HP Athletes Sign With Colleges Near and Far

HPHS athletes signing letters of intent were recognized at a ceremony on Nov. 17. They include, from left, front row:
HPHS athletes signing letters of intent were recognized at a ceremony on Nov. 17. They include, from left, front row: Hope McLaughlin (San Diego, cross country), Caitlyn Frankel (Santa Clara, tennis), Madison Tedford (TCU, tennis), and Chandler Carter (Wake Forest, tennis). Back row: Emily Kane (Davidson, volleyball), Greer Gordon (Washington and Lee, volleyball), Elizabeth Gilley (California Baptist, volleyball), Peyton Eisnaugle (Charleston, volleyball), Luke Petty (Bellarmine, lacrosse), Colby Kneese (Penn State, lacrosse), and James Thompson (Purdue, golf). (Photo: Chris McGathey)

When first presented with the idea of following in her mother’s footsteps on the tennis court, Madison Tedford was apprehensive.

But a visit to the TCU campus changed her mind, and the Highland Park senior signed a letter of intent with the Horned Frogs this month. It’s the same school where her mother, Keri, earned four varsity letters from 1978 to 1981.

“The campus is top-notch and the program is awesome,” Tedford said. “It was an easy decision.”

Tedford was one of 11 HPHS senior athletes to either sign or commit to college programs during the November signing period.

Several of them will compete at the Division I level, including two of Tedford’s tennis teammates, Chandler Carter (Wake Forest) and Caitlyn Frankel (Santa Clara).

“We’ve been very fortunate. They’ve been competing with each other or against each other since they were 8 or 9 years old,” said HP tennis coach Dan Holden. “They push each other, but they’re also really good friends.”

Carter is a six-time state champion who hopes to claim another title before she graduates in May. The Scots were eliminated in the Class 6A state semifinals during the fall team season.

“I wanted a good mix between academics and tennis,” Carter said of Wake Forest. “I wanted a smaller school. Wake Forest was the place to be.”

One of Frankel’s best friends, who she met at a tennis camp, lives near the campus south of San Francisco. Plus, she’s planning to major in business, and she’ll be close to potential jobs in Silicon Valley.

While Carter preferred a small-school environment, it was just the opposite for Colby Kneese, the goaltender on an HP lacrosse team that won a state title last spring. He signed with Penn State after being overlooked somewhat in the early stages of the recruiting process.

“Penn State worked out for me with the big-school atmosphere,” Kneese said. “It’s going to be a completely new experience.”

Hope McLaughlin just started running as a sophomore in the track and cross country programs at HP. Two years later, she signed with the University of San Diego.

“When I started in high school, I thought I was going to be a soccer player,” said McLaughlin, who chose USD and its seaside campus after attending a camp this summer. “There’s not a prettier place to run.”

A quartet of volleyball players inked their college scholarships this month, including Division I signees Peyton Eisnaugle (College of Charleston) and Emily Kane (Davidson).

“The campus is absolutely beautiful,” Eisnaugle said of Charleston. “The program has done really well, and the team is super sweet.”

Kane originally hails from Virginia and has family members in Asheville, N.C., so she gravitated toward the region around Davidson, which is located just north of Charlotte.

“The players and the program are very warm and inviting,” she said. “It was the whole atmosphere.”

Elizabeth Gilley will play at California Baptist, a Division II school in Riverside, Calif., which is the alma mater of two of her club coaches.

“They have one of the top nursing schools in California,” Gilley said. “That combined with the people and the culture of volleyball in California drew me there.”

Also signing in November were golfer James Thompson (Purdue), volleyball player Greer Gordon (Washington and Lee), and lacrosse player Luke Petty (Bellarmine).

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