Getcha Head in the Game: Senior athletes continue their game in college

Getcha Head in the Game: Senior athletes continue their game in college

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Ava Porlier

College: Valparaiso University
Sport: Soccer
Study: Health Sciences/Biology

“I chose [Valparaiso] because they have a great soccer program, and they are well known for their academics. They have great health sciences programs, and… I am studying biology,” Porlier said. “I also really liked the team, coaches, and campus… I am very excited to play at the next level. I’m excited to learn a lot more about soccer and improve my skills overall. I hope to have a successful career at [Valparaiso] and play to the best of my ability while I am there.”

Senior Ava Porlier scans the soccer field for an open teammate.
Photo courtesy of Ava Porlier

TJ Simpson

College: Robert Morris
University – Chicago
Sport: Football
Study: Business

“I felt that RMU was best for me because they help you with internships, and you don’t take general [study] courses. I also enjoy the city lifestyle,” Simpson said. “I’ve played football for four years now. My goal for playing football at the collegiate level is to stand out amongst all incoming freshmen. I plan to do that by continuing to lift daily and increase my power and speed.”

Senior TJ Simpson commits to Robert Morris University.
Photo courtesy of TJ Simpson

Andrew Heneghan

College: Carthage College
Sport: Track/Cross Country
Study: Computer Sciences

“I decided to go to [Carthage] because… I think doing a sport in college is going to be an unforgettable experience and is something that not many kids will get to experience,” Heneghan said. “I hope to make nationals by the time I am a senior. I hope as a freshman, I will be able to make Varsity. I want to experience being on a national caliber team, which is what we will strive to be next year… running is really rewarding and is a great metaphor for life.”

Photo courtesy of Clarissa Moreno

Senior Andrew Heneghan competes in the 800-meter run at the Western Suburban Gold Conference meet on May 15.
Photo courtesy of Clarissa Moreno

Katie Vondra

College: Aurora University
Sports: Volleyball
Study: Special Education

“I decided to go to Aurora University because it offers a great Special Education program, which is what I plan on doing as a career. It just so happens that I got the chance to also play the sport that I love,” Vondra said. “I feel so blessed and grateful that I get the chance to continue playing volleyball at the collegiate level.  I hope to do the best that I can do at not only volleyball but also my academics.”

Senior Katie Vondra takes a breather in between sets at a home match.
Photo courtesy of Katie Vondra

Rebekah Ondracek

College: Elmhurst College
Sport: Softball
Study: Education

“I want to make All-Conference in college and work my way up to being the starting catcher my freshman year. I’m super excited about forming close relationships with my teammates and getting out of my comfort zone to make college the best experience I can make it…. I found so much joy with the sport and can’t think of anything else I’d rather do,” Ondracek said. “It means a great deal to me, and I’m so excited that my career in softball doesn’t have to be cut short after high school.  I can’t believe I only have four more years of playing, but I want to give everything I have to these last four years.”

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ondracek

Senior Rebekah Ondracek shares laughs on the field with fellow teammates as she warms up before a game.
Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ondracek

Graphic by Joe Stellato

Compiled by Joe Stellato and Jack McGann



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