Molly Hughes signs with Illinois State to play soccer


Molly Hughes and her parents as she signs with Illinois State to play D1 soccer

Have you ever attended a sporting event and while watching you just had the thought, "This person is different, this person just has something I can’t explain but they are the ONE"? Well, over the last few years, every time I watched the Hononegah girls soccer team, I had this impression of Molly Hughes. She is fast, smart, and always seems to know what to do on the pitch. I will be the first to admit I’m not a soccer expert. However, I don’t need to be to understand how great Molly is on the pitch. Illinois State noticed what I did and Molly Hughes signed up to play Division 1 soccer on Thursday evening, Dec. 14, 2023.

Molly Hughes signs NLI surrounded by her family.

Surrounded by her family and friends, she was quick to thank everyone and looks forward to her career as a Redbird. Molly Hughes was named to the IHSCAA All-State team, NIC 10 all-conference midfielder and U23 State Cup Champion, U23 Regional Champions, and U23 Fourth Place National Finalists as a captain for the Rockford Raptors.

Molly will be joining Illinois State during a time of turnover. Illinois State recently hired Raleigh DeRose as the new head coach of the program. This will be a great chance for Molly Hughes to get the Redbirds program moving in the right direction from the ground level.

Illinois State plays in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Redbirds come off of a 3-9-4 overall record and have signed an 8-person class. Along with Molly Hughes, Autumn Diduch from Freeport also signed with Illinois State for next year.

Thank you to Amessports for use of their main  image for the story. Find the full collection of Molly's signing HERE.

Thank you to student photographer Abby Clarke for the story embedded image. Check out Abby's profile HERE or on Instagram.

Follow Illinois State HERE.

Follow Molly Hughes HERE.

Follow Hononegah HERE.

Photo: Abby Clarke
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