D1 Bound

Justin Parmer, Sports Editor

Kate Bullman

At a Grayslake Central girls basketball game, a fan notices Kate Bullman on the court immediately. Standing at 6-foot-2, the power forward is able to tower over most of her competitors. Last season’s stat line shows that Bullman averaged 11 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game as a starting sophomore. 

“My goal has been to play as well as I can, every single game,” said the girls varsity basketball player, Kate Bullman.  “I think so far I’ve done that, you know, sharing the ball with everyone not just being selfish, and getting everyone the opportunities that they need for us to win.” 

Kate is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive side of the ball as well. Last year, she averaged 2.7 steals and at least one blocked shot per game.

Kate Bullman attempting a shot against Lakes High School. Photo by Mitchell Fuller

“Kate’s’ a fierce competitor,” said varsity head coach, Steve Ikenn. “She’s always out there working hard…She’s a great defender both inside and out. And she can shoot from the outside as well as drive to the basket or score inside.”

Even while being a selfless player for her teammates as the Rams starting power forward, Kate is well on to beating last season’s stats with multiple double-doubles (10 points and 10 rebounds/assists) games. Some of her latest examples include a career high 24 point clinic against cross town rival Grayslake North and a 17 rebound game in the Buffalo Grove Tournament against Hersey. Even with her impressive stateline, Kate is shocked that she is so heavily recruited by division I colleges.

“It’s always been my dream to play Division I basketball,” said the 6-foot-2 power forward. “You know you have to be an amazing athlete to do that. And I knew that and I was like ‘I don’t think I can do that’ and then I got these offers and offers exposure and it’s like a dream come true.”

Kate is receiving multiple offers from across the country including schools inside the Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, Horizon League and even from the Ivy league. Kate also made unofficial visits to the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, University of Saint Louis, Princeton University and Illinois State this fall. Even with these visits, Kate is still open to any offer in the coming months. 

Alex Cramer 

Up until the 2017-2018 wrestling season, Grayslake Central never had an IHSA individual wrestling champion. That all changed in February, when Alex Cramer claimed the top spot on the podium and became the Rams first IHSA individual champion. Cramer won in the 160-pound weight class.

“It was a relief, ” said the senior wrestler, Alex Cramer. “It was something I wanted to do for a while and that was a big goal of mine coming into high school, so it was nice to finally knock it out after not placing in the first two years.”

When the time came to choose a college, Alex was presented with endless options on where he could attend, thanks to his success both on and off the mat. Eventually, the decision came down to Northwestern University and Old Dominion, a school located in Norfolk, Virginia. In early April of 2018, Cramer announced that he will be attending Old Dominion as a member of the class of 2023.

“I think it’s program on the rise, and I can rea

lly help it be a part of something that’s going to be a top 20 program in the country,” said the future Old Dominion Monarch on his choice. “The school is really good. It’s a nice location and I like that they have to offer academically.”

“I couldn’t be happier for [Cramer].” said varsity wrestling head coach, Matt Joseph. “The work ethic of that kid is just unbelievable. If there’s a blueprint for being a state champ, you know, I would probably tell people go and look at what this does day in and day out. If you look at how hard he trains day in and day out, he deserves and earned every single thing he’s gotten so far.” 

Since announcing his decision to go out east, Cramer continues to be a threat on the national level. Facing wrestlers across the country, Cramer won Grappler Fall Classic in September and took 3rd at the Super 32’s this past October. To top it all off this past June, Alex won the 2018 U.S. Marines Junior Greco-Roman National Champion at the 170-pound level: one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. These results boost Cramer into the top 5 (last updated on December 4th 2018) in the InterMat national rankings for his weight class. However, when asking him about the rankings, Alex really didn’t seem to care about what they had to say, nor does he pride himself too much on being called a national champion.

“I don’t really focus on the accolades or the ratings.” said Cramer.  “I just come into the the room and come up with the competition and just making myself better and competing to the highest level. Just constantly pushing myself.”