After being star athletes on the high school level, seniors Summer Horowitz, Spencer Kulman, Madeline Zimmerman, Stephen Shine, Olivia Lacy-Thompson and Jared Jones are the first to commit to colleges for athletics. These six get to continue their high school athletic careers and pursue their sports at a higher level. Stephen Shine says, “I am going to school for academics; athletics are firmly second in my mind. I am fortunate enough to pursue my passion for learning and my passion for running.”
Long hours working out, traveling for recruiters and making decisions on where to commit has left these student athletes with little time to relax but now that they are done with the college application process, they can reflect. Summer Horowitz said, “I didn’t have to just impress a school on a piece of paper or a resume. I had to impress their coach with my softball ability and my grades in order to grab a school’s attention.” Olivia Lacy-Thomspon explained, “I corresponded with coaches by emails getting many denials as well as interest from coaches. I went on three official visits and stayed over with team members, watch their practices, and got a better feel for each school. This ultimately led me to George Mason and my verbal commitment to the school.” Another thing these student athletes can relax about is coming into school knowing some people. Jared Jones said, “It will be nice to have a group of friends on the basketball team before school even starts.” In participating in college athletics, these seniors are going to have to work twice as hard on and off the field. Madeline Zimmerman explains, “I practice for 1-1.5 hours a day running in high school, but in college, the practices are 3-4 hours with weight lifting, jumping drills and running.” Even through the hardships and rejections, these student athletes have succeeded in taking big steps in their careers. Spencer Kulman said, “Despite worrying about being a northern kid in a southern school, I am getting a chance to live out my dream and play high division one baseball.” The pay-off in the experience is worth it because it will teach these student athletes to manage their time and follow their dreams. Madeline Zimmerman states, “Now that I know what school I’m going to, I am more motivated than ever to do well in track to prove to the coach that he made the right decision in recruiting me.” Although going from the star of the team to the new freshman, these athletes will be surrounded by passionate peers who will challenge and inspire them to work hard towards their goals.
Updated: Louis Carafiello will be playing baseball at Hoftstra University.