The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

WYD Titan Alumni: Mark Schroeder

From excelling in high school at lacrosse and math to now attending a prestigious military academy.

2020 Dominion graduate, Mark Schroeder, is now a student-athlete playing lacrosse at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Before graduating, Mark made a perfect score on the math section of the SAT and made first-team all-state as a lacrosse defender in his junior year of high school. 

Do you think being a 2020 graduate and being part of the “COVID Class” impacted your perspective on high school and college?

I don’t think it changed high school too much just because I got the majority of mine. I just missed graduation. I think it made it a weird transition to college because people had been out of school for a year and a half. Not everyone was able to adjust to living on their own like I feel most college students would. 

How do you feel about your accomplishments in high school? Did they open up any opportunities for you? Mark got a perfect score on the math section of the SAT in March 2019 and was a first team all-state lacrosse defender in 2019. 

[First team all state for lacrosse] definitely helped with recruiting because I came here to play lacrosse,  that definitely made that process easier for me. My SAT score did help too, just with admissions. 

What is your current major at West Point? What are your goals beyond college with that? Mark is in his third year at West Point and plans to graduate on time.

I am a nuclear engineering major. With my school, you have five mandatory years of service, right after graduation. I don’t see myself staying in after that but I still don’t know for sure. I’d like to work in the Energy Department, so nuclear reactors, that whole field really interests me. 

What led you to the military? Did you have any family members that did service? How has that choice impacted you?

I do have a couple of extended family members who served. I wasn’t really thinking about it, until the coaches here reached out to me to play here. Then, I came on a trip to visit here and that really changed my mind a lot. I talked with my family and some people in the neighborhood who served and everybody had nothing but good things to say. 

In the admission process for West Point it is my understanding you must obtain a nomination that is either congressional or service connected. What was your process? Did you have any struggles there?

No, thankfully, for recruited athletes, it’s a little easier. For most West Point students, they have to interview and work really hard for those letters. For athletes, I still had to do some interviews but that wasn’t too strenuous. A lot of letters go unused at the end of the year, depending on what states have more people applying. I wasn’t too worried about that part of the process, but there were a couple of interviews that I did.

How do you feel about the decision to play a sport in college?

I love it. I mean it takes up 80-90% of my day, every day, but I’ve met this group of people through dealing with it, and I wouldn’t change it.

When it comes to deciding between offers and such, how did you make your decision? Did you have any other schools send you offers?

Right, I honestly didn’t have any other offers. If I did, I think I would still want to come here. I just think this atmosphere was better for me than any typical university experience.

Would you recommend other students to commit and play a sport in college?

Definitely, I think if you have the opportunity, it’d be great. My sister’s doing that right now, Maura Schroeder. She’s just [playing] her first season [now]. I think if anyone has the opportunity, they should pursue it.

What are your plans after graduation?

It’s a five-year minimum [service] requirement. There’s a whole process with class rank and where you go but I’ll be sent to some posts across the country and be there for a couple of years.

What is one thing you would tell your high school self or a piece of advice you would give to current students?

Not taking it so seriously. Try to enjoy high school. It goes by pretty quick.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Columbel
Olivia Columbel, Assistant Editor
Olivia Columbel is an Assistant Editor for DHS Press. She is currently a junior and serving her second year with the program. Olivia hopes to pursue a career in social work and possibly expand to journalism as well. She loves to investigate teachers, sports and students for fascinating feature pieces. If Olivia is not at Dominion, in a classroom or on the field managing a sport, you can find her fast asleep in her own bed, getting food with friends, reading a book or doing her favorite activity, listening to music. 

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