On to the Next Step


Berklee Scifres signing to play basketball at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Hutchison’s Athletics has had the chance to be highlighted this year because of the many students that have committed to continue their sports careers in college. Five seniors have signed their letter of commitment for the sport they have mastered from playing at Hutchison. Kolby Cohen signed her letter of commitment on November 10, 2022 to play lacrosse at Florida Southern College. Morgan Simmons also signed her letter on November 10 to play golf at Oklahoma Baptist University. Berklee Scifres signed on November 16 to play basketball at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Anna Margaret Webber signed on February 7, 2023 to play lacrosse at Rollins College. Arabella Hall signed on February 10 to play golf at Wheaton College.

We had the chance to interview two students about their stories, how they got to where they are, and any advice that can help other students with big dreams to excel.
Anna Margaret Webber (lacrosse: Rollins College) and Berklee Scifres (basketball: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University) were two students who were interviewed and here are some of their responses:
Q: Why did you choose the school that you chose? What got you to commit?
AMW: “When I visited Rollins, I loved both the lacrosse aspect and school environment. It was very important to me to play somewhere that I loved independently of lacrosse.”
BKS: “It offers me the best education and training there is to offer for the workforce I want to enter, aviation.”
Q: How did Hutchison get you to where you are athletic-wise?
AMW: “Hutchison prepared me to make my college decision by myself and not to please others.”
BKS: “The Coaches and the upperclassmen that I played with in my first two years have impacted me in a big way because the teamwork and chemistry that we had showed me how to work hard for my goals and how working as a team is what allows for success.”
Q: What coach, or person, has had the biggest impact on you, and how did they do that?
AMW: “Coach Gearhardt has been my coach since the fifth grade for my club and from grades 9th-12th for Hutchison. He made the biggest impact on me because he taught me how to work hard to achieve my lacrosse goals.”
BKS: “Maxine, Maddie, Carmyn, and Kaia have had a huge impact on me because they taught me how to be a leader and how to work hard for your goals. They gave me someone to look up to and rely on and showed me what it means to be a good teammate.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced from your sport over the years?
AMW: “Sophomore year I found myself in a slump for both lacrosse and school. Playing in college was not even on my mind. I found my way out of it by working hard to get better and earn a starting spot and a spot on the Rollins team.”
BKS: “Overcoming times where I was not performing my best and having the belief in me from others and myself go away, and that caused me to have to outwork the disbelief and show myself and others that I am still the same player I was before.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced from your process of committing to and choosing your school?
AMW: “My process felt very different from everyone else because I decided I wanted to play so late after my setback during Covid-19. I struggled to find schools where the roster wasn’t completely full that I also had interest in attending.”

BKS: “Overcoming the anxiety of wondering if I am making the right decision at the right time and not letting fear of making the wrong decision cripple me.”
Q: What was the process of committing like from beginning to end?
AMW: “In the beginning, I was emailing coaches for every tournament I was attending, telling them my schedules and where I would be playing. I initially emailed the Rollins coaches and they emailed me back to say they sadly had no more room for recruits in the class of 2023. However, the coach found me at a tournament and loved the way I played and decided I was a good fit for Rollins.”
BKS: “It was a lot of communication between schools and playing a lot of AAU to get myself seen by college coaches. Once I heard from the coaches that were interested I weighed out my options and chose what was best for me and what I wanted.”
Q: Why did you stick with this specific sport for so long?
AMW: “My coaches and parents had a lot of confidence in me even when I didn’t. There were definitely times when I had setbacks and wanted to quit but having a good support system keeps you going.”
BKS: “It has been in my family for generations and I came to love basketball for myself at a young age. The feeling of working hard and accomplishing goals, along with the satisfaction of winning kept my love for the game strong.”
Q: When things got challenging, what kept you motivated to keep going?
AMW: “My parents definitely played a large role in keeping me going, but one thing I have learned is that the only person that can keep you motivated is you. Other people cannot keep you going if you do not want it for yourself.”
BKS: “Knowing that I had put in the work and still seeing my goals that I had for myself made me not want to quit.”
Q: Are you planning to continue your sport after college? Maybe as a career?
AMW: “I think I definitely want to be a coach some day but not as a full time job. Maybe a high school coach.”
BKS: “No, I love basketball but it is only a pathway to get me where I want in aviation.”
Q: How did you and your family feel after you got accepted?
AMW: “My mom was jumping for joy, my dad gave me a high five, and I sobbed happy tears.” BKS: “After I committed, the stress from making a decision was lifted from me and my parents.”
Q: Do you have any advice that could help other people in sports or just in general?
AMW: “Do not make decisions for anyone but yourself. If you are not happy with a decision you’re making, do not make it.”
BKS: “Work hard even when you don’t want to because it will all pay off in the end. When you put in the hours that no one else is, you can set goals for yourself that are attainable because of the dedication that you have even if you have to make sacrifices.”