Athletes still ballin’

Many Antioch alumni are continuing their athletic legacy at the collegiate level.

Numerous students wonder how they will leave a legacy at Antioch Community High School when they graduate. Many athletes as a kid dream to play their sport at the next level. As one gets older and the competition gets harder, playing at the next level is a big commitment. For Antioch alumni Andy Bowles, Gabby Debevec and Katie Quirke, they entered ACHS in 2018 as student-athletes, continued through high school, and now they have pursued their dreams and took the next step to play at the collegiate level.

Being a student-athlete takes a lot of skill. Not only on the field, but in the classroom as well. In order to be able to play, maintaining grades is extremely important. In the same way students focus on their academics and their sport, taking time for themselves is important as well. 

Illinois softball Athlete Gabby Debevec.


“Time management is very very hard as a D1 student athlete, but I am good at balancing my time,” Debevec said. “You have to block out time for specific things, but also give yourself a break and free time, not being good at time management really is not an option.”

Playing at the next level means training at the next level. To ensure athletes are trained to continue onto the next level they practiced on their own, but as well as workouts from their college coaches. 

“In order to prepare for the next level of sports I was given a workout plan to follow and along with that I made sure to chat with upperclassmen who were already there about what I need to prepare for,” Bowles said.

UW-Plattville football player Andy Bowles.

Once getting to the collegiate level, it is an adjustment from more fast-paced practices to having to play with older athletes who are and stronger and more experienced than compared to the high school level.

“The comparison between high school softball and college softball is not even close,” Debevec said. “In college, everyone is good and everyone is going to be able to get the job done when there is an opportunity given, in high school, it was a lot more laid back and relaxed.”

In high school, thinking about playing at the next level may seem overwhelming, but Quirke has plenty of advice for Sequoits who are planning to continue their athletic career. 

“Remember why you first fell in love with the sport you are choosing to pursue,” Quirke said. “Find a team based on that love, be sure you are choosing the team based on the people and surroundings of the team, I would also say to remember to choose a school that fits what you want academically and athletically.”

These alumni futures look very bright and they are ready to accomplish their athletic seasons as well as the rest of their education. Debevec is studying business, Quirke is studying nursing and Bowles is studying mechanical engineering. Be on the lookout for Debevec’s 2023 spring softball season at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.