Playing On

Posted: September 19, 2017 | Author: Perry R. Banse | Category: Athletics, Student Life

Through middle school and high school, my daughter was a very accomplished basketball player. One of the frequent admonitions we would hear as her parents was that we needed to move her to the bigger public school so she would be “noticed” by colleges. This assertion by well-meaning observers turned out to be misguided and inaccurate. In spite of going to the little Class A Christian school, she still earned a full-ride scholarship to Division 1 Florida Atlantic University. The same can be said for the athletic program here at Indian Rocks. Our student athletes have enjoyed a high level of success in their ability to play at the college level.

This year, 11 of our student athletes from last year will be competing at the college level. For the fall season Will Stertz, James Thorpe, (both at Lawrence Technological University) and Sam Veltman (Idaho) are playing football. Also this fall we have Alexis Gates (Southeastern) and Delight Williams (Cedarville) that are playing women’s soccer. This winter, Elise Cauthen will be playing women’s basketball for Pensacola Christian College. Five members of last year’s District Champion baseball team will be playing this spring. Oakley Albinson became the first IRCS baseball player to get a Division 1 scholarship when he signed with Dayton University this spring. Aaron Ackerman (New York University), Colin Booten (University of Central Florida), Joel Kulaga (Trinity Baptist), and Donny McHenry (Iowa Wesleyan) will also be representing IRCS at the next level. 

IRCS had its first graduating class in 1995. This means we have had 23 graduating classes. Through the years, our programs have gained more recognition as the teams have improved in skill and ability. This has resulted in the following numbers of athletes going on to the next level.

Football – 28    
Baseball – 27
Cross Country / Track – 18
Women’s Basketball – 16
Volleyball – 11
Cheerleading – 9
Women’s Soccer – 7
Swimming – 5
Men’s Basketball – 4
Golf – 2
Rugby – 2
Wrestling – 2
Bowling – 1
Men’s Soccer – 1
Softball – 1
Tennis – 1

This adds up to 135 IRCS alumni going on to play college or university sports. While some of these were “walk-ons” the majority of them received scholarship money. Through the Class of 2017, IRCS has handed 1149 graduates their diploma. So over the last 23 years a little over 11% or approximately 1 out of every 9 grads, have gone on to the next level. But if we focus on just the last 5 years, we have had 238 graduates and 42 have gone on to play college sports. This jumps the number up to over 17% or about 1 out of every 6 grads involved in athletics at the next level. 

So remember, you can get there from here.

by Perry R. Banse, Assistant Superintendent, Middle/High School Principal

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