Jacob Meseke | editor in chief
There are many WHS graduates who are doing great things. This week we highlight three college athletes from the class of 2022: Cade Oliver (Washburn), Kara Hafenstine (Ottawa) and Lauren Schutter (Michigan State).
What is your position and status on the team?
Cade: “I am redshirting this year.”
Kara: “For softball we are in fall season right now so everyone is getting to show their skills at the positions they are going for. So I’ve got to play at 3rd, 2nd, and shortstop in all of our games.”
Lauren: “I’m currently on the roster to play, but I have been medically ineligible due to spraining my thumb three times. As of now, I’m medically eligible and am the first middle blocker off the bench.”
What is it like being a college athlete?
Cade: “Being a college athlete is a lot like high school , however you don’t have someone telling you what to do 24/7. You are a lot more on your own and make your own decisions.”
Kara: “Being a college athlete is definitely a lot of work, but a lot of fun too!”
Lauren: “It shapes your entire schedule basically you’re either practicing, playing, lifting, recovering or doing homework/study hall. We get one day off a week and we’re back at it again!”
What has been the main difference between high school and college?
Cade: “The biggest difference between high school and college football wise is definitely the speed of the game.When you aren’t used to it it can feel like everything is going 100 MPH at first.”
Kara: “With classes you have a lot more free time, but normally that’s taken up by all of your practices, lifts, meetings, games, etc. if you’re an athlete. You are also able to take a lot of naps here unlike high school.”
Lauren: “College sports are essentially a collection of the best high school athletes in the world playing against one another. So I’d definitely say the playing level and general intensity are much higher.”
What challenges have you faced being a college athlete?
Cade: “One of the challenges I’ve had so far is just making sure I keep a good balance between my academics and football.”
Kara: “The main challenge I have faced, but learned to adapt is time management. With everything going on it can be hard to have motivation to do your school work by the end of the day, but if you manage your time well you can get it all done.”
Lauren: “The biggest challenge is definitely the mental side of the game. There are days where you won’t feel it at all, but you’ve got to push through it to get better. You have to learn to love and embrace the challenges.”
What do you like about being a college athlete so far?
Cade: “I like the freedom you are given and just all of the competition everyday at practice.”
Kara: “My favorite part about being a college athlete is all the friends I have made through softball. You spend almost all of your team and are able to form really good bonds with everyone that way.”
Lauren: “I love the friendship I’ve gained with my teammates and other athletes at Michigan State! I know I’ve already met some of my best friends for life.”
What are some goals you have for this season/career?
Cade: “My goals for this year is to just go out and compete everyday at practice and give 100% effort every rep.”
Kara: “Our team goal is to win the conference again and make it to nationals this year. My personal goal is to just have fun with my team and enjoy my time at Ottawa!”
Lauren: “I would love to earn a starting spot, then earn Big 10 Freshman of the week! That’s been a goal of mine since the summer. The Big 10 is the best collegiate volleyball conference, so that would be a huge honor.”