Perfect 10: Lincoln-Way North Sends Recruiting Class to Next Level

During a college signing-day ceremony at school on Wednesday, 10 Lincoln-Way North student-athletes announced their plans with friends and family members on hand to share to the excitement.

Accounting. Industrial engineering. Studio art. Computer science. Secondary education.

The list of college majors picked by Lincoln-Way North’s latest recruiting class speaks to how well the Phoenix have prepared themselves to tackle athletic and academic challenges on the next level.

A perfect 10? Well, say this much, 10 Lincoln-Way North student-athletes announced their plans during a college signing-day ceremony Wednesday afternoon in the school’s Phoenix Hall. Athletic director Matt Lyke served as emcee for the event.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase our kids who have done everything they need to do from an academic standpoint and an athletic standpoint to pursue their dreams to compete at the collegiate level,” Lyke said. “It’s a great group of kids—it always is. Every national signing day experience that we have showcases those kids and represents our athletic department in a great way.”

The rundown:

1. Ike Baya
Wisconsin-Platteville (Platteville, Wis.)
Football/offensive tackle. Major: Mechanical engineering.
Favorite football moment at Lincoln-Way North: “It had to be the Bradley game,” he said. “It came down to the wire—the last play. They completed the ball at the 1-yard line and we stopped them short. So, that probably would be our best moment, that being our last loss if we were going to make the playoffs.”

2. Amber Huppert
Indiana Tech (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Soccer/forward, midfielder. Major: Industrial engineering.
How did you pick Indiana Tech? “I went to their prospect camp and I got a tour of the school and I really enjoyed playing in front of the coaches. And I really liked the campus.”

3. Corey Krupske
Oakton Community College (Des Plaines)
Baseball/outfielder. Major: Undecided.
Phoenix memory: “Winning summer state my sophomore year,” he said. “Hopefully we can do it again. I want that feeling back.”

4. Jake McCabe
Oakton Community College (Des Plaines)
Baseball/pitcher, infielder. Major: Secondary education.
Pick up the phone: “I actually got a call from the coach (at Oakton),” McCabe said. “He wanted me to visit. I had never heard of the college before. He showed me what they did the past few years and what guys did to get to the next level, which is Division I and pros. It was a good pitch. I loved it. My dream school is Notre Dame. But we’ll see what happens.”

5. Maddie Metzger
Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa)
Softball/center fielder. Major: Accounting.
Never sell yourself short: “I actually emailed the coach because I thought the college was very interesting and the softball program looked pretty good,” she said. “The coach wanted me to go there. She was going to have me tryout. She was interested. The tryout went well. And look what happened. There are a lot of college-exposure tournaments we’ve gone to with travel softball. They give us a list of the coaches who were going to be there. I would email several different ones that interested me. And, whoever replied, it just went from there.”

6. Kayla O’Brien
Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa)
Softball/catcher. Major: Accounting.
Why Clarke? “My friend, Maddie Metzger, who’s also going to Clarke, introduced me to the school. I went there to visit and I really liked it. I’m really excited to be with her. We’re most likely going to be roommates.”

7. Austin Olsen
Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)
Football/offensive tackle. Major: Mechanical engineering.
One or two? “Well, it came down to two—it was Grand Valley State or Southern,” he said. “At Grand Valley, there are two campuses. My major was on one. The football was on the other. At Southern, everything was really close. They’re in the best conference at their level. They’ve got great facilities. So, it’s really nice.”

8. Josh Reid
Oakton Community College (Des Plaines)
Baseball/infielder. Major: Business.
A pipeline is opened: “It started with me and Jake (McCabe)—the coach at Oakton contacted Jake. Jake asked about me going there. So, I went up there and met with him. And Corey (Krupske) was the last one to join.”

9. Don Rydzewski
Wisconsin-Platteville (Platteville, Wis.)
Football/offensive guard. Major: Computer science.
Phoenix drama: “Probably this year—we started off 2-3 and then we won our last four games to make the playoffs. We pulled together as a team. We played really well. It was a lot of exciting football.”

10. Gina Sipka
Carthage College (Kenosha, Wis.)
Tennis. Major: Studio art and graphic design. Minor: Spanish.
Why Carthage: “I thought it was close enough to home, but still far enough away to get the college experience and I loved the athletic organization they have there. They give athletes a lot of perks. And the location there—it’s beautiful. It's right on the lake (Lake Michigan). Then, I'm going into art. I really liked the art department there. I feel like everything is right there for me.”







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