The class of 2021 has many outstanding and dedicated athletes that will continue playing into college.
Sadie Baich will continue playing soccer at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and study biology. According to Baich, soccer has always been a huge part of her life, so she knew she wanted to continue her career at a higher level. “I have wanted to play in college for as long as I can remember. It’s what I love to do and it’s hard to imagine taking the next step without it,” Baich said. Arkansas captured Baich with its amazing facilities, beautiful campus, and history of strong soccer culture. Baich said she is excited to be on campus and prove herself on the soccer field.
Kaylee Harker will continue wrestling at William Jewell College along with studying psychology and criminal justice. Harker said she commited to William Jewell because of its success with the new womens wrestling program. “I wanted to continue my wrestling career for all the new opportunities that come with college wrestling, the new competition, coaching, and technique,” Harker said. Her goal is to earn more titles in college and eventually give back to the sport that gave her so much, by becoming a coach.
Jesse Ailshire will attend William Jewell College, joining their swim program and studying business administration. Ailshire chose William Jewel because “the team is a friend group and everyone is close. It’s a great community and atmosphere”. During his freshman year in college, he hopes to get faster and stronger to place at nationals. Ailshire had not always planned on going to the next level. His mom inspired him to follow in her footsteps and swim in college. In Ailshire’s junior year of high school, he quit baseball to focus on swimming. By continuing swimming, Ailshire hopes to contribute to relay and individual races.
Peyton Easley will also be continuing to swim at the next level, but at The University of Nebraska Omaha, and study architectural engineering. Easley chose Nebraska because “The coaches were so welcoming and made this process so much easier. I loved how the team seemed to run their schedule and it was just what I wanted for an NCAA Division 1 school.” Easley also said she is excited to study architectural engineering, and that it all came together to be exactly the school she was looking for.
Brooke Ellis will be continuing her basketball and academic career at Rockhurst University. Ellis said there was a definite increase in difficulty for recruiting due to the pandemic, but that her coaching staff here at LSW made it easier to communicate with the Rockhurst coaches. “I thought I would have a full summer of playing with my AAU team in front of college scouts but due to the virus, coaches weren’t allowed to travel to those tournaments,” Ellis said. She said she is most excited about the chance to make her childhood dream come true of playing college basketball.
Jaye Mack said her recruitment process was scary at first because it was normal for kids to commit to a school for gymnastics in eighth grade, and Mack said she didn’t know how to make such an important decision at that point in life. “Scrolling through social media I would find girls my age committing left and right. It was hard for me to understand that I was ok on the path that I was on even if it was slower than others,” Mack said.
“I found myself talking to more than five schools at a time. I went on several unofficial and official visits to many NCAA Division 1 schools. And, finally, with lots of support from my coaches, family and friends, I was able to achieve a goal that I had set many years prior,” Mack said. Mack will be competing at Illinois State University, and said, “From what I’ve heard, college gymnastics is such an amazing and ultimately fun experience. A lot of the pressure you feel as a Junior Olympic gymnast is gone.”
All of these amazing talented athletes will do great in their sports at the next level.