Going to college is a path most high school kids want to go down, but some may not have the opportunity.
College can be expensive, limiting some families on what they can afford. Making the grades is one way to help offset some of those costs, but since this is the sports section I’m going to cover another way kids can cut costs on college — athletics.
Greater Alton area schools have done well for themselves, moving athletes along to the next level during this year’s class. With National Signing Day happening on Feb. 4, there have been plenty of kids writing their names on letters of intent as of late. You can check out www.advantagenews.com and click on the college signings tab to see who has committed verbally or through a letter of intent from local schools.
It’s always an exciting time for the kids and their families, so I thought I’d take the time to congratulate those kids that have made commitments to play at the next level so far in ‘14-15. I’m sure there will be more names to add to the list with the winter season wrapping up and the spring season still to come.
At the Division I level, there has been a good group of kids inking deals. The biggest may be Alton’s talented lefty pitcher Bryan Hudson, who signed to play baseball for the University of Missouri. Hudson still has his senior season in front of him with the Redbirds, so it will be exciting to see what he can continue to accomplish.
Other AHS athletes to commit to D-I programs include: swimmer Addison Kaufmann (Cleveland State) and hoopster Carlos Anderson (SIUE). Football player Zach Edwards also announced he will be a preferred walk-on at SIU Carbondale, meaning he won’t get the financial assistance of a scholarship but will join camp with the team in the summer without having to go through a tryout.
It will be nice to see Anderson stay close to home and represent the Cougars on the court. SIUE can always use some local flavor.
East Alton-Wood River softball player Victoria Beachum also will be a Cougar next year. Beachum inked a deal to pitch at SIUE, the defending Ohio Valley Conference champion. It’s a stellar program under longtime coach Sandy Montgomery, so Beachum will be in good hands after she gets through her senior season with the Oilers, which looks to be a good one.
Marquette Catholic’s Kate Sanfilippio will join the D-I ranks, too. The talented soccer player signed a letter of intent to play for Northern Illinois. She still has her senior campaign left, too, and the Explorers, which reached the super-sectional last year, hope to have another solid go-around.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of kids from the five local schools who will play collegiate sports, though.
Alton’s Brett Baldridge and Shane Bollini and Marquette’s Caleb McClintock will all play soccer at McKendree University, while Alton gridders Ricco Gipson and Josh Lovings will join the Bearcat football team.
Redbird Larry Calvin will play football at Olivet Nazarene and Natalie Long of AHS will play golf at Lindenwood.
Civic Memorial’s Jakob Lowrance will join the men’s basketball program at Central Missouri, which won a D-II national championship in 2014. CM also moves baseball player Caleb Buhs on to SWIC and softball player Chloe Jennings to Missouri Baptist.
Football player Anthony Lane of EA-WR will play at Lindenwood-Belleville, while Marquette’s Deyton Mitchell will wrestle at Knox College, Roxana’s Andrea Lawson heads to Mineral Area College for softball, baseball’s Logan Reardon signed with Lincoln Land, football’s Luke Curtis will continue his career at Missouri Baptist and Bailey McGuire and Zack Moore of the Shells will play at Lewis and Clark. McGuire will play volleyball, while Moore will be a golfer for the Trailblazers and coaches Dave Sobol and Jeff Pare.
Give a round of applause to these talented athletes for great accomplishments and here’s hoping many of their friends and classmates join them in the collegiate ranks.
Follow @broseberry51 on Twitter