Titan D1 Athletes

Cassidy Jackson, senior editor

Nic Cavallaro 

Developing volleyball skills wasn’t the only thing that senior Nic Cavallaro learned on the GBS volleyball court. According to Cavallaro, he’ll be heading south to Queens University as a Class of 2021 men’s volleyball commit with a life lesson in mind. Cavallaro explains that through volleyball he’s learned to move past setbacks on and off the court.   

“The game kind of resets every point,” Cavallaro said. “That’s kind of taught me a way to look at life […]. You might not win this point, but go out and win the next one. That’s a huge part of playing the game itself, being able to have that short term memory loss and forget about making a mistake last play. [In life, too, you have to][…] move on and keep going. Volleyball is the only way to learn that in my opinion.”

Although walking away from the GBS court is tough, Cavallaro is excited to take on a new level of volleyball and carry the lessons he’s learned with him. According to Cavallaro, he knew that Queens University was the place for him as soon as he stepped on campus.

“I had just gotten home from a visit there [when I committed], and I just kind of had this feeling the entire time I was there,” Cavallaro said. “[Committing] was just an awesome feeling because I’ve been playing volleyball for so long, so it was awesome to be able to continue it at the highest level.”

Carrie Weinman 

Senior Carie Weinman will be heading to University of Denver this fall as one of the school’s many women’s basketball commits. According to Weinman, with a long term commitment to a sport comes the need for motivation, and for Weinman, her main motivation is healthy competition and the team itself.

“I’m always trying to be better than my opponents, and having teammates that I’m so close with makes it easier to find that motivation,” Weinman said. “We all want to do well for each other.”

The combination of her pure love of the sport and her motivation got her through the years of basketball that lead to her college commitment, according to Weinman. Weinman explains that committing both lifted a weight off her shoulders and attests to the benefits of setting and achieving long term goals.

“It felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, but at the same time that stress was gone, I was extremely proud of myself for setting such a long term goal that I spent years working for and finally reaching it,” Weinman said.

Caitlin Schneider 

This upcoming fall, senior Caitlin Schneider’s team mascot will switch from Tommy the Titan to Bucky the Badger as she’s one of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s women’s hockey commits. According to Schneider, the most monumental moment in her time as a Glenbrook hockey player came at the end of her senior year when the team won State, closing off her Glenbrook hockey career on a high note.

“I’d say the biggest moment in my high school career was winning State,” Schneider said. “It was such an awesome feeling, especially being able to play at the United Center and being able to win a Championship [with] such an amazing team.”

Although leaving the team she’s called her own for years is tough, Schneider explains that an excitement comes along with moving onto something new.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play college hockey, and to be able to go to such an awesome school as well makes it even better,” Schneider said.

Sarah Wojick

At Miami University, senior Sarah Wojick is hoping to get some aces on the Redhawk volleyball court. According to Wojick, the underlying theme of her high school volleyball career has been family. As the team’s captain last season, Wojick was put in a big sister role to the younger players, something she never dreamed she could be.

“When I was younger, […]  I was so scared, but I reached out to someone older […] to help me,” Wojick said. “I never realized I could be that person to someone […]. I had all these younger kids looking up to me. I think I made a big impact on their lives which is a good feeling for me.”

According to Wojick, senior night served as a reminder of the family she had created in her four years here, and it was tough knowing her high school volleyball career was coming to a close.

“The end of the season was the biggest moment for me, especially with me and the two other captains, Julia Rytel and Zimmie Frerichs,” Wojick said.

Although she’ll miss her South volleyball family, according to Wojick, she’s excited to create a new one at Miami of Ohio and is excited for the college chapter of her volleyball career.

“[On signing day], I woke up, and I thought, ‘This is it. I’m practically signing my life away to this school. It’s all coming true,’” Wojick said. “I’m excited to see what it’s going to be like being […] a D1 player. I’m excited to fight for a spot on the team.”

Kevin Paek 

In the fall, Boston, MA will become senior Kevin Paek’s new home as he’s one of Boston College’s golf commits. According to Paek, there have been many ups and downs. For Paek, a low that comes to mind is failing to keep a lead in an important summer golf tournament, while leading the GBS team down to State this past season stands out as a high. The GBS team achieved the second best postseason finish since 1967.

“It’s been forever since GBS made it down to State as a team and being able to help lead my team and be a part of that success and placing really well as a team – that entire State run was something I’ll never forget,” Paek said.

With both  failures and successes strapped on his belt, Paek is prepared to go into a new chapter of his golf career, according to Paek.

“My high school experience […] was everything that I could have asked for,” Paek said. “It is bittersweet […] to leave behind those great memories, but [I’m] also moving on to an experience that I know will be good for me.”

Carolyn Kuhn 

High School Musical 2’s song “I Don’t Dance” goes “Hey batta batta swing,” and that’s exactly what senior Carolyn Kuhn will be doing on Indiana University’s softball field. According to Kuhn, a natural love for the game is what kept her coming back to softball.

“Playing the sport helps me relax and forget about anything else going on in my life,” Kuhn said. “I also love the mental side because softball is not a sport in which you see a ton of success all the time. Many times you fail, especially on offense, so I love the satisfaction of performing well because of prior preparation.”

Kuhn doesn’t only have a love for the sport, but she also has a love for her new home.

“I didn’t really think I was good enough to play in Indiana,” Kuhn said. “I was kind of just, like, well I might as well give it a shot. Once I got the offer it was kind of surreal. It took me about a month to realize that I was actually playing softball in a school that I’ve always wanted to go to.”

Charlie Nikitas 

This upcoming fall, senior Charlie Nikitas will be swapping the Titan Fight Song for the Miami University Fight Song. According to Nikitas, the journey leading up to getting Miami’s offer made him grow up a lot. Taking the title of co-captain alongside Kevin Paek, Nikitas filled a mentor role for underclassmen golfers, specifically sophomore Jack Upperman.

“I saw a lot of myself in him, so I kind of went to him and said ‘Dude, you’re literally me two years ago,’” Nikitas said, “We worked together, [and] it felt really good to be that person I was looking up to freshman and sophomore year […] and make an impact on someone.”

As he moves onto college golf, Nikitas promises that he will never forget GBS.

“There [were] tournaments that I [played] on a national stage, and I always [wore] something from Glenbrook South to represent where I’m from,” Nikitas said. “I will always remember where I came from […], but it’s kind of just moving onto a new chapter of life.”

Sam Iida 

  At University of Arizona, senior Sam Iida is expected to hit the pool as one of the school’s men’s swim commits. Capping off his high school swim career, the past 2016-2017 season, Iida won state titles in the 500-yard freestyle and the 200 individual medley. According to Iida, regimentation and mental toughness has shaped his swim career.

“In the middle of the season, I’m doing morning practice three or four times a week, after school practice and personal training,” Iida said. “It’s constant, [and] it’s on my mind 24/7. [In swimming], you’re staring at a black line holding your breath in extreme pain 75% of the time. You’re stuck in your mind. When the going gets tough, you get tougher.”

With his time in the GBS pool coming to a close, Iida is proud of what he’s accomplished as a GBS Titan but is looking forward to his future swims in the Arizona pool.

“I tell myself that I can enjoy the feeling for a little bit, but then I have to get back to work, because there’s people out there that are just trying to get faster than me, and I’m trying to beat people too,” Iida said. “I can’t […] live one moment forever. I have to keep going.”