17 Ladue athletes sign to play college sports
At the signing ceremony Feb. 1, 2012, 17 Ladue athletes signed on to play sports in college.
Seniors Isabella Bensuki, Colin Cernik, Austin Dague, Rob Ewald, BJ Francis, Erika Ingels, Lex Kaplan, Hannah Kloppenburg, Turner Miller, Justin Mitchell, Michael Proskey, Taylor Robinson, Grant Sachs, Alex Schott, Seth Smith, Lindsay Whitehead, and Shawn Whitley committed to continuing to participate in the sports they love as college students.
“The list of sports they play is very diverse and the universities that they will be intending are quite impressive,” Assistant Principal and Interim Athletics Director Brian Garner said during the speech that opened the ceremony.
Cernik will run cross-country and track for Lindenwood University, where Proskey will play lacrosse. Fellow lacrosse player Schott will join the Jacksonville University team. Dague will play basketball for Emory University. Ewald will join the baseball team at Lafayette College. Kaplan, his teammate, will head to the University of Miami to play baseball, while Turner will play baseball at St. Louis University. Ingels will play volleyball for California State, East Bay. From the Ladue football team, Mitchell and Whiteley will play for Quincy University and Central Methodist University, respectively. Robinson will join basketball at Temple University. Sachs will wrestle for Minnesota State University at Mankato. Smith will golf for Kansas State University. Meanwhile, Whitehead will play tennis at the University of Illinois. Rowers Francis, Benduski, and Kloppenburg will attend Princeton University, Harvard University, and the University of Oklahoma, respectively.
Francis plans on rowing for Princeton University, where he hopes to row on the varsity team by his sophomore year.
“As a rower at Princeton, I will of course start off on a freshman team and I’m going to see if I can be good enough to even make the varsity team my freshman year, which would be fantastic, but that’s very unlikely,” Francis said. “After that, my sophomore year, I’m going to do my best to make the varsity team.”
After rowing on the same team as Francis throughout high school, Benduski, a fellow rower, will row for Harvard. Her younger sister, freshman Martha Benduski, is impressed by her older sister’s accomplishments, as well as those of the other athletes.
“I was extremely impressed,” Martha Benduski said. “She’s going to Harvard and she’s going to be an athlete there and it’s just so impressive that she’s doing that.”
Kloppenburg, another member of the St. Louis rowing team, will attend the University of Oklahoma. Even after she leaves Ladue for college, Kloppenburg, as well as the other athletes, will remember lessons that they learned throughout their high school sports career.
“Rowing has taught me a lot about the kind of person that I want to be, the kind of hard work that it takes to row in college,” Kloppenburg said.
Although they will soon be leaving for college, the signing ceremony marked an occasion to celebrate their athletic accomplishments thus far.
“It’s fun,” Kloppenburg. “It’s definitely a once in a lifetime sort of opportunity.” #