Cedarcrest High School Class of 2019 Student-Athletes
Prepare for Sports at the Collegiate Level
Pictured (L-R): Michaela Carter, Brooke Benson, Lauren Krause, Madeline Federico, Caleb Chung, Connor McCabe, and Brennan Le Blanc.
Not pictured: Sarah Hommas, Enrique Montana
Typically, on the first Wednesday every February, thousands of prospective future collegiate athletes step into their high school offices, clutching a piece of paper and a dream. Known as National Letter of Intent Day, students make athletic commitments to schools around the nation, declaring their intent to attend and play sports for the college of their choice. For many, it validates the years of hard work and dedication. For others, it means what was once a dream is quickly becoming a reality.
This year, we are proud to share the words of nine Cedarcrest High School students from the Class of 2019, preparing to take those next steps and play collegiate sports at the next level.
Cedarcrest High School Athletic Director Jason Frederick, and Riverview Communications Coordinator Mike Ward, collected the thoughts of these students as they accelerate towards graduation, wrap up sports commitments, take their finals, and try to process all that is next to come. Eager to graduate, they will soon travel around the state and across the country, taking their academic and athletic talents to the next level.
BROOKE BENSON (University of Minnesota-Crookston, Women’s Soccer)
“I am so happy whenever I am playing soccer and it takes my mind off whatever problems I may be having. I love the friendships that are made on and off the field that help make the team stronger.
My club soccer team went to a tournament over Thanksgiving break in 2018, and the University of Minnesota-Crookston head coach watched one of our games. After seeing me play, I was contacted and invited on an official visit.
During my visit, I stayed a couple nights in the dorms, met my future roommate and ended up loving the school, the team, and the coach. The school kind of just felt like homeâ€¦a long way from home. I know I can succeed here.
Signing my Letter, it was kind of nerve-racking because signing is pretty much final. I was confident on the decision I had made, and proud knowing my hard work paid off academically and athletically.
Moving on is always sad but thinking about what you have accomplished, and everything yet to be accomplished in the future, makes this transition slightly easier. It is weird thinking how different all our lives will be in the upcoming years, but I couldn’t be more excited to move on to bigger and greater things. I am so thankful for everyone’s help and support over the years.”
Brooke hopes to double major in Biology and Health Sciences. She has plans on attending medical school after graduation and landing a career in the medical field. Brooke has played varsity soccer all four years at Cedarcrest, ran track her sophomore year at Cedarcrest, and competed in track and field on a club team during middle school. Her fondest Cedarcrest sports memories come in reflecting how much she has grown on the field - from beginning as a goalkeeper, to transitioning to a field player, to now playing women’s soccer at the collegiate level.
MICHAELA CARTER (Fordham University, Softball)
“Softball has been a huge part of my life. I love the intensity of the sport when I’m playing and love competing at a high level and feeling the stress when you are in a tough game.
I began my senior year not signed yet or with really any idea of what I wanted in terms of finding a school. I had been talking with the coach of Fordham softball for about a year and we clicked right away. When I went on my visit, I knew this would be the place I would want to spend the next four years. Honestly, Fordham was not a school I had heard of before they got in contact with me.
When I signed the Letter, I just felt an overall sense of relief. It was super exciting to know where I am going and finally realize I had achieved my goal. I had finally done it.
Although I am really excited for the future, graduation does not feel real yet. I feel like I was just a freshman!”
Michaela plans on studying something in the criminal field, with an emphasis on Sociology and Psychology. She played softball for four years and soccer for two years for Cedarcrest and was a Class of 2019 inductee in the Cedarcrest Athletics Hall of Fame for Fastpitch/Softball. Michaela began playing both sports at the age of 5 and her fondest memory of Cedarcrest sports was playing in the state tournament her Freshman year and going with the baseball team to state as well. The support shown between both programs was something she found fun and loved during her time at Cedarcrest..
