Winnetka, Sports

Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with John Ervin, New Trier diver

John Ervin is a senior on the Trevs swim and dive team. He has qualified for the state finals each of his first three seasons.

1. Do you have any premeet rituals?

This is gonna sound very weird, but I always go to the vending machine before a meet and just indulge myself with sugar. Always a Coke and whatever snack I’m feeling that day. My freshman year one of the seniors was like, ‘Want to go to the vending machine?’ and he got a Coke and we just kept doing that. … Then sophomore year, I starting taking freshmen to do it. Then it became I needed it as a superstitious thing. 

2. What are your plans for next year?

I’m attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and studying secondary education there. I spent a lot of my time in the South growing up. My whole family is there. … When stepped on campus, it felt like home. The community there was really inviting. It has like 7,000 kids, which felt like good size, but not really small. 

3. How long have you been diving? 

I’ve been diving since I was 8 years old with my current high school coach (Bruce Kimball).

4. Why do you enjoy diving?

It is partly adrenaline based and partly a drive for perfection, I would say, that you can’t get out of a lot of sports. It takes practice makes perfect to heart. You’re always seeking that perfect 10 that you see once in a blue moon. It drives me to keep going. Plus, it’s euphoric to up in the air like that. Time moves a little slower when I’m diving. I am grateful for that. 

5. What is your favorite thing to do out of the pool?

I want to say that I’m a huge outdoorsman, but I haven’t been doing that lately. Mountain biking and rock climbing have been passions forever. Something about absorbing nature in an adrenaline way. Same thing that drove me to diving.

6. If you could play another sport, what would it be?

I want to say ultimate frisbee. I grew up playing that with my friends and New Trier has a club, which I am a part of. I just like frisbees. They are just really cool. And (ultimate) is a game that is always moving. There are no breaks, which I appreciate.

7. What is your dream job? 

To be an eighth grade history teacher. I had an eighth grade history teacher (Jonathan Reynolds at Wilmette Junior High) who was really fantastic. In Illinois in eighth grade, you learn U.S. history. I always appreciated U.S. history as a kid. My grandfather is a history buff and raised me that way.

8. If you are in Wagreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?

I’m going to have to go with a Cherry Coke and then I think I’m going to buy Gummy Sharks and I think Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Nothing healthy. 

9. What is something people do not know about you?

At this time in my life, I have been go go go, so people think I enjoy constantly moving and being rambunctious, but I really like relaxing and disassociating, hanging out by myself. I would say what people don’t know is I like to jam out in my room alone to like Taylor Swift. That’s my big secret, and I’m ready to shout it out to the world.

10. How has your senior season gone?

It’s been a very good season, which is shocking. I feel like I’ve realized a little bit what I needed with diving was a relaxed mindset. I have supportive friends and a supportive girlfriend. And the mindset I’ve had the entire season is just that I’m up there doing a lot of flips and having a lot of fun, having a healthy amount of stress and understanding it’s OK to destress and not always focus on diving. I’m hoping conference goes well and I qualify for my fourth state meet. 

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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