Student-athletes commit to college programs

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Luke Geraghty '20, Joey Fitzgerald'20, Zack Kristy '20 and Alex Salvino '20 chat and wait to sign (Riordan/LION).

Maggie Kahn, Sports Co-Editor

Surrounded by proud family members and coaches, 16 LT students signed a binding National Letter of Intent (NLI) on Nov. 13 that commemorates their future participation in collegiate sports.

“If [they are] at the signing day, then they are extremely good athletes who have been successful both academically and as an athlete,” Athletic Director and organizer of the NLI event, John Grundke, said.

Many high school athletes have been dreaming of this day for years, Oakland University volleyball commit Patti Cesarini ‘20 said.

“It’s officially official,” Cesarini said. “Everything I have worked towards has paid off [and] it’s the start of a new chapter. I have become a part of a new family.

            Notre Dame University soccer commit Alex Salvino ‘20 also feels as though this event is quite momentus, he said.

“This day means so much to me because it is the culmination of all the hard work and support that has gotten me here,” Salvino said. “It is awesome to get to celebrate with my family, friends and school. I am really excited to take the next step in my career.”

Although college athletics pose a significant shift from high school sports, LT athletes feel well prepared to take on both the academic and athletic challenges they expect to face in the years to come, Stetson University volleyball commit Grace Asleson ‘20, Cesarini and Salvino said.

“I think the transition to college sports will be difficult because the game speed really picks up,” Salvino said. “In college, you are playing at a higher level and it requires you to grow as a player.”

Asleson has to face this transition earlier than other high school athletes because she plans on graduating a semester early, beginning both training with her new team and taking on the stress of college-level classes.

“I anticipate it will be very different,” Asleson said. “I think I will have a lot more freedom which can have its downsides, [and] I think classes will be harder and practices will be longer.”

Overall, the LT college commits feel hopeful about the athletic opportunities coming their way and feel grateful for the skills the LT community and staff has taught them, they said.

“LT has been incredibly helpful on my athletic and academic journey to college,” Salvino said. “[I want to give a] huge thanks to all the great teachers, librarians and administrators at LT.”

The National Letter of Intent Signing Day is an event that marks a rare feat overcome by our LT athletes, Grundke said.

“[NLI] is a tremendous accomplishment to be able to further [these students’] athletic careers beyond high school,” Grundke said. “Statistically, very few athletes are able to do that.”