CALEB CHUNG (Occidental College, Men’s Soccer)
“I love how much skill and athleticism you need to play soccer. Training to become the very best competitor means finding that balance of strength and conditioning, as well as developing skill and technique to effectively use your whole body. It’s a joy for me to learn new skills and moves I can use on the field and I love the attention I get from teammates when I can pull of those things in a game.
Choosing a school was exciting and somewhat stressful. Finding the right school for me took a long time, but the writing and receiving of e-mails was a fun part of the process because it makes you feel appreciated and wanted by the schools you are communicating with. That feeling makes all the hard work seem well worth it. After a summer tournament in San Diego, California, the head coach contacted me and after doing more research, I saw that the school had such a good balance of education, soccer, and location. In the end, Occidental College is the perfect school for me.
The signing of the Letter was great, but while some see graduation as an end, I think of it as only another beginning. I am eager to work hard when I get to college.”
Caleb has played four years of varsity soccer at Cedarcrest and ran cross-country for the Red Wolves his Freshman year. He has also played club soccer for Eastside FC B00 Red Team for the last four years. His fondest memories of sports at Cedarcrest involve lots of pranks and jokes and being around friends that made him laugh and enjoy “all the little things.” Caleb is proud of the Cedarcrest boys’ soccer team finishing third in state his sophomore year and being part of the highest finishing Cedarcrest boys’ soccer team in school history..
MADELINE FEDERICO (Saint Martin’s University, Cheer)
”I love working together with my teammates, developing dance routines, and the stunting aspect of cheerleading.
I was already committed to attending Saint Martin’s before I made the decision to join their cheer team. I liked their academics and the community I discovered when I visited the campus. Once I found out that cheer was an option for me, I became even more excited because I will now have an opportunity to continue to grow as a cheerleader and athlete.
Because I was unaware that cheer was an option for me at the school, signing with Saint Martin’s was extra exciting when I realized I could continue to pursue something I love.
I can hardly believe graduation is upon us. High school went by so fast, and the fact that I am graduating this week feels so unreal.”
Madeline plans on studying psychology at Saint Martin’s University and has been a member of the Cedarcrest Red Wolves cheer team, as well as a dancer and performer with Duvall Performing Arts. In addition to developing routines and learning stunting, she recalls going to stunt camp at Great Wolf Lodge with her teammates, and staying up late and bonding with her team, as some of her fondest memories with the cheer squad.
SARAH HOMMAS (Northwest University, Women’s Soccer)
“I love the competition and playing the "sport" of soccer. Soccer is the most fun I have had, and I am so glad that my career is able to continue and is still growing strong.
I wasn’t fully sure about playing at the collegiate level. I had selected Northwest University because of the school itself, and not necessarily their soccer team. I talked with people I know who had gone to Northwest and they all had great things to say. I took the initiative and e-mailed the head coach and invited him to some of my games. He came to watch me play, liked how I played, and the rest kind of just went from there.
In the moment, I don’t think I quite remember what I thought signing my Letter. Since then, the fact that I committed to playing NAIA-level collegiate soccer has really sunk in, even if I don’t think high school graduation and starting college will really hit me until I move out.”
Sarah looks to pursue a career in the medical field, perhaps with an emphasis on physical therapy. She has played soccer for four years at Cedarcrest and played select soccer for Cascade FC and ISC Gunners during her high school years. Her fondest memories of playing at Cedarcrest comes in remembering the friends she has made, the nervous excitement before each game, and the satisfaction of knowing she and her teammates gave 110% every time they took the field..
LAUREN KRAUSE (Gonzaga University, Cross-Country | Track & Field)
“Really, what I love the most about Cross-Country and Track and Field is just how good it makes you feel. I find I am always in a better mood when both seasons begin, Plus, sharing that love with a group of people who love competing as much as I do is really fulfilling.
