By Zach James Herald Assistant Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — GOOSE LAKE — Students, parents and fans all came out of the warm Friday sunshine to pack the Northeast Fine Arts Center and celebrate the college commitments of six student-athletes.
The six colleges represented by the half-dozen students are three NCAA Division III schools, two junior colleges and a local NAIA school.
The six who made their announcements were: Addie Oberman, Tevin Stoecker, Garrett Moeller, Eli Kaczinski, Ethan Krogman and Nick Anderson.
All six students presented a small speech in front of their peers, mainly giving advice on how to succeed, what their dreams are and how fortunate each one of them is to be playing a sport at the next level.
Oberman led off the speeches. In her three-plus minute speech, she pointed out how difficult it was to juggle academics and athletics, but she believes that’s what made her a well-rounded student-athlete.
“You can’t just show up and expect to do the work,” she said. “Greatness comes with hard work, and school definitely should come first. I’m glad that I’m finally able to achieve my dream and play basketball in college.”
Oberman will study psychology at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. She officially announced her commitment to KCC on March 27.
Stoecker took to the podium next. He gave the advice of being a weight-room rat to the younger student-athletes.
“There are some guys out there so huge because they live in the weight room,” he said. “Hit the weights as much as you can.
“Don’t take school as a big joke,” Stoecker added. “Without having good grades, you won’t have these opportunities.”
Stoecker is one of a handful of area student-athletes to head to Iowa Falls to play football at Ellsworth Community College. Stoecker will study sports management. Four Clinton High student-athletes are also headed to ECC for football as well.
Kaczinski hit the podium next, and he broke his advice-giving speech into four pieces. He focused on passion, discipline, sacrifice and having priorities as his main selling points.
“You need to love what you do, and college student-athletes are really passionate about what they do, and I’m looking forward to that,” Kaczinski said.
His thoughts on discipline, “I’ve had to say no to hanging out with friends sometimes, because I know what I need to do in order to become successful.”
Kaczinski is one of two Northeast seniors heading to the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to compete. The cross country and track star will head to Wartburg College to become a distance runner.
Anderson’s speech was short, yet direct.
“Easily the greatest achievement that I’ve had in my high school career didn’t happen in athletics; making the honor society is something that I’m very proud of,” Anderson said.
Anderson will compete in cross country for Clarke College in Dubuque.
Moeller had the longest speech of the afternoon, rounding out at just under five minutes. The seasoned public speaker said that he’s excited for the challenges that Wisconsin-Platteville will give him.
“During one of my visits, head coach Mike Emendorfer told me ‘I’m going to make you a man, a student, then a football player, in that order’ and that really resonated with me,” Moeller said.
Moeller credited the Northeast FFA chapter for a lot of his success, and that makes sense since Moeller will study crop and soil science along with animal science at Platteville.
Krogman rounded out the six speeches by reiterating a lot of what the preceding five had said, but he left with this: “Don’t let anyone stop you. Go after what fuels you.”
Krogman will head to Loras College in Dubuque to play soccer. Loras went to the Division III Final Four in San Antonio this past season.