ROCKTON- A pair of lifelong friends fulfilled a lifelong dream Wednesday afternoon at Hononegah High School.
Hononegah soccer players Cooper Jevremovic and Isaac Brown made it official in the school library: They will be playing the game they love at the next level.
Jevremovic, primarily a goalkeeper with the versatility to play other positions, and Brown, another all-around athlete, have been playing together since they were eight years old.
Now, they will be on separate teams. Jevremovic will compete for Loras College, an NCAA Division III school, while Brown will play for NAIA University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill.
Brown, like Jevremovic a four-year varsity player under Cooper's father Vee, said it was only fitting they were able to celebrate together.
"We've been dreaming about this since we were younger," Brown said. "Of course, everyone wants to go to a Division I school, but we just had to find the right fit for both of us. It was a great moment to share with my best friend."
Brown said it didn't take long for him to make his college choice.
"From the time I was a young kid, I've always wanted to go to a smaller NAIA school," Brown said. "It just so happened that the coach from St. Francis was at a tournament I was playing. He handed me his card, and I called him, took a visit and fell in love with the program right away. I can't wait to get out there."
Jevremovic said loyalty was a big reason Loras.
"They were the first school to look at me, and that was a big deal," Jevremovic said. "No one had ever reached out to me or came to one of my games. That was basically the deciding factor. All these other schools started looking at me late in my junior year and early senior years. I just looked at who had been there since the beginning, and that's how I made my decision."
Jevremovic said he's looking forward to the challenge of playing at the next level.
"I'm excited because everyone is going to be on the same page I am," Jevremovic said. "We are all working towards the same goal: We all want to win, we all want those trophies, so it's going to be a lot of fun."
While Jevremovic ended up scoring 10 goals in seven games after being moved out of his goalie role for a time in his senior year, he said Loras brought him in to play keeper, which is just fine.
"I just love the game in general," Jevremovic said. "I don't think Loras is going to put me out on the field, and that's just fine with me. I love diving. I love flying through the air and stopping a shot everyone thought would go in."
Now, he gets to do that on the collegiate level. Just like he and Brown had always dreamed of.