Hill senior committed athletes reflect on the hurdles and joys of their process


Media: Hill Snapshots /Sarah Bender

Hill athletes sign their National Letter of Intent.

The Hill School Class of 2022 has over 100 students graduating this spring, many of which are students committed to playing collegiate athletics. Throughout their recruiting process both before and during their time at Hill, they each had diverse experiences. 

All Class of 2022 athletes throughout the country all experienced bumps in the road on their path to recruitment. COVID-19, injuries, and other types of adversity made it hard to reach their goals. While all have been impacted, some were able to come out on top. 

Click on the map icons above for more information on which Hill student-athletes are going to which school! GRAPHIC CREDIT: Katie Newkirk ’22

Will Schaller ’22 is committed to play Division I lacrosse at The University of Maryland. He was born and raised in Maryland. Schaller’s father went to Penn State, a school that was in his final three selections. He ended up choosing the hometown school. 

Growing up watching the Terrapins, Maryland was never actually Schaller’s favorite team. He said, “I didn’t like them because they beat the teams I was fans of.” Nevertheless, Schaller enjoyed his visit to The University of Maryland and decided to commit there because it is closer to home.

While the school’s location is important to athletes like Schaller, others value family legacy and heritage when choosing schools. Mark McKeon ’22 has generations of family who attended Pennsylvania State University. Ever since he was a child, McKeon’s favorite colors were blue and white, and he dreamed of playing Division I lacrosse for the Nittany Lions. 

McKeon said, “Both of my parents went there, and both of my siblings went there, so it’s always been in my blood. It has been a long history of my family, and I’m really proud and humbled to carry on that tradition.”

McKeon’s commitment was not all sunshine and rainbows. He experienced his fair share of adversity as COVID-19 halted his process and made him miss out on his whole senior year. Luckily, he was able to work things out and commit to his dream school.

See below for perspective from Mark McKeon ’22 – Penn State men’s lacrosse commit:

Video Credit: Emilie Kirschner ’23

The pandemic also had a huge impact on Andrew Albert’s ’22 process. Albert was originally committed to Muhlenberg College. COVID-19 forced coaches to slow recruiting and not allow visits. It also caused undergraduate players to stay in college for another year which would severely impact Albert’s playing time, as the Muhlenberg goalie position already has limited availability. 

Albert decommitted from Muhlenberg and recommitted with Denison, a Division III lacrosse program. Albert said, “I wasn’t too happy to hear the news from Muhlenberg. I was thinking about decommitting, and the new coach reached out. A few months later, Denison became my dream school after visiting.” Albert decommitted from Muhlenberg and recommitted to Denison the day after visiting its campus. 

Sophia Coan ’22 was among those who decommitted. Her experience was due to stress that was built up after hastily committing. Eventually, Coan was able to push through mental health problems and recommit to play Division I lacrosse at Xavier University. 

Coan said, “I jumped at one of the first offers I got. It wasn’t really the right fit academically. I don’t think I would have been happy there if I stayed. It was a very stressful time and scary decommitting because I didn’t decommit with an offer already on the table.” The wait in between was very frustrating for Coan.

While Coan’s troubles allowed her to continue playing her sport, Noah Toole ’22 was not as fortunate. Toole aimed to play college soccer but plans changed after he tore his ACL. Falling behind the pace of recruiting, he was forced to switch his target. Months after recovering from his injury, Toole committed to Georgetown University to run Division I track and field. 

Toole said, “I tore my ACL, so that kind of affected my soccer recruiting. I had about 10 offers, and I got them all revoked … so I decided to focus on track because it’s a little bit easier and coaches were more comfortable with me and my situation with the injury.”

All of these athletes were put to the test in their own unique ways. Whether it was mental, physical, or emotional factors, each was able to succeed in their goal of playing college sports. Through these hardships, they grew and learned.