The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Class of 2023’s Committed College Athletes

Mercer Island School District
The committed athletes gather on Signing Day, June 6.

Emma Williams — Rowing

Emma Williams is heading to the University of Texas at Austin to row at the Division 1 level. She has been rowing for three and a half years but did not consider pursuing crew beyond high school until her junior year. Williams has been rowing at Sammamish Rowing Association and that has provided an inspiring community for her. “I really do it for the people, I love the people there. It’s a really big community and everyone is just very uplifting and motivating,” Williams said. She values this community because it is part of what drives her love for the sport. “I think it’s the community, it’s just unlike any other sport. You really need every single person there. Everyone’s doing something.” She also appreciates the culture of the sport and how she is able to fit into the community. “I’m not a very athletic person, and so I’m the person that sits in the front of the boat and gives instructions and that’s really catered to my personality and what I like to do, so I feel like it all just flows really well. I get to do something I like and I get to be with people that I love,” Williams said. Finding a school where she could carry on her passion was a long and difficult process. “I went to so many different schools, I went on just countless unofficial visits,”she said. “Then I ended up finding Texas and that was just a better fit, and that’s when it ended,” Williams said. She is eager for this new level of her crew career. “I’m excited to go fast. I think high school rowing, it’s really fun, it’s a good learning experience. But, next year is just — it’s going to be a lot more competitive, it’s going to be a lot more intense. And, yeah I’m excited to ramp it up.”


Honor Warburg — Rowing

Honor Warburg is committed to row at Stanford University next year on the Stanford Women’s Open Weight Rowing Team. “Stanford felt like the undeniably right fit for me, based on the team culture and the coaches, the impeccable record of NCAA titles, [and] the possibility of rowing in either U19 or U23 Worlds,” Warburg said. “Stanford is the right program to boost me into whatever career or rowing future I want.” For Warburg, rowing in college has been a goal since day one. “Ever since I’ve been rowing, it’s definitely been the most immediate goal, wanting to row Division I in college.” 


Marin Lee — Rowing

Marin Lee committed to the University of Washington to row in the NCAA Division I as a huskie. She is an MIHS student who has been in crew for four years with Mt. Baker Rowing and now will be staying in  Seattle for her next four. “I had just started considering rowing in college [during the] middle of last year so I [didn’t see] this coming at all, this was not expected,” Lee said. She felt inspired to continue rowing because of her love for her team and her positive experience rowing. Lee was already interested in the university, and its well-known elite rowing program became a deciding factor. Lee’s recruiting process with the school started when she began talking to them following a camp she attended there. It consisted of her sending many emails updating them about her season. Being committed, Lee wants to pursue her potential in the sport and do what makes her happy every day. “I’m just really excited to be a collegiate athlete and do the two-a-days and be a part of a fast team. I’m really excited to see what I can do when I’m given that kind of training,” Lee said. “Obviously it’s a gorgeous sport, you’re on the water all the time but I also like how into it everyone is. I love the people, just everything about it – I can’t live without it.” 


Matt Williamson — Swimming

Matt Williamson, who is committed to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has been swimming since he was six years old. Last season, Williamson won state in both the individual 200 freestyle and for his role on the relay team. “The idea of swimming in college is a recent thing because I’ve improved a lot so that became more of a possibility,” Williamson said. “In my college search I was focused on both the academics and the athletics. I ended up choosing Brown because I felt like it offers the best of both worlds.”


Emmett Ralston — Swimming

Emmett Ralston is heading to the East Coast this fall to swim for New York University. Ralston was a captain this year alongside Coy Hounsell and Nolan Knievel, all of which are coming off a win at state last season. “New York was honestly completely the opposite of [where] I [thought I’d end up],” he said. Ralston cites a visit in his junior year as a major reason he picked New York. “I went to New York City and I’d never been [there] before, and I loved the pace of life that was there,” he said. “I loved being in the city, and I liked what the team had to offer and the education that NYU has.” New York University is a private university that competes at the Division III level for athletics. Ralston will major in computer science as well as swim for New York next year. “I don’t think there’s one specific thing I’m excited for, I think it’s just [to] be in college and be in the city. It’s a little sad to leave my team and leave all my buddies but it’s fun to have something new.”


