This year, Lincoln-Way Central is home to many talented seniors who are participating in their last year of athletics in high school. As the year winds down, athletes may reflect on their four years (or as many as they’ve been playing) and think about their experience playing as a knight. I asked a few questions to a couple of seniors from different sports about their last year at LWC.
I first asked senior Luke Phillips, who plays on the varsity hockey team, a few questions. First, I asked him what this final season means to him. He answered that “to me it means that I’ll get to move on to a higher level of hockey and play four more years in college.” He then told me that he has committed to Arizona State University with a major in Political Science. Finally, he related that his favorite moment was being named Captain of the hockey team.
I then asked senior Mike Cepolski, a varsity football player, the same set of questions. He told me that for him, “my senior season of football has meant a great deal to me as it’s not only been the last opportunity I have had to play for Central football but also my last opportunity to add to the legacy of an outstanding football program.” I then asked if he had committed anywhere for school yet, and he admitted that he was still deciding between Knox College and Elmhurst as an undecided major. He then said of his favorite memory: “my favorite memory of the season would have to be when I scored a touchdown against Bolingbrook in a game that we went on to win by a total team effort.”
Abby Bakotic, a senior Rhythm Knight, told me of her final season, “Since this season is my last, it will mean the most to me when I look back years later. All the fun times and good memories will stay with me forever.” She has not committed to a college yet, however, she says that her top choice is Southern Illinois University with a dental hygiene, or pre-dentistry with biology major. She explained that her favorite memory was “when my team and I were competing on the floor and we were yelling motivating words to keep us going.”
Maddy Willson, a senior bowler at Lincoln-Way, told me that “This final season of bowling for me has been really emotional. When you play with such a small group of people, you learn to love your teammates. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from even the newest people on our team and those I’ve been with all four years. It’s going to be super sad to leave this year, but I’m glad that I can leave a mark on the team as well as them on me.” She has committed to the University of Iowa, where she plans on continuing her bowling career, with a major in Biomedical Engineering. She reminisced that her favorite memory was “probably at conference. We were struggling as a team during the second half and although we weren’t doing great, we made it a really fun time. Not only was it LWC, but we ended up with East and West, of which we cheered with both of them. It meant a lot to me to see all the schools work together and make it through that second half of the day, and to see so many people that I love and relate to enjoy what they do because of teamwork was incredibly moving.”
Finally, I ended my rounds with senior Kevin Nolan, who runs cross country, and he told me that “My senior season has taught me a lot. I learned a sense of responsibility as a leader this year. I also made numerous new friends over the course of this year. My senior year has meant so much to me because this will be the last time that I compete for Lincoln-Way Central, and I want to make the most of the time I have left.” He explained that he has committed to the University of Kentucky to study finance. Lastly, he recalled his favorite memory, “from my sectional race for cross country this year. The meet was in Edwardsville at Southern Illinois University. It is my favorite memory because we stayed overnight and I will always remember the memories that I made with my team.”
These are just a few of Lincoln-Way’s amazingly talented and hardworking student-athletes, and we appreciate the dedication they put up for this school district, and Central especially. We wish every senior athlete graduating this year the best of luck in their future decisions and commitments, and thank them for their devotion to being a Knight.