"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

Maybe don’t be racist?
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College commits

Over 20 student-athletes from LHS will be continuing their sport in college. (Artwork by Clara Binstock)

LHS produces some of the most outstanding athletes, and this year’s long list of college commits reflects the quality that comes out of our school. As we say goodbye to the seniors, the programs on which these students have made their mark will be greatly impacted. This year, the LHS athletics department is losing many athletes who have been huge factors in the success of each team. Let us meet four of the finest senior athletes at LHS who are stepping up to the collegiate level.

Jack Smith

Used with permission by Jack Smith

Becoming a D1 athlete is just one more accomplishment that senior football player Jack Smith can add to his long list of achievements.
Smith is committed to play football at SDSU in the fall, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering. Smith’s stellar football resume consists of being named 2023-24 Gatorade player of the year, holding various school and state records and helping to lead his team to victory at the 2023 State championship after an undefeated season. Outside of football, Smith was also a varsity starter for the LHS basketball team this year, has consistently played Legion baseball and holds the LHS track and field javelin school record. While these records are impressive on paper, they also hold memories Smith will always look back on.
“One of my favorite memories is when I broke the record for most receptions and receiving yards in a single game,” said Smith.
As he heads off to Brookings this year, Smith will be leaving behind more than just records, but also the experience of playing football with his lifelong best friends. Some of his LHS teammates include friends he has been playing with since he was in elementary school. While playing with a completely new team for the first time in a while will be an adjustment, Smith is always eager for a chance to become an even better athlete.
“I’m just looking forward to the new opportunities that will be given to me and the chance to play at the highest level,” said Smith.
Playing as a jackrabbit has always been a goal for Smith, ever since he was little. This goal sparked because he wanted to carry on his family name at the school; both his parents graduated from SDSU, as well as his grandparents and great-grandpa. However, Smith will be the first of them to play a sport there. After making this his goal, Smith knew that reaching it would not be easy to achieve. If anyone knows Smith at all, they know that when he has an objective, he will put in the necessary work to get the job done, no matter how difficult it may be.
“The recruiting process was very long and stressful, but it’s worth the struggle,” said Smith. “It’s important to always bet on yourself and keep working as hard as you can because success doesn’t come easy.”

Ella Ready

Used with permission by Ella Ready


Going from a Patriot to a Wolf, senior soccer player Ella Ready is “Ready” for a new challenge as she takes her skills to the next level.
This upcoming fall, Ready will be playing soccer at Northern State University, and also majoring in either biology or nursing. It must have been in an instant connection when Ready first visited NSU because the NSU coach was the first to reach out to her. By the end of her recruitment process, Ready was debating between two schools. Taking into consideration that her family would still be able to watch her play and the distinctiveness of the program, Ready decided that NSU was the best choice for her.
“I ultimately chose Northern because of the great program that the newer coach was building, the coach’s coaching style and the facilities,” said Ready.
The new coach is not the only part about NSU that Ready is excited for; playing with a new group of girls is a great opportunity for Ready to advance her abilities. Nonetheless, Ready has not fully processed the fact that the girls she has played with since freshman year will not be there by her side.
“Our team had pretty good chemistry on and off the field, and I’m very appreciative that Lincoln soccer has brought me my closest friends,” said Ready.
Learning to be a good teammate, as well as being a good friend are both qualities that Ready has gained from her soccer experience. In addition to building relationships with her teammates, soccer has taught her how to deal with wins and loses. While the girls this last year had to deal with a tough loss in the semifinals for the State championship, this loss did not take away from their great season. Ready knows that the losses do not reflect the hard work she puts in, instead they just make her work even harder.
“You should always keep working and give your full effort into everything you do,” said Ready. “To get to the college level you have to work outside of practices, lifting, extra touches, anything that will make you better and possibly give you an edge over someone else.”