Matthew Shield — Swimming

Matthew Shield will be swimming at Claremont McKenna College this fall at the Division III level. He has been swimming for 14 years, but had not always seen himself swimming collegiately in his future. “I really only started to think about college swimming going into my freshman year. Before that, college seemed to be really far into the future, so I didn’t put much thought into collegiate swimming,” Shield said. He is excited to head to California at a school that fits him well. “It is great academically and socially, and I enjoyed the atmosphere when I visited. It was a college that I could easily envision myself attending for four years,” he said. He has already met some of his teammates and is looking forward to the change. “I’m most excited to live in a completely new environment, and continue to swim with new goals in mind.” Shield loves the sport he is pursuing and appreciates the culture of swimming. “Being able to constantly challenge one another, race, and be light hearted about it is always a highlight. Being in the water is quite refreshing (most of the time), and competition is always enjoyable,” Shield said. Overall, the community is what makes the sport so special to him. “I [enjoy] the competitive atmosphere that the people around me bring when it comes to practice or meets. It’s really the people that make the sport something special.”


Evan Liu — Swimming

Evan Liu is committed to swim at Boston University in Massachusetts. Liu has been swimming for nine years, though he didn’t always envision that he would swim at the collegiate level. “It seemed like a whole other world to me,” he said. “[But by] talking to the other seniors in school, I’ve gotten to know that system a little bit [better].” Liu cites a few reasons that he chose Boston University. “I like the city of Boston a lot, and I’ve met my teammates there and they seem like a fun group of boys to be with,” he said. Though having finished his last season swimming as an Islander, Liu is grateful for the environment fostered by the Mercer Island swimming community. “The coaching staff is all very supportive, and all my teammates—when I’m in trouble or need help, I go to them,” Liu said. “The coaching staff and my teammates [have] made the sport of swimming very fun, and that’s why I’ve continued to swim and improve.”


Brooke Andrews — Springboard Diving

Brooke Andrews is committed to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, for springboard diving. Andrews won the state championship for diving in her junior year and came in second in the state championship in her freshman year. “I wanted to focus things more on academics than my sport,” Andrews said. “With Big Ten schools, it’s super heavy on the athletics and it’s a lot of dive which I love, but my whole life isn’t gonna be diving and I don’t necessarily wanna pursue anything Olympic.” Andrews announced her commitment to Cornell in mid-September after previously being committed to Dartmouth. “I loved the coach and I loved the team [at Dartmouth] but the school itself didn’t really align with my interests,” Andrews said. “I competed at two national competitions in the summer and then I got a ton of emails which I was not expecting and it kind of made me rethink some things,” Andrews said. Despite being excited for the fall, Andrews says she’s not looking to pursue diving beyond the collegiate level. “I think for me personally, I would rather pursue my education and just enjoy diving in college and then after that be done and be proud of my accomplishments,” Andrews said. “I don’t really know what I could get from the Olympics versus what I could get from really focusing on my education.”



Katie Pedersen — Soccer

Katie Pedersen is heading to Massachusetts to play soccer at Amherst College. After playing since the age of five, she is excited to continue her journey with the sport as a committed Division III athlete. Pedersen was interested in Amherst because of their values regarding academics in addition to athletics. “School has always been just as important to me as soccer, so it was important [to me] that the college I attend challenges me academically too. Amherst has a small student body so I will be able to connect with my professors easily, and I can get out of my comfort zone by attending college on the east coast,” said Pedersen. The MIHS Girls Soccer Program played a significant role in her success. “They have always supported me and I am so grateful that I played youth soccer in the Mercer Island community.” She feels prepared to challenge herself to move to a collegiate level because of her former team. “Even off the field, the coaches continued to support me when I was still going through the recruiting process,” said Pedersen. Just like many athletes, Pedersen worked very hard throughout the recruiting process. “The recruiting process was very long since I started [at the] beginning of high school/end of middle school. Once I could talk to coaches directly in the summer of my junior year, I enjoyed the recruiting process a lot more,” Pedersen said. “My parents helped me a lot too through the process by supporting my decisions and letting me go on visits of the schools I was interested in,” said Pedersen. Reflecting on her experience, she thought the stress was worth it in the end. This fall, Pedersen is eager to play soccer in a brand new environment. “I am super excited to meet everyone [on] the women’s soccer team, as well as bonding with the other athletes on campus too!” Pedersen talks about the sport she loves as, “a great sport to easily go out to the field and play with a friend.” The soccer community has contributed to her passion for the sport. “I love how easy it is to bond with my other teammates.”


