Eight Indian Hill High School (IHHS) student-athletes took center stage at the IHHS Gym for a celebration Wednesday, November 8 to commit to continue both academic and athletic careers beyond high school during a college signing ceremony. Participating students included seniors Brooke Arington, Alex Holzapfel, Gavin Johnson, Weston Jonke, Lexi Larsen, Ben Liebel, Madden Phelps, and Dakota Spurrier.
“This is a group of student-athletes who fall into a very elite category. Not everyone can do what they do. In fact, overall it is about seven percent of high school athletes who go on to play a collegiate sport. Less than two percent of high school athletes go on to play at the Division 1 level,” said Indian Hill Athletic Director Brian Phelps. “We want to create this unique moment to celebrate and cherish with their peers, their coaches, and their supportive families who helped create the opportunity for this level of outstanding achievement.”
Arington was named the CHL player of the Year as well as the Southwest Player of the Year. This year, she was a vital part of the undefeated tennis season to include a State Team Championship. In doubles, she and her partner advanced to the State Final Four.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, and coaches for their love and support throughout my tennis journey. I will fondly remember playing tennis at Indian Hill and winning a state championship,” said Arington.
Washington & Lee University
Holzapfel has played golf for eight years and is a four-year varsity letter winner for the Braves. During his career, he was a four-time First Team All-CHL selection, a three-time First Team All-City selection, the 2022 Sectional Champion, and the 2023 CHL champion. He also qualified for the 2022 Ohio Amateur Championship and the 2023 IMG Junior Work Championships.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, and coaches, and I will always remember my golf days at Indian Hill,” said Holzapfel.
Johnson was a four-year starter for the Indian Hill Braves Soccer Team earning First Team All-CHL, First Team All-Southwest, Academic All-Southwest, an Indian Hill Scholar Athlete, and a two-year captain. This year, he was an undefeated CHL champion and district champion as well as leading the CHL in goals scored and total points.
“I would like to thank my club and high school teammates and coaches over the years for their training and support. They have pushed and encouraged me to constantly work hard to become a better player and teammate. I would also like to thank my family for supporting me and making this all possible. I am so excited to continue my education and soccer career at Vassar College. Go Brewers!” said Johnson.
West Virginia University
Jonke came to Indian Hill from the Cleveland area and moved to play for FC Cincinnati. He is currently in his second year with the club, and has traveled to play against some of the best teams in the world. Jonke was also a state champion in football his sophomore year at St. Edwards.
“I would like to thank my family and coaches for supporting me through this journey. It is exciting to be attending West Virginia University next fall,” said Jonke.
University of South Florida
Larsen is a U.S. Lacrosse All American and All-State, All-Region, and All-City Selection. She was the leading scorer for the Braves her freshman, sophomore, and junior year, a team captain, and she was named the Cincinnati Enquirer Player of the Week multiple times.
“I am excited to play lacrosse at USF to make an impact and build a legacy. Go Bulls!” said Larsen.
University of Chicago
Liebel is a multiple All-CHL selection, an All-City selection, a scholar athlete, and he was named the offensive MVP for the Braves.
“I am super excited to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Chicago! I want to give a special thanks to my parents and coaches for helping me get to where I am today,” said Liebel.
Phelps has played field hockey for six years and is a four-year varsity letter winner for the Braves. Madden was named the Cincinnati Enquirer Player of the Week, earned First Team All-Region, First Team All-Southwest District, First Team All-Conference, and Most Valuable Player for the Braves. She was a member of the 2020 State Final Four Team, an Academic All-American, and she was a State All-Star game selection.
“I would like to thank my parents, grandparents, coaches, and siblings for their unwavering support throughout the recruiting process and my high school career,” said Phelps.
University of North Florida
Spurrier has played volleyball for five years and plays for Elevation, a top 25 club in the nation. She is a four-year varsity starter for the Braves, a First Team CHL selection, First Team All-District, Player of the Year, and a District All Star Selection.
“I would like to thank my high school coaches for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play all around on the court. I would also like to thank my basketball coaches for always supporting me and making me a better person and player. I would like to thank my friends for supporting me. Most importantly, I would like to thank my amazing parents. I would not be where I am today without their guidance, support, and love. I could not ask for anything better,” said Spurrier.
Photo caption: Indian Hill High School celebrated eight student-athletes Wednesday, November 8 during a formal athletic signing ceremony, including seniors (L to R): Brooke Arington, Alex Holzapfel, Gavin Johnson, Weston Jonke, Lexi Larsen, Ben Liebel, Madden Phelps, and Dakota Spurrier.