Dreams came true today for Tiger athletes Monique Peterson, Crizelle Cheng and Jewel Unga – all three signed college letters of intent and received athletic scholarships today.
The trio were applauded by relatives, friends and Inderkum High School classmates at campus signing ceremonies this afternoon (Nov. 8).
Peterson will continue her golf career at Eastern Illinois University, while softball players Unga and Cheng will take their games to Mississippi Valley State and Kentucky State next year.
All three excel in the classroom, too. Unga wants to be a lawyer someday, Cheng a teacher, and Peterson a pro golfer or FBI detective.
“It’s so surreal,” Peterson said of her scholarship. “I feel all my hard work has paid off.”
Peterson, team captain, has helped her Tiger team win conference championships in each of her four years at Inderkum. She was named to the all-league team three years, and was the Tri County Conference’s Most Valuable Player the past two years.
A leader off the golf course, too, Peterson is president of Inderkum’s Friday Night Live club and a member of the Athlete Committed program, designed to encourage top performance through healthy lifestyle choices. Peterson also participates in the Link Crew mentoring program at Inderkum.
“She’s just naturally friendly, and I think part of that is because of what her family has instilled in her – respect and appreciation,” said Eric Fong, her golf coach and Friday Night Live adviser.
Cheng said that signing the college letter of intent today was “a breath of relief and I’m super excited” to attend Kentucky State next year. Does she worry about college competition? “I think I’m more than prepared,” she said, smiling. A versatile softball player, Cheng can play both infield and outfield. She describes her style as a contact hitter with lots of speed.
Art Guerra, Inderkum softball coach, characterizes Cheng as a very coachable, consistent, happy-go-lucky type of person who is willing to play any position, without complaint, to help her team. “And she works her rear-end off,” he said, predicting that Cheng will succeed in whatever goals she sets in life.
Unga, a catcher, is a newcomer to Inderkum who will play her first games for the Tigers’ softball team this spring. Her college scholarship stems largely from her success on travel teams.
“Jewel has love for the game and respect for the game,” said Renee Johnson, who coached her as a youth and has followed her career through the years. “She works hard and I see potential there. She’s ready (for college).”