Mia Shanafelt — Soccer

Mia Shanafelt will be heading to Massachusetts this fall to play soccer for Wellesley College. She has been playing soccer for 13 years, being a swing player freshman and on varsity for her remaining three years. Shanafelt didn’t always think that she wanted to play soccer in college, but cited her head coach’s encouragement as a major factor, who coached Shanafelt her freshman and senior year. “Erin is such an incredible coach and after [my] 9th grade [season] is when I decided to play in college because of her. I’ve always loved [soccer] but I never really thought I could have a future in it until Erin, I don’t know if it was confidence in myself or I’d just never really thought about it.” Shanafelt said. “She intensified my passion for [soccer] because she’s such an amazing person all around and she spoke so highly of her experience at Portland — she struck a spark in me I didn’t know I had.” She also had something to prove to her old coach. “And also, my sophomore year [an old coach] told me [they] didn’t think I could play college soccer, so I wanted to prove [them] wrong,” she added. Shanafelt is one of the four varsity captains this year and has enjoyed her time being able to connect and influence younger players. “It’s been really nice to be in a position where I could influence [others],” Shanafelt said. “It’s been good to feel like I have an influence on the program and making it more inclusive for everyone, making sure everyone is enjoying a more positive environment then what it used to be.” Shanafelt praised the welcoming environment of Wellesley’s team and coach as well as their academic programs, helping her in making the choice to choose Wellesley. “I love Wellesey’s neuroscience program which is what i’m majoring in and I like the idea of being in, especially in such a male dominated field, going to all women’s college.” Shanafelt said. “All successful women professors and being surrounded by supportive women in that environment will set a good foundation for me to be confident in a field [where] I’ll be surrounded by men.”


Samantha Weiss — Soccer

Sammy Weiss is committed to play soccer at Columbia University in New York City.  “I wasn’t looking specifically [at the] Ivy League, but I found a lot of qualities in the Ivy League schools that I liked, they were part of a system that I liked,” Weiss said. “I was really looking for academically rigorous schools, so I looked [into] the PAC-12 and the Big Ten, things like that.” Columbia Women’s Soccer competes in NCAA Division I soccer and in the Ivy League Conference. “I’m really excited for the opportunity to go to Columbia, and I’m really excited to play soccer there and be able to be in the academic environment. I [felt] like it was the right choice [when I committed] and it’s still the right choice now,” Weiss said. “I just felt really comfortable with the coaching staff and the environment at Columbia. And so, I just felt like it was right.”


Katie Evans — Soccer

Katie Evans has committed to play Division III soccer at Occidental College. She is excited to continue playing in college at a school she feels is a great fit for her, “They really prioritize that kind of student-athlete, student-first kind of balance,” Evans said. Finding this opportunity was unexpected for Evans. “I had a pretty big back injury, and so after that, I didn’t think I was going to play in college. I didn’t even think I was going to play club anymore, but I did and I’m going to be playing DIII now.” Evans feels that part of the reason she is prepared to play at a collegiate level is because of her time with the MIHS girls soccer program, and their system of growing your competitiveness from JVC to Varsity. “Definitely as a senior, they’ve pushed me to think about how I wanted to continue my soccer career and if I wanted to continue growing as a player and growing in the level of competitiveness,” Evans said. She enjoys the openness to always grow in the sport. “It’s a sport that you can always learn more about and learn more skills.” Now, she is heading to Los Angeles and after her experience with recruitment, she is happy about the environment she is joining. “[After] I started more of that recruitment process, [the] team support [I received] as not even a member of the team, I [thought] ‘Wow, this is definitely the place that I want to play soccer.’” 


Samir Lumba — Soccer

Samir Lumba is committed to play soccer at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. Lumba is a captain this year alongside Leo Berkley and Kaleb Rawson, and has been playing soccer since first grade. As a senior, Lumba played on the football team as a kicker as well as competing on the soccer team. “I’ve kinda thought soccer was a better choice for me as of late because I get more playing time and more ability to be a constant influence on the game,” Lumba said. California Lutheran is a private university and competes at the Division III level. Lumba hopes to major in sports and business management at Cal Lutheran. He is excited for many things next fall, but particularly making his mark on his future team. “[I’m excited] to [get to] work because obviously as a freshman on a soccer team with a 30-35 person roster you’re not gonna get minutes just like that, you have to work for it,” Lumba said. “Just getting to work with the team and figuring out my role, that’s what I’m excited for.”


