When Lucy Baukhages ’18 signed to play Women’s Lacrosse at Frostburg State University (FSU), she had no idea that one of her coaches, Janeé Rhone ’14, was a fellow Creeker! Below, the alumnae reflect on their time at ICS.
Q: What are you doing now? How did you get there?
JR: I am a Women's Lacrosse Graduate Assistant Coach at FSU. My role is to help educate and prepare student-athletes on how to further their game and motivate them to strive for greatness both on and off the field. I am also in the process of completing my Masters of Science in Applied Ecology & Conservation Biology. As a Graduate Student, I am required to complete a research project (which focuses on the impact feral cats have on native and non-native species by observing the diet contents of the feral cats) throughout my two years here. Throughout my undergraduate career I fell in love with the field of research and conservation. By time my senior year came around, it was time to apply to graduate school. About a month and a half before graduation, my undergraduate Head Lacrosse Coach told me to apply to be a Graduate Assistant for Women's Lacrosse. With the help of her and other professors I was granted the opportunity to not only complete my Masters but also maintain involvement in a sport that I fell in love with during my time at ICS.
LB: I am a freshman at FSU. I recently hurt my ACL again (the same ACL I tore during my sophomore year at ICS) and will not be able to play until next spring season. This has been very difficult for me, but the kindness of my teammates has been so comforting.
Q: How did ICS prepare you for this path? Favorite ICS memory?
JR: Academically, ICS set the standards of what to expect once I entered into the college world. The well-structured classes, academic content, and the higher level classes such as Advanced Placement courses required a lot of organization and preparation. Without those things I'm not sure if I would have been ready to take on the responsibilities that college life offered. One class that I truly felt prepared me for the courses that I would be taking at the collegiate level was Mrs. Bartz’s Anatomy and Physiology course. The presentations, amount of content, dissections, and examination set ups prepared me for what to expect during lectures.
Athletically, my life revolved around basketball before ICS, but once Coach Steve Willett asked me to join the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team my sophomore year, it changed my life. ICS introduced me to another sport that would eventually take me farther in life than I ever thought. Because of Coach Willett and other coaches like him at ICS, I was afforded more opportunities after graduating from ICS than I would have without being introduced to the game of lacrosse. My all-time favorite memories were winning back to back championship titles on the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team and making it to playoffs while part of the Girls Varsity Basketball Team. To be part of moments like that, I could never take them for granted. That is not a feeling that everyone gets to experience once, let alone twice and meant a lot to me looking back.
LB: I think ICS prepared me well for college, as I haven’t come across anything I couldn’t handle. The most helpful thing I learned at ICS were the skills I gained from taking AP courses, specifically writing and analysis skills and time management. Furthermore, being a college athlete is very hard due to the fact that you have a packed schedule and very early practices. However, you quickly get used to it and the routine becomes a blessing. I’m not sure what I would do with my time if I didn’t have to go to lift, practice, study hall, academic meetings, and much more. It really is hard work but it pays off to be part of an amazing team. Any difficulties I’ve had have been met with support and compassion from my teammates and coaching staff.
Q: What advice would you give to a current Creeker who wants to follow your path?
JR: My advice for a current Creeker would be to take advantage of everything that ICS has to offer. You may not think about all that you are going through now as something that will prepare you and or alter your future, but there's no telling what opportunities you will encounter. Take that class that you think may be too hard, try that new sport that you've never heard of or played, and talk to that teacher that you would never expect to make a huge impact because life isn't easy and you need people in your corner to be successful.
LB: The biggest piece of advice I would give potential college athletes is to be ready for commitment. No matter what level at which you are planning to play, you must be ready to commit to your team and be ready to hold yourself responsible for going to class, practice, and any team activities. You cannot partially commit to a team. You have to be all in. Your teammates and your coaches are relying on you.