ROCKTON—Hononegah High School has a long tradition of honoring its student-athletes when they announce their future college teams, but the Covid-19 outbreak has turned even those into virtual celebrations.
The school recently announced seven seniors had selected where they will attend college and continue their athletic pursuits as well.
Sisters McKaylee and McKenzie Kidd had announced prior to the shutdown that they would be attending Waldorf University. Three of their teammates, Olivia Taylor, Anna Tapia and Amy Jones, have also made their decisions.
Taylor will attend Tennessee Tech University. She plans on studying sociology with a concentration in criminal justice. Olivia was a three-year varsity player, 2019 AVCA Watch List and 2019 NIC-10 Honorable Mention.
“Olivia is always one of the hardest working athletes in the gym,” Head Coach Kaylee Libby said. “Those skills along with her passion and determination to always be better will take her very far in the future.”
Tapia is headed to Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wis., where she plans to study Elementary Education and Spanish.
“Every time we walked into practice, a match or just running into Anna in the hallway, Anna is that smiling face that just brightens your day,” Libby said. “Anna’s love for the game and great personality were both critical components for our team. Anna has a very positive and optimistic mindset and always sees the good in people. These skills will make her a great teacher one day.”
Jones has been appointed to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. Approximately 280 students are accepted by the Academy each year and of that number less than 25 percent are female.
Jones plans to study maritime logistics and security as well as play college volleyball for USMMA.
“Amy has always been a leader on and off the court that always put the team first in all that she does,” Libby said. “Amy is an incredible student athlete that has a very bright future ahead of her.”
Hononegah bowler Emma Topham will continue playing that sport on the inaugural women’s bowling team at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. She will study Mathematics and Actuarial Science.
“Emma has been a huge asset to the Hononegah girls bowling team, helping to lead the team to a sectionals showing 2 years in a row,” HCHS head coach Jeremy Woody said. “Emma is a student scholar athlete and has a very bright future ahead of her.”
Two girls soccer players have also announced their college plans.
Payton Mohr will play for Rockford University and Lauren Wagner will play for UW-Stout.
Mohr will study Graphic Design and Marketing while playing for the Regents.
“Payton has played the last three seasons on the varsity squad and has improved every year,” HCHS head coach Jay Bigwood said. “An intelligent player, Payton is a great example to the underclassmen of the importance of hard work and dedication in realizing your potential.”
Wagner has also been on the varsity squad for three years and captained the Indians the past two.
“A hard-working athlete, she has shown all the qualities that a leader and athlete needs to be successful,” Bigwood said. “Dedicated both on and off the field, Lauren has a great future ahead.”
Boys volleyball player Kyle Eggers, a senior captain this year, will attend Dominican University in River Forest, Ill., where he will study Accounting and Mathematics.
“Kyle is such a fun, energetic, and talented student athlete that I have had the joy of coaching for 3 years,” head coach Annie Curran said. “Kyle excels not only on the volleyball court but the classroom as well and is one of the best role models for our underclassmen. Kyle works hard during his club season playing with VC United. He has shown that hard work and dedication to his sport can lead him to the next level where I believe he will go and make an immediate impact.”