Jackson Barker — Soccer

Jackson Barker is committed to play soccer at the University of Redlands in California next year on their Division III soccer team. Barker was deciding between a few schools, but ultimately decided on Redlands. “Going down [to Redlands] and playing in that environment I think I’ll get better as a player and I’m just glad to be a part of that team when I get there.” Barker said. “I can see myself succeeding there.” He plans to major in sports medicine at Redlands. Barker had always had the goal of playing soccer in college, but throughout the recruiting process, wasn’t sure where or if he would play in college. “I think the circumstances weren’t right for every school. Things kinda figured themselves out, but from the start I didn’t know [if] I would [play in college].” The environment of Mercer Island soccer has also helped Barker improve as a player and a person. “The community that’s built on Mercer Island for soccer has been not only enjoyable but something I’ve built my soccer career around,” Barker said. “ I don’t know if I would be playing this sport at the next level without my experience [with MIHS soccer]. I’ve fallen in love with this sport again over and over, coming back and playing for this team.” 


Marques Abulhosn — Baseball

Marques Abulhosn is committed to play baseball at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Abulhosn announced his commitment to Gonzaga University in early 2022, earlier than many of his teammates or other student athletes. “I know a lot of people normally have a couple of options … but I kinda knew it was the place for me,” Abulhosn said. Abulhosn cites the coaches and the environment of Gonzaga baseball that drew him to the school. “I like what they’ve been doing over there for the last couple years, and they’ve been together for over 10 plus years now so they have a good comradery,” he said. Abulhosn also noted that he appreciated the education at the school, specifically noting the smaller class sizes. Gonzaga is a private Jesuit university and competes at the Division I level.“I [love] going out everyday and being able to play [the] game [I] love and being able to play it besides some of the best friends [I’ll] ever meet in [my] life,” Abulhosn said. “Right now my hope is to play past college, and I’m just hoping that I can get better every year that I keep playing”


Edgar Nakamura — Baseball 

Edgar Nakamura is committed to play baseball at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Nakamura has been playing baseball for most of his life, and has been on varsity since his sophomore year. Playing Division I in college has always been a goal for him. “I always wanted to play at [the] Division I level and now I’m here, so I think it paid out,” Nakamura said. Nakamura also noted that his coaches have helped him a lot in his baseball career and through the recruiting process. “[My coaches] motivate me; They encourage me to do good and…[Coach Woody] really helped me with the recruitment process and has been pushing me since I was a kid,” Nakamura said. In addition to playing baseball at University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Nakamura plans to major in marine biology, and is looking forward to the sunny climate of Hawaii. 


Max Clark — Baseball

Max Clark is committed to play baseball at the University of Washington. Clark has been playing baseball for 14 years and is a varsity captain this year alongside Marques Abulhosn and Cutter Werdel. “The captains share responsibility but it kinda feels like all the seniors are captains in their own way,” Clark said. His four years with MIHS Baseball have helped him in more ways than on the field. “The coaching staff, especially the head coach Woody, really put the whole program and myself in the right direction, both of course playing wise but [in] also teaching us life lessons.” Mercer Island took home the State Championship in 2022, though their 2023 season ended after they fell to Lake Washington and Liberty during the KingCo Championship. “Since I’ve been a kid living in Washington seeing UW, [I] always [thought it would] be a cool place to play baseball,” Clark said. “I wanted to stay on the West Coast so whether it was California or Washington, I had some other choices and ultimately I decided that UW was the best choice.”. UW plays at the Division I level and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Clark chose UW for a few reasons, but he noted the coaching staff as a major factor. “I decided to play there because it’s a really good academic school and they have a coaching staff that is very intriguing and I try to follow good leadership,” Clark said. “When I was talking to the coaches I could tell that they really cared about the program and that they really felt it was going in the right direction.” Clark noted a few things about the college recruiting process. “[The recruiting process] is just a lot of talking to coaches and having to have trust in yourself and your parents to make the right decision.” Though ultimately deciding on UW, a Division I university, Clark was open to all possibilities during his recruiting process. “I was always open to DII and DIII and Juco, but DI was always the main goal just because it seemed like the most competitive form of baseball.” Clark currently plans to major in Economics but hopes to test into UW’s Foster School of Business later in his college career. “I’m trying to play baseball for as long as possible so if that means going pro that means going pro. I think no matter what I’m gonna work as hard as possible so if my career ends after college then I’ll have a degree.”


