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Senior athletes making plans for college careers

Graduation season has made many seniors start to plan for their future and get ready for life after graduation. With many of our MHS athletes wanting to continue both their academic and athletic career this had become a driving factor in their college decision.

Senior Preston Saia, receiving many offers to take his basketball career to the next level, committed to Shawnee State University, while also focusing on academics, reflects on the journey it took to be able to get thus far.

“It was a long process,” Saia said. “It started when I first got to Merrillville, that’s when all the schools started recruiting me and I got scholarship offers. It was just down to who reached out to me the most, showed the most interest once the universities were nice academics, athletics, everything.”

Terrelle Elmore, was able to share this same feeling, but also faced adversity during his recruitment process for football.

“I got told by a lot of schools that I was too small and that discouraged me a lot because that’s something that’s out of my control,” Elmore said. “And I felt like I was the player. Like I had the talent, but my size was holding me back, so I felt like that for a long time.”

Elmore’s community was able to support him during this challenging time.

“Specifically my parents,” Elmore said. “My parents held me up when I was down a lot. My former coaches, the ones that are here and some coaches from my previous school, helped me tremendously when it came to resources and connections. Then of course you have my teammates making the game fun to play and enjoyable for me every day.”

Kennedy Bryant’s college recruitment  process was not the ordinary story, putting herself out there to colleges.

“They didn’t come to me.” Bryant said. “I sent emails out. It was a whole bunch of filming games and sending out emails and trying to figure out what I wanted. And I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to go super far from home, but you can only go as far as opportunities to let you, so stepping outta your comfort zone, just like making sure that you’re getting what you want, where you go. But like, don’t settle.”

The dedication and hard-work put in by each athlete allowed them to continue the sport they love on a collegiate level. Saia felt immense relief. 

“It felt like a huge boulder that was off my shoulders,” Saia said. “It was stressful seeing what college I was gonna go to if I was gonna go to college. But it was definitely a stress reliever.”

Bryant shared similar experiences once deciding Rockford University was the place she wanted to continue her volleyball career .

“It felt relieving, I don’t have to make any more films and I don’t have to make any more highlights,” Bryant. “I don’t have to email anybody else. It’s like the fruits of your labor type stuff.”

Elmore was grateful to commitment to Eastern Michigan University knowing what attributes stuck out that made it the school for him

“I knew immediately that it would be the fit for me based off of the coaching staff’s energy towards me and the team’s overall energies towards me,” Elmore said. “And then it never stopped because when I went more than once, they still had the same energy.

* Tre’Von Stephens is playing football at University of Indianapolis.
* Roshaun McGee is playing football at Wayne State University in Michigan.
* Dontae Pope will be playing for the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne.

* Deshawn Rhule is joining the Trine University football team.

* Jaeden Williams and Keonta McKinney are taking their basketball skills to North Central University in Michigan. 


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About the Contributor
Destiny Givens
Destiny Givens, Editor
My name is Destiny Givens and I am currently a senior here at Merrillville High School. I love being able to share a variety of stories that I feel are important for people to read about. I am currently involved in a variety of clubs and extracurriculars and highly involved in the school being an officer in many of my clubs. I hope that throughout the year I am able to write articles I truly care about that you are loving to read.

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