense of surprise and even confusion among others, whether they be teammates on the track team or WEGO students in general, as to how she is on the team in the first place. Reactions to Adeline’s presence have often been rooted in the stereotypes that have been created about homeschooled students, who have been described as ¨awkward or shy.¨ 

Adeline, having a strong sense of empathy for others and being a people person, has overcome these stereotypes. Today, she is not only known for being homeschooled but for being her genuine self. 

Adeline befriended many WEGO seniors, including Valerie Harris and Sydney Bennema, during her time on the track team. (Photo courtesy of Adeline Draper)

¨As a person Adeline has impacted me a significant amount. She has taught me how to have a positive outlook on life and has taught me that I can’t be so hard on myself. She has always been my shoulder to cry on and there for me every step of the way,¨ senior Kali Waller said

Her family dynamic is one Adeline describes as “crazy.” Altogether, her family consists of nine siblings. Most of her siblings, not grown, live out of state; regardless of distances, Adeline still has a close bond with all of her siblings and visits them often. 

The sibling she feels closest to is her sister who is a year above her. Adeline grew up with Caroline and had the opportunity to be able to do schoolwork with her, which made Adeline excel and advance academically.

¨I grew up with her more than anyone else,¨ Adeline said.

Adeline’s parents, Keith and Barbara Draper, describe her as “adventuresome, funny, sincerely committed to her faith/family/friends.”

Adeline will be attending Taylor University in Indiana with an athletic scholarship for track; she will be running but will mainly be focused on hurdles. She plans to study athletic training, a field she was motivated to pursue thanks to the athletic trainers at West Chicago Community High School, Sergio Quintanilla, and Tom Wolfsmith. 

In 10 years, disregarding her passion and her love for the sport, Adeline’s vision for her future consists of being an athletic trainer and perhaps some coaching on the side. She says she has been so greatly impacted by the coaches and individuals who have shaped her into the athlete that she has become today, that she realizes she wants to be involved in a high school and impact other student-athletes like herself.

¨I just wanna be that for someone else too,¨ Adeline said.

Although she attended WEGO just for one period a day, her presence will be greatly missed.

Adeline poses with her family during the warmer months. (Photo courtesy of Adeline Draper)

“For our team Adeline is many things to her teammates.  A leader, friend, role model, and big sister.  On the track she is a a cold-blooded competitor who strikes fear in the hearts of her opponents,” Coach Tyler Belding said.

Adeline has accomplished considerable achievements while on WEGO’s track team. She set a new school record on the 100-meter hurdles, showing her great capabilities. 

“I deserved everything that I was getting because I was putting all the work in,” Adeline said.

The biggest obstacle she has faced has been her self-confidence, not just concerning her athleticism, but in her demeanor. She overcame these doubts by letting go of the stress and worries that dampened her individually, and she allowed the time and work that she put in to pay off. Another difficulty Adeline faced athletically, was her speed. Although now she has some of the top times, she had a “slow start.”

“Her work ethic has been unmatched and she has a great synergy with her hurdle coach, Mike Mittman. She has never stopped improving as a hurdler and her speed and power abilities are now off the charts as well. She really is one of West Chicago’s all-time great athletes and I doubt I ever get to coach someone quite like her again,” Belding said.

Going from being close to home to nearly two states away from her best friends, she will be starting at a “new course” in the Fall of 2024. With a track record like hers, she is bound to succeed.

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About the Contributor
Giselle Suarez
Giselle Suarez, Reporter
Giselle Suarez is a sophomore at West Chicago Community High School. She enjoys creative writing and drawing, particularly landscapes. Friends and family would describe Giselle as "nice" and "quiet". This hard-working student hopes to one day have a good career - something along the lines of forensic science or biology.
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