Austin Cupic — Baseball

Austin Cupic will be playing Division I baseball at the University of San Francisco. He has played for nine years. Coming from three years on the MIHS Varsity baseball team, Cupic has learned a lot and values the experienced coaching staff of the program. “Listening to people who’ve done it before is a great way to improve and progress [in] your own way,” Cupic said. He has dreamed of playing baseball beyond high school throughout his high school career. “Probably about four years ago right when I started high school I wanted to get into the recruiting process. I really wanted to be involved in baseball at the next level.” Initially, Cupic was committed to the University of Portland before making the switch to San Francisco. “The assistant coach left the school [and] we were really close with each other. Also, some other things financially did come up. Therefore I did decommit over the summer of my junior year,” Cupic said. Now, he is excited about his commitment to San Francisco. “San Francisco really stood out to me: the environment in California, the rich, historical city of San Francisco I really wanted to be a part of it.” He is also looking forward to the baseball curriculum at the school. “Brand new baseball coaching staff, a lot of them came over from the East Coast,” he said. The team had a rebuilding year to pull in new players and improve their talent. “I could be part of a new program that’s going to start working from the ground up into something that can hopefully win a lot of games down the road.” After visiting the team he feels the school is the right fit for him. “I met a lot of the teachers there. Some of the other guys on the baseball team on my visit were super nice, going to the basketball game, it just felt like a brotherhood and I’m really excited to be a part of that next year,” Cupic said. He began the recruitment process when he started his junior year. “As soon as September first of your junior year of high school hits, that’s actually when you’re allowed to start communicating one on one with the coaches. Once that happened I was able to start texting with them, sending them videos and sending them stats of how I’ve been doing and it was much easier for them to determine if they [would give me an] offer or not based on that more individualized communication,” he said. When he begins at San Francisco, Cupic hopes to establish himself and keep a positive attitude. “Taking advantage of those opportunities, [I] got to keep the same mindset going into college. The ‘I’m here for a reason and I’ve achieved a lot,’” he said. He wants to embrace the fear when going into this new environment. 


Lucas Fujii — Baseball

Lucas Fujii will be heading to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois this fall to play Division III baseball. Fujii has been playing baseball since he was three, where he started in T-Ball. He has been in the MIHS Baseball program for his entire high school career, and appreciates how the community of the program has influenced him as a player. “The coaching staff pushed me to always be ready, [teaching me] the mentality that someone is always gonna be watching and you always have to perform at your best no matter the conditions,” he said. “I really do think they helped me in that way of dealing with the mental pressure, of going into a [tough] situation and knowing that it’s not your fault but you do have the responsibility of getting your team out of that so you can still win the game.” Fujii also cites his teammates as another reason that he has improved over the course of the last year. “My teammates pushed me to become the best version of myself; they made me actually want to work on [myself] so that I could contribute to the team as a whole,” he said. “They taught me the importance of working together and that if you [mess] up then you gotta get back up there and try to make it up.” Fujii will be majoring in Neuroscience at Knox, which was an important factor for him in deciding on Knox, as well as the playing time he would get on the field and the affordable nature of the school. “Like bro they gave me money,” he added. Fujii is excited to meet his new coaches and teammates, as well as the environment of college. He hopes to possibly play baseball past college, but it isn’t his main priority going into college. “I could get to the minor leagues, but I don’t know about big like the show. That’s more of a if it happens then it happens, cause that’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m gonna take but if it doesn’t happen I’ll always [be able to] rely on my smarts.”


Renn Novak — Lacrosse

Renn Novak is committed to play lacrosse at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington next year. Novak, who has been playing the sport since second grade, decided they wanted to pursue playing lacrosse in college because of the community they found with the Whitman team. “What made me want to play there is the community and athletes. They had a good connection and nice coaches,” Novak said. The decision to continue playing lacrosse in college spurred from the positive experience they had with the MIHS team and coach. “The high school coach, Lindsey Gillis, I respect her so much. She has a strong voice and I learned that there’s a way to advocate for yourself in sports, especially female sports,” Novak said. 


Max Youssefnia — Lacrosse

Max Youssefnia is heading to Massachusetts in the fall to play lacrosse at Amherst College. Youssefnia is a third year starter on the Mercer Island team, and has been playing lacrosse since his fifth grade year. Though originally a basketball player in addition to lacrosse, Youssefnia ultimately decided to pursue lacrosse. “I feel like lacrosse is a mix of size, speed, physicality, and skill,” Youssefnia said. “I felt [like] that really catered more to who I am as an athlete.” Amherst College is a private liberal arts college, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,971 and an acceptance rate of nine percent. It competes at the Division III level. “ I thought [Amherst] was a really good balance of academics and athletics,” Youssefnia said. “It’s a very tight knit community and it’s a competitive lacrosse team which is what I’m looking for.” Youssefnia will be playing midfielder at Amherst and plans to major in economics. “I like working my way up to the top,” he said. “So I’m excited to start at the bottom of the totem pole and be around a bunch of guys that are better than me and [seeing] how I can do.”


