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Signing Season 2024

Hoover athletes make college commitments

Cameron VanNatta

The game is tied 4-4. He gains the ball moving towards the goal. He can feel the sweat dripping down his face but he pushes forward. This is the biggest game of the season. He kicks the ball straight into the net. Goal. The crowd howls with excitement, but this is just an average game for Cameron VanNatta.
Cameron “Cam” VanNatta, Hoover’s soccer captain, is getting ready to apply for colleges and commit to a school. Reminiscing on the journey that brought him here, we learn about the journey and highlights of his soccer career.
“I mean, beating Jackson, that was a huge highlight. We hadn’t beat them in, like, over 20 years in the regular season, I think. So beating them during the regular season and being outright federally chanced was huge,” he said.
Jackson was one of many huge moments for VanNatta. Another huge moment being the red card he got against Kent Rosselvelt. This moment showed him that maybe he wasn’t done with soccer like he had originally thought.
“I was, for a while, thinking about just going straight with the airlines because there’s a huge pilot shortage right now, and I was just gonna skip college in general but when I got my straight red guard in the district’s NOIs against Kent Roosevelt, something just hit me that I wasn’t done with soccer yet,” he said.
Soccer is such a big part of VanNattas life and has been since he was three. However, being Hoover’s captain is a hard job but no worry for Cameron because he’s got his coach and teammates on his side. They cheer him on and help him up when he falls.
“It was out of my control, and he kind of just settled me down and told me that even though I’m not going to be playing in such an important game that I need to lead and remember I was captain in the fi rst place and why I started playing in the first place as well,” he said.
Soccer can be both mentally and physically challenging, especially for freshmen who are switching from middle school soccer to high school soccer which is highly competitive with higher standards.
“When I came in as a freshman, it was pretty difficult for me because I was very small and high school soccer is more physical than what you did at the club level. So it took me a while to adjust the speed of play and how hard people will hit you,” VanNatta said.

Senior Cameron VanNatta strikes the ball as he runs towards the goal on senior night against McKinley. (Arabella Keim)

Olivia Miller

Olivia Miller started her athletic journey when she was 10 years old. She always was interested in the sport and she participated in a little league at a young age. During middle school, she wanted to try out for the team and the rest is history. She’s been playing ever since and will continue to play during her time in college.
Being in a sport has given Miller so many meaningful things in her life. The greatest gift she’s gotten from her sport is the genuine friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s a special thing that not many people experience. To have those who believe in and are behind you 100% of the time. Discipline and motivation are things that Miller has learned through her sport but she is able to apply to her everyday life.
In everything she does, she is able to apply the values and attributes in the rest of her life. While many people may be scared of the future, Miller is embracing the future and looking forward to what it holds for her. Just as she made forever friends at Hoover, Miller is hoping to make strong friendships with her teammates and coaches that will be with her at Ashland. She is, however, experiencing feelings that everyone has to face at one point in their lives.
She is excited about the future, but she will miss the past and the memories made with her Hoover team. Being able to represent her high school and playing side by side with her best friends on the court, are the things that will be most missed. Looking back at her time here as a Hoover volleyball player, Miller discovered some valuable pieces of advice.
“I would say to always believe in yourself and do things because you want to and love to do it,” Miller said. “I would also say to appreciate the time you have [and] not wish it away; it honestly goes by so fast.”

Senior Olivia Miller stays ready at the net in a match against Perry. (Julia Frantz)

 

Peter Helmuth

What’s that in the water moving super fast? Oh my gosh! It is Hoover senior Peter Helmuth! Hellmuth has been swimming since the age of four and is going to continue his athletic career after high school.
“I was set on swimming in college, it was a no brainer for me,” he said. He committed to the University of Findlay on an athletic scholarship for swimming.
“Findlay covered the most bases, swim program, academic program, it is close to home, also the most cost effective,” he
said. In university, he is doing Exercise Science with a PTA (physical therapy assistant) track.
“There’s been an extreme influx in teen fitness, more people in the gym, as an athlete that is something I’m interested in, it allows me to stay in that athletic realm,” he said.
After college he is going to work with athletes, maybe be a physical therapist, helping injuries or maybe even coming back to Hoover to coach swimming. He has also played the cello throughout his high school career, and has decided to take his hobby to college but has not committed to playing. “I’m excited to have a clean slate,” he said. “I’m at the point where I’ve done my four years in high school. I’m ready to enter the next stage of my life.”

