Kolten Bottom and Molly Pohlman sign their letters of intent along with their parents and Carrollton Athletic Director Mark Beatty watching on.

CARROLLTON - A pair of Carrollton seniors will continue to their academic and athletic careers at Illinois College.

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Star baseball pitcher Kolten Bottom and volleyball defensive specialist Molly Pohlman signed their letter of intent on Thursday night at Carrollton High School.

It’s like a dream come true. When I started talking to [Illinois College head coach Kristy Duncan] I didn’t know I’d be able to play and then when she called me and said that there was a spot for me on the team I broke down and cried a lot,” Pohlman said smiling. I honestly didn’t think it would happen. I’m grateful.”

Her parents, Greg and Lisa, are both I.C. alums, so naturally, Molly was able to know the ins and outs of the campus for some time.

“They’ve told me all the little secrets about the campus, but I’m excited to get to learn it myself,” Pohlman said. “I love the campus. It’s beautiful, not too big. That’s what I’m looking for.”

On the academic side, Pohlman wants to be a lawyer and will study Pre-Law.

“My aunt’s a lawyer, so I’ve been watching her for awhile and fell in love with it.”

She’s been playing volleyball since seventh grade and was a starter for two seasons. During her sophomore year, Pohlman sat out the entire season because of shoulder surgery.

“My favorite memory this year was when we beat Greenfield. That was the game where everything clicked. We were a great team that night.”

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Pohlman has fond memories of going to school and will miss being around her friends and attending all of the sporting events.

“Our school’s great. My connection with our team is amazing. I still talk to the girls every day and reminisce about the season,” Pohlman said. Carrollton’s just a great place to go to school.”

Kolten Bottom comprehended where he’d go to college for a couple of years with multiple schools talking to him, but ultimately he chose Illinois College.

“I’ve been talking with [Jay Eckhouse] for two years now, so it’s been a long process,” Kolten Bottom said on his recruiting trail. “At the end of April, I finally decided that it was the place for me and it’s going to be my home for the next four years.”

He got some attention after being awarded to the IHSA Class 1A All-State team his sophomore season. Since then he’s grown as a pitcher as well as a third baseman, but being a hurler is what he’ll focus on at the next level.

“I remember my first game in high school and facing these big kids, and it was kinda overwhelming. Over the years I’ve been pitching a lot against these kids, and I think I’ve matured and got a lot of stuff down since my freshman year.”

As far as campus settings go, Bottom has high praises for the athletic facilities and student life.

“Their facilities are top-notch. They have a really nice field, and the weight-room is state of the art. Their campus is nice, and most of it is new,” Bottom said. “I love it. I knew it was going to be my home right when I visited.”

Bottom has many high school baseball memories playing for the Hawks that he treasures. He’s played key roles in winning crucial games over the years, but the most memorable came all the way back in his freshman season.

“My freshman year we were big underdogs against Calhoun in the regional championship, and they brought about 200 people to come watch [potentially their first regional title], and we upset them [4-2]. We had a lot of freshmen that came through and got big hits. There were 300 people there, and it was a great atmosphere.”

“[Being at Carrollton has] been great. Just playing four years with all my best friends have been the best years of my life and I’ll never forget it.”

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