When talking about high school athletes getting prepared to play in college, it is common to picture them wearing the school colors and playing in front of their classmates. But that is the opposite of what senior soccer player Toni Vrkic does and taking a different path to play at the next level is what makes him unique.
“I played my previous 3 years for the school team,” Vrkic said. “The thing I miss most is playing in front of the crowd at HSE students and just representing my school.”
Toni plays for the Indiana Fire Academy, which is a highly competitive team that plays in the United Soccer Development League. The Indiana Fire Academy basically pulls kids from all around the state of Indiana to play in the league.
“The biggest difference between the Academy and the school team in the skill level and competition,” Vrkic said. “It is a lot more competitive for the Academy than it is for the high school and you just compete against a lot of better players.”
Playing in the United Soccer Development League has increased his level of skill, and his commitment to continue to play soccer at Xavier University is a testimony to his improvement.
“I received a scholarship to play for Xavier,” Vrkic said. “I think raising of the competition from going to the Development League helped me improve enough for Xavier to take notice.”
For some, playing for your high school sports team is the easiest way to get colleges to notice. But senior soccer player Toni Vrkic is a testimony to if you work hard, colleges will take interest.
Story by Dylan Wadsworth