Qualifying for the IHSA Class A state golf tournament in the fall changed everything for Genoa-Kingston senior Emily Wakeley.
She became the first G-K girls golfer in school history to qualify for the state tournament and tied for 39th over the tournament’s two days.
“Before [qualifying for state tournament] I was going to go to college, but not for a sport,” Wakeley said. “But then after…I had multiple coaches contact me.”
On Tuesday, Wakeley signed her letter of intent to play golf at Lewis University. G-K senior volleyball player Vanessa Garza also was honored for previously committing to play volleyball at Judson University.
Wakeley, the 2012 Daily Chronicle Girls Golf Player of the Year, chose Lewis over North Central College and Central College in Iowa, preferring the school’s larger campus. Her dad also attended Lewis for his freshman year of college.
Wakeley said she will play in various golf tournaments this year and practice with her swing coach before heading to Romeoville.
“I never expected anything like this,” Wakeley said. “State was amazing to get to.”
Garza knew Judson was the right fit for her right after her visit to the four-year university in Elgin this spring. She had put together highlight videos from her senior season and the Judson coaches invited her to a workout.
“When I got there I just felt very welcomed,” said Garza, a Daily Chronicle All-Area honorable mention pick in 2012. “Even the team, I got to practice with them, it was so welcoming when I got there.”
Garza, who also had interest from Rockford College, was primarily an outside hitter with G-K, but isn’t sure where she’ll end up playing at Judson.
“I want to continue with outside hitting and if they want to put me at right side I’ll definitely do that too,” Garza said.