As a Wapakoneta High School senior rounds out his last year of high school, he looks forward to college although he will miss one thing the most — home.
Eighteen-year-old Cedric Gegel will be going from a Redskin to a Crusader in the fall as he plans to attend Capital University, in Columbus, to study electronic media and film, with an emphasis in journalism and pre-law.
But this was not where he initially visioned himself going.
“I was looking at Ohio State University,” Gegel said. “I’ve been a Buckeye my whole life. I love OSU football.”
But after Capital University sent him a letter informing him of the program he plans to study, he emailed back-and-forth with the university and had a change of heart.
“At Capital, they place 75 percent of students in jobs in this field,” Gegel said of electronic media and film.
Another appealing feature is it is a Christian college, and Gegel said his faith is very close to his heart.
“I’m a leader in FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes),” Gegel said, “and a leader in a 1:16 prayer group, so I realized I definitely wanted to go to a Christian campus.”
Gegel is looking forward to joining Christian student groups on campus, along with possibly starting a 1:16 prayer group — as the university currently does not have this group.
The music program also interested Gegel, as he thought about pursuing a degree in music, but instead plans to join the chapel choir and becoming a part of an a cappella group, which will be a newly formed group on campus in the fall.
Gegel recently visited the college more than a week ago, as he is competing for a full ride, so after his interview, he had the opportunity to sing with the chapel choir.
At Wapakoneta High School, Gegel has a busy schedule, as he is involved in show choir, where he is the dance captain and soloist for the males, and is a member of the pep, marching and symphonic bands, where he plays baritone.
“Music is my life,” Gegel said of one of his passions.
His other two passions are God and his family.
Gegel has auditioned for American Idol twice, the first time in St. Louis when he was 16 and then in Charlotte last summer for this season’s show.
“On the day of auditions, I got up at 2:30 a.m., got there around 4 a.m., and they let us in at 8 a.m. and I met Ryan Seacrest and Scotty McCreery,” Gegel said. “It was a long process, but I met people I still talk to today. It’s cool to get to meet people and some of them got to go on to other rounds.”
While he did not make it through to the next rounds, where he would audition in front of more producers, he said he plans to do something like this again.
“You have to go through so many rounds to see the celebrity judges,” Gegel said. “I will do it again. Either try out or do something musical.”
In the meantime, Gegel will be performing in the spring musical, which is under new direction this year.
“I could not have asked for a better director this year,” Gegel said of choral teacher Tim Smith. “Between him and Ms. (Lisa) Horman, those two have been a huge impact on my high school career.”
Gegel notes Horman is a phenomenal teacher and was his English teacher last year.
When asked what his plans were after college, Gegel said he could see himself staying in Columbus.
“I love Ohio, and I don’t want to leave Ohio,” Gegel said. “If there was a TV show here I would come back to Wapakoneta. Instead of fleeing the area, why not stay and help it grow?”
Moving back to Wapakoneta may not be an option, because he wants to become a news or sports broadcaster for a television show, a talk show host or a radio announcer.
“My ultimate goal would be to start a Christian talk show, where I could show my views and faith,” Gegel said. “I am a born leader and I want to make an impact. I know I can make an impact.”
He stated his main goal is to show his faith, as he has grown up attending a Lutheran church and is also a member of the St. Joe Youth Group.
Gegel, who has a twin sister, Salon, said there are times when he wishes he could have his own birthday and graduation party, but he said they are really close.
“We are always there for each other,” Gegel said. “She’s going to Bowling Green (State University) for dance, because she wants to open her own dance studio. It’s going to be hard from spending 18 years together to being apart. It’s going to be tough, but it’s God’s plan. She’s going to be great at whatever she does.”
Gegel also has a younger brother, Austin, and an older sister, Tori.
When going away to college, the son of Tammy and Michael Gegel said he will especially miss his family and friends.
“My show choir is like my family,” Gegel said. “I would take a bullet for any one of them.”
Gegel said it will be weird going from small town Wapakoneta to Bexley, which is a suburb of Columbus.
“God has a plan for you,” Gegel said. “Two years ago I was not having the same life plan as I do now, but it’s all in God’s plan.”