Senior Peter Helmuth tilts head to take a breath during his freestyle event.

Sadie Carroll

As high school comes to an end for many, students are committing to their colleges for the next school year. Alongside finding the right school for their future careers, many students also need to make the right choice for their athletic future. One of the many, Sadie Carroll, has committed to her college of choice.

“I have committed to Gannon University in Erie, PA,” Carroll said. “I chose Gannon because I loved the campus and I was able to take advantage of many scholarship opportunities including a full tuition scholarship competition.”

Sadie will be pursuing softball alongside Physical Therapy at Gannon University, hoping to keep the athletic roots in her life.

“I wanted to play college softball because I love the sport and I’m not ready to put my athletic career in the past yet,” Carroll said. “I hope to possibly become a graduate assistant while finishing grad school and to help athletes with my degree for PT.”

Being a full-time athlete while going to school can be difficult, trying to maintain a social life as well can be even more of a challenge.

“It’s been difficult at times to balance sports and school but the true challenge has been balancing softball with my social life,” Carroll said. “I’ve always played travel softball in addition to playing for Hoover so I’ve given up a lot of weekends over the years. I don’t think I will struggle to balance my responsibilities in college because I’m used to doing so.”

The physical side of being a student-athlete isn’t always the hardest part. The emotional struggles and different doubts that come with the two activities can deter many students.

“To anyone wanting to be a college athlete: never give up,” Carroll said. “Even if it feels like no one believes in you, believe in yourself. If your dream is to play in college, you will find a way to get recruited. In addition to this, playing college sports at any level is an accomplishment. DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, JUCO: every single one should be celebrated. Do not be discouraged if you’re not playing at a big school.”

Choosing a school is a long process with many visits and financial evaluations. College is a commitment and the feeling of fitting in at a school is how many pick their school.

“I visited Gannon in November and I immediately fell in love with the campus. I really enjoyed the city scenery in addition to it being on Lake Erie. I visited the school in the fall and the atmosphere was serene.”

Although going away to college can be scary and chaotic, Sadie and many of her fellow students can’t wait to grow as people and pursue their dream careers.

“I am very excited for this new chapter in my life and to meet new people and have amazing opportunities,” Carroll said. “I am nervous to be away from home, but I knew that I needed to get away in order to grow and find myself.”

Senior Sadie Carroll receives a throw during the conference game against the Lake Blue Streaks in April.
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About the Contributors
Katerina Moseley
Katerina Moseley, Features Editor
Hey Hoover, I’m Katerina! This is my first year on staff and I’m very excited for it. I love hanging out with friends. In addition to the newspaper, I am on the Speech and Debate team. I can’t wait to see what this year holds!
Julia Frantz
Julia Frantz, Chief Sports Editor
My name is Julia and this is my second year on staff. I am a sophomore this year and while I am involved in newspaper, I am also on the girls basketball team. I am super excited for this year and I know it will be great!
Macie Shaheen
Macie Shaheen, Assistant PAI Editor
Hi! I'm Macie, and this is my first year on staff! I am in marching band and color guard, and my favorite color is pink!
Kaeleigh Heckaman
Kaeleigh Heckaman, Focus Editor
My name is Kaeleigh and I love writing. I am a freshman and I am also in Yearbook. I play volleyball, run track, and love trying new sports.
Arabella Keim
Arabella Keim, PAI Editor
Hi! I’m Arabella, I’m a senior and this is my 3rd year on staff! Here in PAI Land, we are a cinnamon apple pumpkin PAI. I am a varsity and competitive cheerleader. I love Molly Andrews so much; she is the beat queen!