I wanted academics to be my first priority and I knew I liked Gonzaga. I wasn’t sure I could run at that level, but when I received confirmation that I had earned a spot on the team, I automatically knew I had made the right choice of where to go to school.
Signing with Gonzaga, I just felt excited, I quickly realized that my last high school race would not really be my last race, and that was an awesome feeling.
There has been so much going on, this senior has never really slowed down, Graduation doesn’t feel ‘real’, it’s hard to think about it all being over so soon.”
Lauren plans on studying nursing at Gonzaga and has ran track and field at Cedarcrest since her Freshman year. She was recently named Female Athlete of the Year for the Class of 2019 and earned induction in the Cedarcrest Athletics Hall of Fame for track and field. Lauren competed in cross-country her senior year and has been a dancer and competitive gymnast outside of school. Among her fondest memories of competing at Cedarcrest is the people she has spent so much time with becoming close friends, including those who have stayed in contact after graduation. Lauren says that experiencing victory as part of a team carries so much more meaning for her than any individual accomplishments..
BRENNAN LE BLANC (Sierra Nevada College, Cross-Country | Track & FIeld)
“I like the feeling of freedom and happiness I experience every time I run.
Signing with Sierra Nevada honestly came out of nowhere. I was really close to committing to a different school when they contacted me. After talking with the coach, I liked him a lot, he made the process easy and fun, and as a result I committed there.
When I signed the Letter, I just thought, ‘Wow. I am really going to college to run. This is awesome!’
Graduation has fully sunk in. It feels real and I am ready.”
Brennan has competed in cross-country, track and field, and basketball at Cedarcrest, also playing baseball and soccer prior to high school. His fondest memory of sports at Cedarcrest was breaking 10 minutes in the two-mile race at Lakewood, and setting a new Personal Record, in the recent 2A District Championships..
CONNOR MCCABE (Santa Clara University, Men’s Soccer)
“I like that a team feels like family.
I had wanted to attend and play at Santa Clara for awhile, and had e-mailed and talked to the coach about my interest. He had the opportunity to come and watch me play and after he saw me, I visited the school and made the decision to commit.
In signing with Santa Clara, I was excited that my dream to play collegiate soccer had finally come true.
I am super excited to be going to college next year, but it doesn’t at all feel real that I will be living in California and playing soccer at Santa Clara.”Connor plans on studying mechanical engineering at Santa Clara and played soccer in his time at Cedarcrest. He recalls the boys soccer team finishing third in state as his fondest memory, recalling how excited and thrilled everyone was afterwards, playing music, and celebrating all they had accomplished the entire bus ride home.
ENRIQUE MONTANA (Clemson, Men’s Soccer)
“The competitiveness of the sport is what is so much fun to me. Playing academy-level soccer has allowed me to travel the world and have teammates who have become best friends with shared common interests.
About six months into my process, I came across Clemson. I reached out to every school possible that I thought would be a good fit, and it took a while to see Clemson as my number one choice. I wanted to find a balance between a quality Division I soccer team and strong academics with the major I wanted to pursue. The campus, the weather, their new business school, and how student-athletes were treated really played a deciding factor in Clemson being the choice for me.
This was a milestone I wanted in my career, which seemed out of reach as a kid. I am excited to play at Clemson because I think it will develop me as a person and an athlete. I am looking forward to getting to work there.
For me, graduation feels real. I move out two days after graduation to begin summer school and I am in the process of getting ready to move on. It will be difficult to move somewhere new, as well as say goodbye to all my amazing friends in Duvall, but I am excited to open this new chapter of my life and I am optimistic about all to come in the future.”
Enrique plans on studying business, with an emphasis on international trade or data analytics. He has played soccer for several years, but not as a member of the Cedarcrest program, instead participating with academy-level soccer. He shares that we would have loved to be a member of Red Wolves soccer, and among his fondest sports memories are having a chance to play with the Seattle Sounders FC, winning a national championship, and the great learning experiences he has when traveling to compete internationally..