Athlete of the week: 10 questions to John Ervin, New Trier diver

John Ervin is a senior on the Trevs swim and dive team. He qualified for the national final in each of his first three seasons.

1. Do you have any pre-dating rituals?

This is going to sound very weird, but I always go to the vending machine before a date and indulge myself with sugar. Always a Coke and whatever snack I feel like that day. My freshman year, one of the seniors was like, ‘Do you want to go to the vending machine?’ and he had a Coke and we kept doing that. … Then in sophomore year, I started taking freshmen to do it. Then it became that I needed it as a superstitious thing.

2. What are your plans for next year?

I attend the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and study secondary education there. I spent a lot of time in the South growing up. My whole family is there. … Once on campus, I felt like home. The community there was really inviting. It has about 7,000 children, which seems like a good size, but not exactly small.

3. How long have you been diving?

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

4. Why do you like diving?

It’s part adrenaline and part striving for perfection, I would say, you can’t live without a lot of sports. It takes practice to make perfect at heart. You’re always looking for that perfect 10 you see once in a blue moon. It pushes me to continue. Plus, it’s euphoric to soar through the air like that. Time passes a little slower when I dive. I am grateful for that.

5. What is your favorite activity outside the pool?

I mean I’m a big outdoorsman, but I haven’t done that lately. Mountain biking and climbing have always been passions. Something about absorbing nature in an adrenaline-filled way. The same thing that drove me to dive.

6. If you could do any other sport, what would it be?

I mean ultimate frisbee. I grew up playing with my friends and New Trier has a club that I belong to. I just like frisbees. They’re just really cool. And (ultimate) is an ever-moving game. There is no break, which I appreciate.

7. What is your dream job?

Being 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 United States history. I always enjoyed American history when I was a kid. My grandfather is a history buff and raised me that way.

8. If you’re at Wagreens with a few dollars, what do you buy?

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

9. What don’t people know about you?

At this point in my life, I was go go go, so people think I like to constantly move and be exuberant, but I really like to relax and dissociate, hang out alone. I would say what people don’t know is that I like to go out in my room alone to like Taylor Swift. It’s my big secret, and I’m ready to tell it to the world.

10. How was your senior season?

It’s been a very good season, which is shocking. I feel like I realized a bit of what I needed with diving, it was a relaxed state of mind. I have friends who support me and a girlfriend who supports me. And the mindset that I’ve had all season is just that I’m doing a lot of flips and having a lot of fun and having a lot of stress and understanding that it’s okay to relax and not always focus on diving. Hope the conference goes well and I qualify for my fourth state meet.

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