Senior Athletes Committing to Colleges


Elizabeth Casey, Staff Writer

Spectators  may not have been able to attend sporting events, but student athletes have not stopped training to pursue athletics in the collegiate world. Despite delays in the sports seasons, students have been working hard to improve their skills. Many seniors have taken the step to commit to colleges to continue their athletic careers. 


Senior Makaila Knoezer has committed to Limestone University, a private college in Gaffney, South Carolina, to compete on their acro and tumbling team. Knoezer had previously trained as a level 9 gymnast at Apex Gymnastics. 


“I am competing for acro and tumbling in college because tumbling has always been my favorite part about gymnastics,” Knoezer said. 


The process to commit to a college can seem tedious and complicated, for Knoezer it was simple.


“I was talking with the head coach for awhile and after seeing some of my tumbling I was invited 

to come visit the campus,” Knoezer said. “After getting to see the campus and meet the team I was given my offer, after careful consideration I decided Limestone was the best fit for me.” 


Many students have spent years training to be able to compete in college. Very few student athletes are able to continue on and compete for the NCAA which makes the process competitive. 


“To prepare now I am training with the club 6 days a week, cross training a few days a week, being conscious of my eating habits, and having a good sleep schedule,” cross country runner Lauren Petrank said.


Petranek has committed to Virginia Tech to run cross country and track and field as a Division 1 athlete.  Training for her has changed drastically since Covid-19 and she has had to make adjustments in order to continue her training.


“When covid started I trained mostly on my own following my coaches plan,” Pentranek said. “Later that year I switched to a club team so I could train with others and have opportunities to compete.”


Choosing which school to play for can be difficult. Senior Billy Wiles has chosen to play football at Clemson University as quarterback. 


“Clemson really just felt like home to me between the campus and the coaches, I really feel in love with it all,” Wiles said. 


As the first semester of a student’s college education is nearing, students have started to create goals for their freshman seasons. 


“For freshman season I want to make a smooth transition between schools and college,” swimmer Michael Copollo said.  I would like to earn good grades in school and be a helpful contributor on the swim team.”


Caroline Davis, who has committed to play soccer at Christopher Newport University reflects upon her goals for freshman season.


“My goal is to establish a good relationship with my teammates and coach, and prove myself on the field. I hope to get some playing time if we have games, fingers crossed,”  Davis said.


Many more seniors have committed to play sports in college and will be carrying the Stone Bridge legacy to college and beyond.