Athletes commit to their respective schools to play sports


Photo by Hector Cervantes

Seniors Madison Kassaros, Tai Bibbs and juniors Laura Katarzysnki and Angelina Gromos commited to continue to play their sports beyond high school and in college.

By Hector Cervantes, Reporter

Playing sports in college can be challenging, but several student athletes who have committed to their sport from their respective schools are looking forward to the experience.

Seniors Madison Kassaros, Tai Bibbs, and juniors Laura Katarzynski and Angelina Gromos all committed to play sports in college.

Bibbs received a full scholarship to play basketball at Drake University.

“It feels great to have received a full ride scholarship to play division one basketball, that has been my dream from a very early age and it feels amazing to have been blessed with the opportunities to do so,” Bibbs said.

Kassaros will play volleyball for Eastern Illinois University while Gromos will play volleyball for Northern Illinois University. Katarzynski will play volleyball for Northern Colorado University.

“When I got offered to continue my volleyball career at Northern Colorado, I automatically knew it was my school, I had visited it before and it felt like a home to me,” Katarzynski said.

But before they leave, the athletes are focusing on becoming better in their sport.

“Right now I am working hard in practice and focusing on what I need to work on to become a better college athlete. I want to focus on gaining speed and being disciplined with what I do. I also want to improve on skills for positions other than my own to be a versatile player,” Gromos said.

Many students are glad that their hard work as an athlete paid off.

“The feeling is really relieving. I’m not stressed about applying to colleges and I’m so lucky to be able to play college volleyball. Just the feeling of being a part of something that you’ve worked so hard for is indescribable,” Kassaros said.

Gromos found out about her college acceptance through a phone call.

“When I was offered, I was having a phone call with the coach there right before practice. I honestly almost started crying when I was on the phone because I was so happy. It was a special moment. All my teammates were so excited for me. My family was super supportive of my decision,” Gromos said.

According to Bibbs, his hard work paid off in the end even if he had doubts along the way.

“There were many times where I thought ‘why am I putting myself through this?’ The work to get to this position is not easy but the fruits of the labor are great and all of the blood sweat and tears are worth it. If you have a dream to play a sport in college, don’t let anyone or anything hold you back,” Bibbs said.

Katarzynski was inspired to play volleyball through her siblings who played volleyball in college.

“My sisters were my inspiration, my sister Kayla and Ronni are currently playing in college and my sister Mary Kate had discontinued her volleyball career and transferred to study nursing,”  Katarzynski said.

Besides focusing on their athletics, students are also focused on their academics.

“I am making sure I have good grades. I’m retaking my ACT just to see how high of a score I can get,” Kassaros said.

Gromos added how she is taking Advanced Placement classes to get many credits out of the way because she knows being a college athlete is difficult with the workload from classes.

Kassaros said how setting goals is essential in order to play sports in college.

“Don’t hang around with people who can affect your goals. Focus on your own goals and don’t worry about what other kids say about you. Do your job which is getting good grades, working hard in your sport, working hard outside of your sport, and be a good person,” Kassaros said.