Norah Christensen

Used with permission by Norah Christiansen

Returning as a two-time state champ this year, LHS softball player Norah Christiansen has one last mark to make before she leaves to play at the collegiate level.
Christiansen will be furthering her softball career at Augustana University, where she plans to major in exercise science and human biology. Along with softball, Christiansen balances competing in track and field during the spring; last year, she placed 7th in shot put at the 2023 state track meet. As she enters her final softball season here at LHS, Christiansen and her team are aiming for a third State championship. Even so, Christiansen still finds herself looking back on that first championship from sophomore year as one of her most memorable moments.
“We were playing Harrisburg and were down the first half of the game,” said Christiansen. “I did not think we were going to pull through, but one hit after another, we came back and won.”
For Christiansen, the recruiting process was not as simple as some might think; she found it to be stressful and time-consuming. She put a lot of effort and pressure on herself to ensure that she was being noticed by coaches and that she was always performing to her best ability. However, throughout the process, Christiansen learned that being a desirable athlete involves more than just impressive performances.
“I realized that skill is not the main thing coaches are looking for,” said Christiansen. “It’s how you react and how good of a teammate you are.”
After committing to Augie, Christiansen knows all the hard work was worth it because softball has taught her not only what it is like to be a winner, but also how to have a strong work ethic and how to be the best teammate. Even though she is excited to play with her future teammates and learn from the older girls, the LHS softball program will forever hold a special place in Christiansen’s heart.
“The culture I have made with the girls on the team is something you can never forget,” said Christiansen. “We are good athletes but we are also great people.”

Rocky McKenzie

Used with permission by Rockie McKenzie

After starting to play tennis at LHS as a seventh grader, senior Rocky McKenzie is not ready to end his career just yet.
McKenzie is committed to play tennis at Creighton University where he will likely study pre-med. McKenzie has been training for tennis ever since he was very young. This dedication and time put towards his training is what led McKenzie to play varsity starting in middle school. Since he has been a part of the LHS team for so long, this year will not be an easy goodbye. Spending time with his teammates, like at team meals, are some of the most memorable moments from his overall experience.
“I will miss the guys on the team the most,” said McKenzie. “These are guys that I have known since I was very little and we have been playing together for years. It’s really going to be tough to move on from the fun times we have while playing here.”
As well as making countless memories with his teammates, his team has also proven themselves to be the superior team of the state. The LHS tennis team has been on a winning streak for the State championship since 2014, with McKenzie being there for four of them. Even though becoming a part of a new team can be challenging, this change does not mean that McKenzie is not excited about what is to come in the future. He is very confident that his new team at Creighton will provide him with the support he needs to be successful.
“I am most looking forward to being a part of a team that is young and excited to play for a coach that really wants to win,” said McKenzie.
Pursuing a sport in college takes hard work and commitment; however, McKenzie understands that a person’s love for their sport is the most important part to achieving success. McKenzie plays tennis because he truly loves it, and was a state champion last year. This year, McKenzie will return to his last high school season ready to have a good time.
“Worrying about a college decision can take away some of the joy of playing and can give you unnecessary stress,” said McKenzie. “Just go have fun and everything will work out.”


24′ College Comitts:

Jack Smith (South Dakota State University)
Tate Schafer (University of Sioux Falls)
Isaac Jarovski (University of Sioux Falls)
Dawson Siem (Northern State University)
Ben Heiberger (Mount Marty University)
Brycen Mitchell (Mount Marty University)
Dreavin Hodge (University of South Dakota)
Adam Behrend (Augustana University)
Bo Bosler (Dakota State University)

Addalai DeKam (Augustana University)

Tallen Dobson (Gustavus Adolphus College)
Ella Ready (Northern State University)
Lily Dahler (University of Sioux Falls)

Ellen Merkley (Augustana University)
Clara Binstock (Augustana University)

Rocky McKenzie (Creighton University)
Drew Gohl (Augustana University)

Norah Christiansen (Augustana University)
Madison Evans (University of South Dakota)

Sawyer Tolk (Kansas City Kansas
Community College)
Caden Watson (North Iowa Area
Community College)
Nate Motl (Kirkwood Community
Kooper Perry (The College of St. Scholastica)


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About the Contributor
Clara Binstock
Clara Binstock, Entertainment Editor
Clara Binstock is a senior, second-year staff writer and Entertainment Editor for the Statesman. She is involved in Spanish Immersion, NHS and Track and Field. Binstock can often be found wandering the LHS halls, most likely bugging her favorite track coaches Jaws and Rice. Outside of school, on the rare occasion that she is not with fellow staff member Ellen Merkley, she is likely to be found binging “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix or listening to Taylor Swift. Binstock plans on attending Augustana University after high school, so she can stay close to her cats. 
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