Ari Nguyen — Track and Field

Ari Nguyen has committed to Western Washington University to continue her Track career. Nguyen has been running track since fifth grade, but never expected to run in college until her junior year. “When I finished my junior season I was at that level of college recruiting, so just the opportunity to continue something I love was what made my decision [to run in college],” Nguyen said. Her decision to run track at WWU was largely impacted by the convenience of the college and the team environment. “I chose WWU because I knew I wanted to be close to home and at a school with smaller class sizes,” Nguyen said. “After coming to meet the team, I loved their dynamic and practice atmosphere.” Nguyen is looking forward to continuing track at a higher level, running PR’s, and getting faster and stronger.


Jordan Wiseman — Rugby

Jordan Wiseman will be playing rugby at Brown University this fall. She originally began playing when she lived in Taiwan, where they offered touch rugby as a girls sport. “What I love about my coaches and rugby is that you get moved around positions all the time,” Wiseman said. “The coaches are great and they look at you and put you in the best positions possible that will really train you and that will really do well for the team.” Wiseman committed to Brown in April of 2023. “I got an early read done, which was when they take early test scores and the admissions group decides if you’re a good fit for the school, and I got cleared for Brown,” Wiseman said. “What I really loved about Brown is the open curriculum and how you can really develop your own concentration or major and study a wide variety of subjects.” Wiseman has been playing Rugby for seven years and has spent her last four years with the Lady Liberty Rugby Club. “I love how inclusive Rugby can be and I love the physical aspect of the sport. It’s just such a unique game,” Wiseman said. “You meet so many people from so many different countries and there literally is a spot for everyone in Rugby.”


AJ Wolff — Football

AJ Wolff will be going to Trinity Valley Community College in Texas next year to play football. Wolff has been playing football since third grade, but ultimately playing for the MIHS football team is what drew Wolff to pursue football in college. “Once I started playing defensive line in high school and specifically towards the end of my senior season, I knew I didn’t want to end my football endeavors,” Wolff said. Trinity Valley is a junior college with a tight knit football program, but Wolff does hope to find a place to play football at a higher level after. “I thought junior college would be a good place for me just because I think going to a smaller school, I’ll be more successful in [that] environment,” Wolff said. Many high school athletes chose to enroll in a junior college as a stepping stone before enrolling in a four year university to play their sport. “If you’re going the JUCO route, you just gotta contact the coaches and let them know who you are.” Wolff feels that his experience on sports teams has additionally helped improve his academic career and encourage personal growth. “I really think [football has] helped with my focus,” Wolff said. “I’m usually doing my best in school during [the] football season, [and] the best out of school; I’m feeling like my best self during the football season just because I’m practicing.” Overall, Wolff’s love of the sport has grown throughout his high school career, and he is excited to continue playing throughout college. “It’s just fun. I love football, it’s a fun sport. It didn’t really click until this past season about how much this sport meant to me, I didn’t want to drop it.”


Lindsey Whelan — Tennis

Lindsey Whelan will be heading to California this fall to play tennis at the University of Redlands. Whelan started playing tennis at seven years old and began by participating in tennis summer camps. One major factor that convinced Whelan to play for Redlands was the head coach, Pete Yellico. “I talked to a few coaches from other schools and I just connected with him the best.” Yellico is fairly new to the Redlands family, signing on as the head Men’s and Women’s tennis coach in February of 2022. “We are really fortunate to have an individual with his portfolio of experience in coaching, fundraising, and recruiting, especially at the Division III level, directing our tennis programs,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez. Whelan originally was not planning to pursue playing tennis in college, however, she ultimately decided that she wasn’t ready to quit. “I just like structure in my day and going to practice and having that whole routine is good for me. That was one thing that convinced me I should be playing tennis in college,” she said. Though she considered a few other schools in the California area, she ultimately decided on Redlands. “Redlands just [seemed] like the best fit for me skillswise,” Whelan said. “I’m really excited to play college tennis because it’s a lot different than high school, and I’m just excited to get better.”


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About the Contributor
Tiffany Zhang
Tiffany Zhang, Features & Sports Team
Tiffany Zhang is a senior at MIHS and in her second year of journalism. She is currently a member of the Features Team and the Sports Team and has served as a staff writer in the past. In her free time, Tiffany enjoys reading, thrifting, and watching Formula 1 races.

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    Jordan BalousekJun 7, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    looks great! good work everyone!