Moving on up

A look at the college plans of Brad Miller, Sam Coffaro and Elder’s other top cold season athletes

Elder basketball players Brad Miller (left) and Mitch Moorhead (bottom), hockey player Sam Coffaro (top), and wrestlers Mark Adams and Gage Brock (right) will all represent the Panthers at the collegiate level next year

Robert Marion Ellerhorst

Elder basketball players Brad Miller (left) and Mitch Moorhead (bottom), hockey player Sam Coffaro (top), and wrestlers Mark Adams and Gage Brock (right) will all represent the Panthers at the collegiate level next year

With the winter sports season drawing to a close, now is an especially crucial time for athletes in basketball, wrestling, and hockey to determine if they are going to take their game to the next level and play collegiately.

For many athletes, this has been a ten-plus year decision in the making. Ever since they discovered the sport they would fall in love many years ago, they have trained tirelessly for many years, doing whatever it takes to make it to new heights and reach the pinnacle of their athletic careers. And now they have to choose where they will play their sport in college, one of the highest and most difficult levels for athletes of any sport.

Despite a rampant outbreak of senioritis among this year’s class of 2015, getting the disease is not an option for true leaders, whether it be on the court, on the mat, or on the ice. That is why they’ve earned scholarship money from top schools to come play for their teams.

Let’s take a look at the best of Elder’s winter season competitors, and where they will be taking their game next year.

Brad Miller, the starting guard and undisputed leader of the Elder’s 2014-2015 varsity basketball squad, as well as a LaRosas MVP recipient, decided not to let next season take his focus away from this one, by committing early to Christian Brothers University on November 12.

“For next year I got a full ride to play basketball at Christian Brothers University, in Memphis, Tennessee, for the Pirates, alongside working toward a degree in Business and Finance.”

“I knew I wanted to play somewhere next year, and the school just seemed like the perfect fit for me,” said Miller. “For now, I plan on staying beyond freshman year instead of declaring for the draft. But you never know.”

In what was perhaps the greatest season in the short-lived history of Elder hockey, team captain Sam Coffaro says he might skip the college ice to protect the freedoms of being an American.

“I will be doing Air Force ROTC, which unfortunately will take up a lot of time. With even more time being spent on my studies I just don’t think I will have enough time to play hockey in college.”

“I have a scholarship at Ohio University that pays a lot and I hope to earn a level 3 AFROTC scholarship after my first semester that would pay my full tuition. I will either major in mechanical engineering or biology and anatomy,” said Coffaro. “I’m not completely ruling out playing hockey for the Bobcats. I recently visited and practiced with the team and met the coaches, but my first and foremost goal will be to drop bombs on ISIS.”

After just falling short of the team’s goal of winning GCL, senior wrestler Mark Adams looks to place high in the state tournament this year, and hopes a high placing will get big schools on the phone line.

“I haven’t made a decision yet. I’m planning on waiting until after I place in the state tournament and get offers from the big schools to make a final choice.”

“So far I’ve been contacted by a few schools, including Mount St. Joseph’s, but I’m going to wait and weigh my options once my season is over,” said Adams. “I already have a scholarship offer to play football for the Miami Redhawks, which is my backup plan if wrestling doesn’t work out.”

Mitch Moorhead, starting forward on the basketball team with dunking skills only matched by Mr. Rapien, hasn’t yet made the decision whether or not to play for the Thomas More Saints or the MSJ Cougars, and plans to just focus on Elder basketball for the time being.

Gage Brock, senior grappler who plans on going far in the State tournament, plans to be a two-sport athlete at Wabash College, splitting time between wrestling and playing lacrosse in the spring.

As the temperatures warm up, the baseball diamond will begin to thaw out, the volleyball nets will be dusted off, and the last season for Elder’s winter athletes will soon be forgotten and fade away into the depths of the EHSports archive page.

But once next winter rolls around and we see guys now playing for college teams, we will remember the four years of hard work they put in and the great memories they gave us representing the Elder Panthers in the finest and most awesome way possible.

Good luck to all winter athletes in their future endeavors, and thanks for four great years of Elder High School sports!