By Ryan Ingold
Historically, Batavia High School has produced many collegiate athletes. In recent years, Batavia Alumni have played crucial roles in their respective college success. Some have even been fortunate to bring home a National Championship. I was fortunate to hear from some of Batavia’s best in the 2020 class, and ask them a few questions about their sport, as well as the college they will be attending this fall.
Sam Barus-Bucknell University Football signee
Barus started at free safety for Head Coach Dennis Piron in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He led the defense in 2019 with 107 tackles, 13 pass breakups, and 4 interceptions. He also managed to get in the box for four tackles for loss. He earned defensive MVP honors for the 2019 ‘Dawgs.
Why did Sam choose Bucknell?
Sam: “I choose Bucknell because of its academic prestige and good environment. Also, I was given a high scholarship.”
What was Sam’s favorite high school football memory?
Sam: “Coming back to beat St. Charles North my senior year.”
What does Sam hope to accomplish at the next level?
Sam: “I hope to maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA, and earn a starting spot on the roster.”
Alex Skupa- Webster University Baseball signee
In 2019, Skupa started in left field for the Bulldogs baseball team. Skupa flashed a solid glove in the outfield, but his bat is really what sets him apart. He launched 2 home runs this spring, roped 10 extra-base hits, and drove in the second-most RBIs on the team. On top of that, he was second in OPS and third in walks and OBP.
Why did Alex choose Webster?
Alex: “I chose Webster University to continue my academic and athletic career because it was a very good fit for my intended major and my goals for playing baseball. When I visited the campus, I loved every part of it, especially the baseball program since it is very successful at a high level. Also, it was a very good fit academically because they have a growing science program that I was able to get a lot of scholarship money for.”
What was Alex’s favorite high school baseball memory?
Alex: “My favorite in-season memory from last baseball season was going on a win streak throughout the middle and end of the season. Our team was having a lot of fun and we were all playing well. It was a lot of fun to go to the field every day and play with my team.”
What does Alex hope to accomplish at the next level?
Alex: I hope to make an impact right away by playing all four years. I’m first looking to earn playing time right away, but then eventually awards like All-Conference and D3 All-American. I’m also looking to keep good grades while achieving these goals.
Adam Kennedy- US Naval Academy Track/Cross Country signee
Over the course of his running career at BHS, Kennedy has gotten himself in the record books and also earned some hardware. He has three state track medals to his name, including third place in the state in the 4×800 meter relay as well as the new school record in the 4×800, which had been held for 30 years.
Why did Adam choose Navy?
Adam: “They are a very prestigious college and not only that but it is free and I did not want to place an economic burden on myself or my parents through student loans if I did not have to. Also, they are a D1 school which means I could continue to run at a high level if I am good enough, which their coach thinks I am. In the end, my goal is to serve my country and to be an officer in the United States Military and this school was the best way to do it.”
What is Adam’s favorite high school running memory?
Adam: “Last year, during the state finals meet the 4 x 800 team broke the school record and took third place at state. We had been looking to get that record for a few years and the feelings I felt while crossing the line were euphoric. I loved being able to accomplish such a big goal with the guys I have been running with for the past five years.”
What does Adam hope to accomplish at the next level?
Adam: “I hope to get to nationals in track. I think if I got to that level that would be the perfect way to end many years of running.”
Kelly Sego- Missouri State Swimming Signee
Sego, a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, and 30th ranked female swimmer in the state of Illinois placed second at the IHSA girls sectional championship in St. Charles in the 100-yard back, as well as third in the 200-yard IM. Those times were both good enough to earn her a trip to the state meet, where she earned ninth place in both events.
Why did Kelly choose Missouri State?
Kelly: “I chose Missouri State because of the amazing coaching staff and team atmosphere I saw on my visit. I felt right at home when I stepped on campus and everyone on the team was extremely inviting to me. It automatically felt like the right choice for me.”
What is Kelly’s favorite high school swimming memory?
Kelly: “My favorite memory from high school season was going to Chicago for a day in August for training. We ran a couple of miles next to Lake Michigan while there was a volleyball tournament. We stopped there for a little bit and got to see pro volleyball player matches. We also got to try all these different products that were being sampled there. We also swam in the lake and played volleyball on the beach. I love this trip because it helps strengthen us as a team and is a great start to the season.”
What does Kelly hope to accomplish at the next level?
Kelly: “At the college level, I hope to continue balancing academics with my athletics in a new place. This transition will be hard but I hope to come out even stronger. I also hope that in my college swimming career, I am able to get my Olympic trial cut and train for that senior year before I’m done swimming. I am really excited!”
Abby Zipse- Northern Illinois Soccer signee
Zipse, a 2019 Beacon-News Girls Soccer All-Area Team Honorable Mention, scored 6 times in the 2019 season. The midfielder played a big role in the 17-5-2 season, which included a nine-game win streak and both a DuKane Conference and Regional Championship.
Why did Abby choose Northern Illinois?
Abby: “I chose Northern Illinois University to continue my academic and athletic career because of the high level of competition on the field, as well as their academic promises. Other deciding factors were the large size of the university and the close distance to home.”
What is Abby’s favorite high school soccer memory?
Abby: “My current favorite high school soccer memory is breaking Saint Charles North’s 57- game undefeated streak my Junior year.”
What does Abby hope to accomplish at the next level?
Abby: “I hope to play a significant role in my collegiate team’s successes. I am also aspiring to be named to the MAC All-Freshman Team and Academic All-MAC Conference Team.”
Erin Golden- Mckendree University women’s basketball signee
So far in her 2019 campaign, Golden is averaging 15.1 points, 3.8 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. She also became the seventh girl in Batavia girls’ basketball history to reach the 1000-career-point milestone.
Why did Erin choose Mckendree?
Erin: “I choose McKendree University because it felt like home when I visited and had many of the key factors I was looking for in a school.”
What is Erin’s favorite high school basketball memory?
Erin: “Beating Geneva junior year.”
What does Erin hope to accomplish at the next level?
Erin: “I hope to help my team accomplish goals they have been focused on for a while, such a getting into the NCAA tournament.”