Beth Parks sampled various activities, such as cheerleading and dancing, like many young girls do.
But the Huntley senior soon realized something from the sideline.
“I wanted to be the one playing,” said Parks, a senior soccer player for the Red Raiders.
So Parks, who overcame being born with hip dysplasia, took up soccer and distance running. Parks, an outside midfielder, will sign her NCAA National Letter of Intent next week with NCAA Division I Colorado State. Next Wednesday is the first day of the signing period for soccer and several other sports.
“My dad [Bill] and I randomly looked at Colorado and flew out there,” Parks said. “We also found out Colorado State was starting a program and contacted the coach [Bill Hempen].”
The Rams were 2-13 in their first season last year. Coming from a strong high school program and from the Heat United travel program, Parks hopes she can step in and play right away in the fall.
“I loved it out there instantly,” Parks said. “[Hempen] liked me and I liked the school. He came and saw me play with my club team.”
Parks committed to the Fort Collins school in late July. She has come a long way since the surgery on her right hip at age 1. Surgeons used a cadaver bone to restructure the hip. Medical personnel were able to fix her left hip through physical therapy.
Doctors told her and her family that running would be challenging.
“I didn’t listen to doctors’ orders very well,” she said.
Parks went for check-ups on a regular basis and eventually learned to deal with some of the pain.
“There’s pain, but I’ve gotten so used to it I can’t tell if it’s soreness or from [the surgery],” Parks said. “I’ve just grown used to it. I used to have more problems with it. I tried almost every sport and soccer and running were the ones that stuck.”
Parks gave up cross country after her sophomore year to concentrate on soccer.
Ramos to Dominican: Dundee-Crown senior Carlos Ramos had not seriously considered playing college soccer before this year, but that changed in the fall.
Chargers assistant coach Sebastian Falinski contacted the coaching staff at Dominican University, an NAIA school in River Forest, who came and watched the Chargers’ 19-1-1 team. Ramos, a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team defender, committed last week to play with the Stars on an athletic scholarship.
“I love soccer so much and it was a good opportunity,” Ramos said.
Ramos, who helped a D-C defense record 13 shutouts, said Dominican was the only school he considered.
“I was amazed when I saw the campus,” he said. “It’s beautiful. I could see myself going there and their soccer program is successful.”
The Stars were 12-5-2 last season.
Atella to Platteville: Crystal Lake South defensive lineman Vinny Atella (6-foot, 240 pounds) will play football at D-III Wisconsin-Platteville next year. Atella started and played a lot of time on the defensive line for South last season.
Peltier to MCC: Jacobs senior Reilly Peltier, a 6-4 right-hander, will attend McHenry County College next year and pitch for the Scots. Peltier was the No. 3 starter last season for the Golden Eagles and was 4-1, with two saves and a 1.85 ERA.