By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore — This was the moment they dreamed about. Being able to continue their athletic careers beyond High School.
For the four Salem Academy athletes Monday afternoon, their dream had came true at a school assembly in front of friends, family and the Crusader student body.\
“It’s so insane, I’m so thankful for the opportunity. It’s great and I’m excited to join the experience athletes that are already there,” said Emily Kroeker, who signed to compete in Track and Field at Corban University.
Kroeker finished fourth in the 2A Special District 2 1,500-meter race and fifth in the 3,000-meter race, an event she just picked up this season with Salem Academy.
“It was a surprise to me that they asked me to do it, but I was super willing to do it and to push myself to do that,” said Kroeker of the 3,000-meters. “It pushed my boundaries and brought me out of my comfort zone, so I’m super excited to test that more.”
For Chase Brown, who signed to play football at the College of Idaho, it’ll be a different experience going from about a hundred people at a 2A football game to closer to a thousand. Known for his work ethic though, Brown is excited nonetheless to see what he’s able to do at the next level where he’ll play linebacker for the Yotes.
“This is a huge jump for me, going from a school where we had like a sming over 100 people to now playing football games where there’ll be a thousand people watching. It’ll be really tough adjusting to that (at first), but I think I’ll be able to play and prove myself and not worry about the crowd,” said Brown smiling. “I’ll really need all those attributes going into college. I can’t stop at High School and I need to continue doing that in college and be as strong as I possibly can be.”
Strength mentally was what Dylaniee Carmony showcased the second half of her senior season. After going out the first half of her first basketball game this past season with a knee injury, Carmony had to find other ways to help her team out as a leader from the sidelines instead of from the court during basketball season and Track season.
“It definitely taught me a lot about teamwork and you’re not only important when you’re on the court, you’re not only important on Track when you’re scoring points or winning. You’re helping the team no matter what you do and you just being there helping and people appreciating it,” Carmony said.
Carmony will be competing at George Fox University for Track and Field. A blessing for sure knowing that when she suffered her season-ending injury during her senior year this year that it wasn’t the end of the road for the track athlete.
“It’s really relieving. I’m really excited. I know good things are going to happen, I love the coach, I love the family I’m walking into. It’s really relieving know that I didn’t end my season and career like that,” Carmony said.
Bailey Pedersen had an unique add-on to her Collegiate Athletic workload. Besides playing basketball for the Storm of Chemeketa, Pedersen will also be playing Volleyball at the Salem-based Junior College starting this upcoming season.
The add-on came about when she texted the coach interested in joining the team, she came out to an Open Gym and was offered a spot after the coach said that they have a spot for her if she wanted it.
“It just kind of worked out,” Pedersen said of the Volleyball spot. “I’m nervous but if anything I’m super excited and I’m super excited to continue my love for both sports.”
Known for her three-point shooting, Pedersen left her mark in her two-years at Salem Academy and is excited to bring that to Kevin McCarrell’s squad.
“I’m so happy to have played here the last two years. So happy I’ve had those coaches, I wouldn’t have done it without my team and with their passes and stuff. I’m so happy to have leave something behind and I hope to continue that with Kevin over with Basketball.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald