16 under 16: Part 3

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16 under 16: Part 3

Kyle Wix

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There are, as we know, many talented people who attend Lake Forest High School. Often, however, it is the upperclassmen–the student-athletes on the Varsity teams or the intellectuals in the classes with the most academic rigor–who get the majority of the accolades. In this 4 part series, 16 under 16, highlights 16 freshman with exceptional talent in sports, school, clubs, or other activities. Here are the next 4 freshman to be featured.

16 under 16: Part 3Vishvam Bhagat: 

Like his older sister Trisha, freshman Vishvam Bhagat has made quite an impact on Lake Forest High School in his first year. Bhagat, just like many of the other students profiled on this column, has excelled in his sport at the varsity level. To date, Bhagat has just lost one match on the season to Fremd’s Ryan Zheng in three sets. Other than that close match the freshman has been playing beautifully in his first year. Bhagat remains undefeated in conference play, as he holds down the third spot in singles play for the Scouts. Team captain and senior Drew Arnson has been impressed with Bhagat’s play so far, calling him a “solid player” and “ready for the varsity level.”

Outside of the high school team, Bhagat competes in numerous youth tournaments, looking to improve his skills and standing. Currently, Bhagat ranks in the top 500 of players across the country for his age group, which is an impressive achievement. In addition, according to the HEAD recruiting list, Bhagat is the 29th ranked player in the state of Illinois.

For Bhagat, his freshman season has proved that he belongs and can compete with the best of the best. With his crafty play and first year experience, Bhagat will surely be a vital piece of the varsity team for years to come, as his improves his standing in the game of tennis.

16 under 16: Part 3 1Blythe Karras:

Earlier in the series, we profiled three freshman making their mark with the boy’s lacrosse team, but this week we take a look at the girl’s side.

In order to rise to the varsity level as a young player, you must know how to be aggressive and fearless. Playing attack, freshman Blythe Karras simply has these characteristics in her DNA. In her first year, Karras has quickly ascended to the highest level and made an impact as a top player off the bench for Lake Forest.

“She’s spunky,” mentioned head coach Cat Catanzaro, “Blythe possesses the skills to be a great player, but up to this point she hasn’t been exposed to the physicality of the game.” Fundamentally, Karras has mastered her skills, but Catanzaro admits that she still needs to get used to the contact and hitting that is allowed at the varsity level. “It’s a different style of play,” Catanzaro noted, “and once she gets used to it, she will be a great player.”

To this point, Karras has laid the foundation for a successful career with her raw playing ability. Therefore, it is clear that once Karras picks up some valuable playing experience from the rest of this spring, she will be well on her way to having a successful career at Lake Forest High School.

16 under 16: Part 3 2Louis Rauch:

How many hours does a flight from Detroit, Michigan to Butte, Montana take? Quick ― You only have ten seconds to answer.

You might not be able to answer a question of that difficulty in that short of a timespan, but Louis Rauch can. The freshman has deft skill for answering questions such as the one above, with his knowledge ranging from aviation, to Ancient Greek philosophy, to algebra. The skill he demonstrated in the fall season led to him being the only freshman to compete at varsity level meets.

“I first heard of Scholastic Bowl from Mr. Kuhl,” said Rauch. “I then looked into it and I thought it was interesting because it is a competitive game which tests someone’s overall knowledge. I went to practice, liked it, and joined the team. I enjoyed the fact that it competitively tested my knowledge on multiple different subject matters.”

Scholastic Bowl can best be described as “Jeopardy!” on steroids, in that it is a trivia-style competition in which two teams of five players face off to see which team can correctly answer 16-20 questions the fastest. It consists of all the same jargon you would see on quiz shows on television ―  buzzers, toss-ups, and bonus questions. But as Rauch tells me, Scholastic Bowl is just as appealing, “It is competitive, challenging, and it tests my knowledge of many items.”

In addition to loading his brain with trivial information during the fall, Rauch swims in the winter for the JV swimming team, is a sprinter on the Track & Field team in the spring, and is an avid golfer in the summer. Even with demanding commitments in all four seasons of the year, Rauch still maintains stellar grades, good for high honor roll.

And, in case you were wondering about that flight time question, a connecting flight is over eight hours from Detroit to Butte. But it only took Louis Rauch eight seconds to answer.

Words courtesy of Peter Elliott

16 under 16: Part 3 3Jack Malloy:

Even from the very beginning, it was clear that freshman Jack Malloy was going to be a leader on the sophomore boys basketball game. After winning their first game of the year, Malloy lead the Scouts in scoring in just the second game of the year. Despite being a freshman, The 6’2” forward quickly proved himself as a player to both the team and the coaching staff. “We relied on him[Malloy] for a lot of things,” said assistant sophomore coach Graham O’Connor-Brooks, “he was one of out best rebounders and scorers throughout the year.” At the end of the season, Malloy was given the “Chairman of the Boards” award, given the team’s leading rebounder during the year. Paired with his fellow forward and sophomore Stephen Young, Malloy helped lead the Scouts to a record of (7-7) in the North Suburban Conference. In his first year with the high school program, Malloy certainly turned by being placed on the sophomore team, but he took advantage of the opportunity and churned out a productive season.

When he’s not in the high school season, Malloy is always working on the improvement of his basketball skills. Outside of the high school, Malloy is a part of the All In Athletics Elite team that plays in a host of tournaments during the spring and the summer.

While it is just his first year in high school, it is clear that Malloy possess the drive and the basketball skills to be the next impact player for the program. Talking with O’Connor-Brooks and members of the Lake Forest staff, it is clear they have been impressed by Malloy so far and they are excited for the success that he can bring to the Competition Gym in the years to come.