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School year starts with athletic commitments

MON. | 10-25-21 | SPORTS

     The 2021-2022 school year kicked off with a bright future for six Rose athletes as they have recently committed to Division I schools to further their academic and athletic careers. 

     Forbes Hall who is committed to Louisiana State University (LSU) for beach volleyball, Amelia Taft who is committed to the University of South Carolina (UofSC) for beach volleyball and Riley Cutler who is committed to Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) for beach volleyball all picked up volleyball around the same age of ten years old and all knew that this was their sport. Furthering their volleyball skills, they soon picked up beach volleyball and decided that this variety of volleyball was exactly what they wanted to do. 

     All of these athletes have been playing their sport since at least the start of high school and have had time to work, train and improve their skills. They all worked hard over the summer to commit to their schools and find just the right fit for their next four years. 

     “As soon as I stepped onto the LSU campus I knew I had fallen in love and that it was the spot for me,” Hall said. 

     Florida State University was up next on Hall’s agenda to visit, but she didn’t even make it to Florida because she already knew that LSU was right where she wanted to be. 

     The process of elimination was important for these athletes as they were all talking to multiple schools and had to make a final decision for their future. This was not an easy decision for athletes like Taft as she had a few considerations and deciding on UofSC was not a piece of cake. 

     “I was looking at some schools in California because that's where beach volleyball is most popular,” Taft said. “I was looking at Cal Poly (California Polytechnic State University), UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) and also TCU (Texas Christian University).” 

     As the summer began and most high schoolers were heading off to the beach, the athletes were filling their time with communicating with multiple schools. They were

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Graphic by Emmy Ingalls

working on getting committed until their final decision was made when they felt like they were being called home. 

     “My commitment process was very long and stressful,” Cutler said. “I had to put so much time into it but it paid off in the end.” 

     Rose has had a great influence on these athletes, especially senior Michael Allen who is committed to NC State for football, as they have been able to improve in regards to their sport and their academics. 

    “The people I have been around at Rose all the way from coaches to teachers helped me as an athlete and a student,” Allen said. 

    Teachers and coaches have impacted athletes by helping them get where they are today and have supported them along the way. Along with the Rose staff, fellow Rose student athletes have helped these committed athletes, like senior Taylor Padgett who is committed to East Carolina University for lacrosse, to reach this collegiate level that they have. 

    “Rose has given me some of the best teammates and support I could get,” Padgett said. 

Without love and support from these athlete’s closest friends, family and coaches, they would not be in the position they are today. Junior Mitch Jones who is committed to Virginia Tech for baseball finds these personal influences very important. 

     “My biggest influence would be my dad,” Jones said. “He played college baseball and I’ve always looked up to him and wanted to follow in his footsteps.” 

     As heading off to college is right around the corner for these athletes, they have hopes and fears for their next four years playing their sports on this new level. As LSU is currently fourth in the nation for beach volleyball, Hall has set high standards for herself that she is expecting to meet by the time she heads off to Louisiana. 

     “My biggest hope is to grow as much as I can and use what they have to offer for me,” Hall said. “I plan to apply and implement what my ultimate goal is, which is to get on the playing roster freshman or sophomore year, which is going to be difficult but I think with hard work and grit, I can definitely do it.” 

     Determination and hard work has been shown by these athletes ever since they started playing their sports and it has finally paid off for them as they are looking directly into their bright futures. They plan to head off to their new homes within the next two years to increase their skill levels even more and continue to make their friends, family and coaches proud. 

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