By Nicholas Wynn and David Waterman
On Feb. 1, senior athletes Amy Farr, Sophie Gorman, Caitlyn Grooms, Cameron Haynes, and Megan Rack signed National Letters of Intent to play their respective sports at the college level starting with the 2017-2018 school year. Deciding to continue their soccer careers, Farr signed to Walsh University, Gorman signed to University of Cincinnati, Grooms signed to Wright State University, and Rack signed to University of Dayton. Haynes committed to play football at DePauw University. McNick will hold its final NCAA Signing Day of the year on April 12.
Farr will attend Walsh University starting fall 2017 to further her soccer career as center midfielder. She was a three-year varsity player who was on the 2014 State Championship Team, and said that her time at McNick taught her “to be a better teammate, what it’s like playing for a school and representing that school, and what it feels like to be a part of a small family, my team.”
Farr was three years old when she first started playing soccer and always knew she wanted to play during college. “I can’t imagine not playing soccer. It’s been my life since I was a little girl and my goal was always to play in college,” she said.
While Farr said she is excited for her days at Walsh and that she immediately had the “I know I am going to come here” feeling when she stepped on the campus, she will not forget her time at McNick. “I have been with a great group of girls these past four years and they have allowed me to become the player I am today. They challenged me when I needed to be challenged and made me improve as a player,” Farr said.
Gorman signed to play soccer for the University of Cincinnati starting fall 2017. She earned multiple awards during her years at McNick, including Player of the Year for GCL Co-ed, Cincinnati Enquirer Division II, Southwest District Division II, and Division II State. When picking which college to attend, Gorman’s parents, Sue and Tim, advised her to choose a place where she would feel most comfortable. She eventually chose UC because she said that she wanted to continue her soccer career in her hometown.
Gorman, who first signed up for soccer at age four, said that she is excited to interact with the new, talented players at UC and push herself to be stronger mentally and physically. She added that she will always remember her McNick family. “They are encouraging and give me the confidence to try new things and push myself. [At McNick,] I learned the importance of leadership, being a good teammate, and having the right attitude, even in the tough times,” Gorman said.
Wright State University will be gaining another Rocket soccer player with Grooms. She was a three-year varsity player at McNick, and was also a part of the 2014 State Championship Team. She said her McNick team was always there for her. “Whenever I was down on myself, I could always count on them to have my back and tell me to keep going. Those are the best type of teammates, the ones that won’t let you fail,” she said.
Grooms began playing soccer when she was five years old. She said she saw her sister play and wanted to play too, instantly falling in love with the game. She said that her main hope for her college soccer career is to just play for all her college years and form loving bonds with her team. “I’m not ready to give it up,” she said. “I worked so hard all these years… and now I see how it was all worth it.”
Grooms’s father, Terry, coached her for five years when she was younger and said that he knew she had the potential to play something bigger when she was older. He coached her in her college choice too. He advised that she like the school for more than just soccer, and make sure it’s a place where she can be independent and make the best of the opportunities she’s presented with. “I can’t wait to see her grow as a soccer player and as an adult,” he said.
Haynes will attend DePauw University this fall to play football. He will be majoring in Economics and enrolling in the Management Fellows Program. At McNick, he was GCL’s leading passer for 2015 and 2016, and first team GCL 2016.
Haynes said that his family has always been a football family because one of his uncles was an NFL coach and another played at Ball State University. To continue in the family sport, Haynes first signed up for football in kindergarten and has been playing since. “I really enjoy playing football, and I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to continue on to the next level,” Haynes said.
Haynes’s sister went to DePauw for college and said that she enjoyed it, so Haynes chose to look there as well. “It ended up being a perfect fit for me too,” Haynes said. “The offensive scheme at DePauw is very similar to the system we use here at McNick, so I feel like that will help me in the transition from high school to college game,” he added. He said that he is excited for another four years of football, and that he’s had a great experience at McNick thanks to his great team.
Rack committed to the University of Dayton’s soccer team and will enroll in the entrepreneurship program. At McNick, she was a three-year varsity player and part of the 2014 State Championship Team, as well as First Team GCL in 2015 and 2016. Rack said she chose UD partly because she always dreamt of playing Division I soccer. “UD is a great school athletically and, most importantly, academically,” she said. “When I had my first visit at Dayton I immediately fell in love with the campus.”
Rack has been playing soccer since she was four years old. “I don’t really know why I chose soccer, but now I’m very glad I did,” she said. “I cannot imagine my life without soccer. I wouldn’t know what to do with all of my free time.”
While Rack is excited about meeting her new Dayton teammates, she said she will always be grateful for those she had at McNick. “McNick soccer has definitely helped me see how a sport can connect you not only on the field, but off the field too. My teammates became my sisters, and I will forever be thankful for the relationships I have with them,” she said. “Playing a sport in high school has made my four years a blast. No matter what grade we are in we all treated each other as best friends so it was a great experience.”