On May 2, Briarcliff High School hosted its 3rd annual NCAA Press Conference. The Briarcliff Bulletin was, of course, in attendance. This year, 14 members of the senior class have been recruited and are planning on playing sports at the college level.
They include Louis Carrafiello (Hofstra – Baseball), Brianna Celaj (Pace – Basketball), Justin Cho (Middlebury College – Swimming), Russell Cocozza (Curry College – Lacrosse), Jacob Cooper (Cornell – Tennis), Brian Daniels (Rhode Island College – Basketball), Summer Horowitz (Tufts – Softball), Ryan Huegel (Vassar – Basketball), Jared Jones (Roanoke College – Basketball), Spencer Kulman (Wofford College – Baseball), Olivia Lacy-Thompson (George Mason University – Tennis), Matthew Pasternak (University of Rochester – Football), Stephen Shine (Duke University – Cross Country/Track) and Madeline Zimmerman (Harvard College – Track & Field).
All of the athletes had exceptional high school careers and are hoping to bring their talents to a new level in college. Justin Cho expressed that moving on was bittersweet. He notes that he will miss his teammates from high school but is excited for the new opportunities NCAA swimming has to offer. Some of Cho’s proudest accomplishments include placing as a Top 5 Sectional Finalist junior year and qualifying for the New York State championship meets. Jacob Cooper is planning to prepare himself for the upcoming NCAA season by training rigorously throughout the summer. Cooper also mentions that finding a balance between school work and tennis will be critical while at Cornell. Summer Horowitz also plans to train this summer with her travel team, The Junction Girls, in order to prepare for softball at Tufts. Horowitz fell in love with Tufts and is looking forward to attending come fall. Olivia Lacy-Thompson first realized she could play tennis in college during junior year. Some of Olivia’s accomplishments include being captain of the varsity tennis team, winning conferences and making it to the semifinals of sectionals.
Briarcliff guidance counselor Mr. Nathan Heltzel mentioned throughout the conference that these 14 student athletes are the “best and brightest Briarcliff has to offer.” The overwhelming number of athletic recruits is a telltale sign of the strength of Briarcliff’s athletic department. As Athletic Director Chris Drosopoulos puts it, “the students give just a little bit more.”
We congratulate the future NCAA athletes from the Class of 2013 and wish them luck as they compete in their athletics at the next level.