Senior athletes reflect on high school experiences, share future plans

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Sports_portal_bar_iconBy Sports Editor and Staff Writer: Danielle Hamilton and Kate Bauer

Two Main Four writers have asked a representative from every sport at HHS, to find out where they’re going from here and what they’ll miss the most.

The answer seems to be a common consensus; the team. The team which becomes like family.

Paige Blythe – Gymnastics:

Blythe will be attending Central Michigan University next fall to study pharmacy. The thing that she will miss most about high school is being around her friends. Other than gymnastics, she has also been a part of the high school track team throughout her years at Howell.

Jackie Manson – Equestrian:

Manson will attend Saginaw Valley State University after graduation. She is planning on going into business. Manson was a part of a state champion team at Howell and also was phenomenal individually. In college, she will continue to do equestrian.

“I’ll miss all of the fun weekends at high school states and regionals,” says Manson.

Kyle Scott – Football:

Scott will play football at Heidelberg University in Ohio next fall. He will be studying sports management. He also was a part of the basketball program his four years at Howell.

“I’ll miss the atmosphere here the most and all of the support I get,” says Scott.

Elizabeth Niemi – Volleyball:

After graduation, Niemi will attend Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, where she will study business.

“I will definitely miss my team a ton and all of the great friendships I have formed here,” says Niemi.

Patrick Wagner – Cross Country:

Wagner will attend Grand Valley State University next fall. He will be majoring in Pre-Physical Therapy and then go off to graduate school. Wagner also played baseball and did one year of track in high school. He will miss all of his teammates that he has gotten close with over the years.

Tess Weatherly – Women’s Basketball:

Weatherly, who was the All-County Player of the Year this past season, will continue to play basketball at Northern Michigan University next fall. She will study education and occupational therapy at NMU.

“I will really miss playing with such a great team and playing against our rivals. I will also miss the fun atmosphere that was created here,” says Weatherly.

Jeffrey (J.J.) Libler – Men’s Soccer

Libler will attend Tulane University in New Orleans next fall. He is planning to study biomedical engineering. Although Tulane does not have a soccer team, he will continue to play on a club team there.

“I’ll miss the kids and the camaraderie on the team,” says Libler.

Lauren McDonnell – Women’s Soccer:

McDonnell will attend Michigan State University after graduation. She is planning to major in either pre-law or finance, but is still undecided on which to choose.

“I’ll miss my teammates the most because most of us have played together since we were eight,” says McDonnell.

Alex Duffy – Baseball:

Duffy will be attending Western Michigan University next fall where he will study business. He received several offers to play baseball at universities such as Northwood, John Carrol, and Cleary, but chose to just focus on school. He plans to play club baseball at WMU.

“I will miss all my teammates the most because I grew up playing with a lot of them,” says Duffy.

Hogan Samples – Men’s Golf:

Next fall, Samples will continue to play golf at Cleary University and pursue business. He also played basketball in high school and was a part of the program all four years.

“I will miss the people I’ve gotten to know from both golf and basketball. I have met a lot of my closest friends through sports,” says Samples.

Beau Godkin – Lacrosse:

Godkin will be attending Kalamazoo College after graduation and is planning to double major in political science and finance or business. He also played football in high school and will continue to play football in college. Godkin is also going to play lacrosse for the new club program at Kalamazoo.

“I will miss both of my teams from Howell and all the players I’ve gotten to know,” says Godkin.

Brett Dudansky – Hockey:

Dudansky will attend Lawrence Tech University next fall. He will continue playing hockey for LTU’s team and will pursue medicine. After graduation, he will miss all of his friends and teammates the most that he has gotten to know over the years.

Tex Hastings – Men’s Basketball:

Hastings will continue his studies after graduation at DePaul University in Chicago. He will study finance and wants to become a stockbroker.

“I will miss the whole high school basketball experience. Senior year was awesome making it so far into the playoffs,” says Hastings.

Melissa Bazany – Softball:

Bazany will continue to play softball at Hope College next fall. She will major in computer science or software engineering and hopes to pursue a career in developing software/technology for mobile devices.

“The thing I will miss most is playing with the girls that have been on my team since I was ten years old. We have grown up playing together and we have become close friends over the years,” says Bazany.

Donnie Atkins – Men’s Swim and Dive:

Atkins plans on taking courses at Lansing Community College for two years before joining either the Coast Guard or Navy. After his four years of active duty, Atkins plans on having the military pay for tuition at his college of choice where he will study ecology and environmental conservation. While looking forward to the future, Atkins states he will miss his swim family and the brother-like connection they share. “Being close to a fun group of kids that all participate in the same activity was one of his favorite parts of high school,” says Atkins.

Christine Grajek – Figure Skating:

Grajek plans on going to Adrian University in the fall, where she is unsure of what she wants to study. However, she does know that she will miss being a part of the skating team, especially the fun memories of meeting new people at the various competitions.

Victoria Clawson – Bowling:

Clawson is getting ready to attend Baker College of Owosso in the fall where she will be studying diagnostic medical-sonography. The one thing she will miss most from her bowling experience is her coach’s encouragement.

Kayla Finch – Ski Team:

Finch plans on attending Lansing Community College for her first two years after high school before transferring to a larger university. She is unsure of what she is going to study, but has ambitions to become an English as a secondary language teacher. She will miss not only her skiing teammates, but all the friends she made on the hill. The friendly atmosphere and competition was one of her favorite aspects of the sport.

Kyle Johnson – Men’s Track:

Johnson is going to attend Central Michigan University this fall where he plans on studying physical therapy. Johnson will miss all his running friends and the team in general. The opportunity to bond with different classes and students that he normally wouldn’t have is something he will always cherish.

Hayley Sowell – Women’s Track:

Sowell also plans on attending Central Michigan University where she will study biomedical sciences. Sowell will miss the practices and the attendance obligation the most, for she feels she won’t have the motivation to run every day on her own.

Tanner Damaske – Wrestling:

Damaske is looking forward to attending Eastern Michigan University in the fall where he will be studying to become an elementary school teacher. He will miss going to practice and his teammates once he leaves.

Madalyn Vest – Boardercross:

Vest plans on attending Lansing Community College to study nursing. She will miss the competing and the competitions with her team.

Jared Mantag – Men’s Tennis:

Mantag plans on attending Trine University in the fall where he will study design engineering technology. He will miss his teammates and the friendly atmosphere tennis had.

Jessica Greene – Women’s Golf:

Greene plans on attending Lansing Community College to study nursing. She will mostly miss being able to go out and play golf on a daily basis.