Cedarcrest High School Class of 2020
Collegiate Student-Athletes... In Their Own Words
Typically, on the first Wednesday every February, thousands of prospective future collegiate athletes step into their high school offices, clutching a piece of paper and a dream. Known as National Letter of Intent Day, students make athletic commitments to schools around the nation, declaring their intent to attend and play sports for the college of their choice. For many, it validates the years of hard work and dedication. For others, it means what was once a dream is quickly becoming a reality.
Cedarcrest High School coaches reached out to their respective Senior athletes who signed Letters of Intent to compete in athletics at the collegiate level. This year, we are proud to share the words of four Red Wolves from the Class of 2020, preparing to take those next steps athletically and academically.
Cedarcrest High School Athletic Director/Assistant Principal Jason Frederick and Riverview Communications Coordinator Mike Ward, collected the thoughts of these students on the eve of graduation, in the midst of a global pandemic, and during a mandatory closure of all schools in Washington.
Now graduated, we present the thoughts of Hannah Bomgardner, Moon Dawkins, Sawyer Swart, and Helena Van Ess, as they prepare to soon embark on new adventures and experiences, taking their academic and athletic talents to the next level.
HANNAH BOMGARDNER (Edmonds College, Cross-Country, Track and Field)
“(Bruce) McDowell (Cedarcrest Cross-Country and Cedarcrest Track Coach) recommended me to the coach from Edmonds College. He contacted me about running for them and since I was already planning on finishing my AA degree locally (I am in Running Start), I had assumed that I wouldn't be able to run in college. After talking to the coach, I looked at the campus, met the coach in person and really liked both.
As I think about competing in cross-country and track at the collegiate level, I am excited to beat my personal record, meet new teammates, and stay active.
Signing my Letter, I felt like a professional and thought, 'this is so cool.' I was really excited and it seemed to come out of nowhere, because I was planning on attending a different school to complete my AA and Bellevue doesn’t have a team. I am excited about Edmonds and running for the team, as I thought I would have to wait until transferring to a university to make that happen."
Hannah has not yet decided on a major, but has interests in nutrition, art, and physical therapy which she hopes to pursue. She was heavily involved in sports throughout her high school years, playing on volleyball and basketball teams, while also running Cross-Country and competing in Track and Field. Her fondest Cedarcrest sports memories involve coming home from cross-country meets on the bus and singing with all of her teammates.
MOON DAWKINS (Whatcom Community College, Men's Soccer)
“There's a sense of brotherhood in soccer, performing at the highest level I can and I love the competition.
I was lucky in that coaches knew me, eventhough I started pretty late in the process of selecting a school. I knew what I wanted from the start though. I was invited to come down for a visit and a training or two to get a feel for the team and the atmosphere. I was easily assured that Whatcom Community College is where I wanted to be for the next two years.
I remember when I signed my Letter, thinking, 'I hope I spell my name correctly.'
Though I always aimed high and hoped I would get noticed by bigger schools, this opportunity came out of nowhere. I was realistic with myself and knew a Junior College would be a smarter choice for me."
Moon is still thinking about a major, but is currently leaning toward Communications. He has played soccer at Cedarcrest, while also practicing Shaolin Kung-Fu outside of school. Moon's fondest Cedarcrest sports memories are soccer-related: "I love making the other teams silent by exposing their weakest links on the pitch."
SAWYER SWART (Everett Community College, Cross-Country)
“I love running, not just the action - but everything that goes into it. (Coach) McDowell and Dean (Vergillo, Assistant Coach, Cross-Country) have taught me it is not always about how fast you run, but just that you can do the best run you can with what you got. I will be carrying this on with me for the rest of my life. I also love the community of runners and all the support that everyone gives one another.
When considering college, I wanted to go to a tech school, I wanted to run, and I wanted to remain in Washington, so that helped narrow down the choices.
I felt a feeling of accomplishment when I signed my Letter and competing in sports at the collegiate level was definitely something I had been considering. Everett was the best option that worked for everything I was looking for.”
Sawyer is going into a trade program, where he will learn machining and engineering in the fall. He ran Cross-Country for three years and Track for two years at Cedarcrest, competed in golf for two years and took weightlifting all four years of high school. His fondest memories of sports at Cedarcrest involve trips to Portland - where Sawyer shares that every year was better than the last, he would blow all his money on junk food, but also have Olive Garden meals with the entire team.
HELENA VAN ESS (Bellevue College, Women's Basketball)
”I really enjoy playing basketball. You can play year-round without having to deal with the weather. I also love how you can really bond with your teammates. Basketball has always offered an opportunity for growth and you can always learn something new from your coaches and even your teammates.
Due to the current circumstances in the world, signing with a school was different than what I thought it would be. I was able to go and visit the school, watch some of their games, and talk with the coaches in person. However, when it came time to sign, I couldn't go to Bellevue College to sign, so I signed at home and send them the paperwork. My first thought was, "Wow! This is actually happening!" My family was very supportive and it was a very special time. I also felt very supported by my coach Brad (Knowles, Cedarcrest Girls' Basketball Head Coach), as he was there every step of the way and helped me contact colleges and coaches. Overall, signing was very special because you are taking the next step in your life and i was thankful that everyone involved in these decisions was so supportive as I made decisions on my future.
For me, playing college basketball became something I first thought about my junior year. As you start to think about a life beyond high school, I knew I wanted to continue to play basketball after senior season. I remember, after a game I had played in Snohomish, an assistant coach from Bellevue came up to me and talked about playing for them. He gave me their card and now I am happy to move ahead in my life and experience all that college has to offer."
Helena credits Mrs. Simoni (Bobbi Simoni, Math teacher at Cedarcrest) for helping her realize her love of math. As a result, Helena is thinking of studying business and then accounting. Prior to high school, she played soccer for many years and ran cross-country for one season. She played club basketball year-round and was a member of the Cedarcrest Girls' Basketball team all four years of high school. Her fondest Cedarcrest sports memories include beating Archbishop Murphy on their home court her senior year, and Senior Night 2020, where her entire team ran up and gave her a hug. "These two memories, while playing basketball at Cedarcrest, were the absolute best."