It was a gathering as impressive in its sheer size as what it represented. marked the start of the week-long NCAA early signing period Wednesday morning with a ceremony featuring 27 college-bound seniors in South Huntington.
Parents, coaches and teammates gathered in the school library as each took turns celebrating the latest chapter in their life. For most teenagers, choosing a college is the biggest decision they’ve ever made.
And while not everyone on hand was actually signing a scholarship – Ivy League schools don’t offer Letters of Intent – they were all announcing a new and exciting direction in their young careers.
“What a great day today is,” Athletic Director said. “It’s a day of celebration. It’s a day of recognizing achievement.”
Call them high achievers. The event was dominated by two nationally-ranked Catholic league championship boys and girls lacrosse programs. Both sports won on a national level last spring, and part of that success was attributed to this rising senior class.
Thirteen senior players – a starting lineup has 12 – will go on to play at the college level, led by midfielder Anne Heagerty (Georgetown) and attack Darcy Messina (Florida).
“Not a lot of girls can say they are on a team with 12 other girls going to Division I schools,” said Messina, a four-year starter who committed to the Gators more than a year ago. “It’s a great experience.”
The program had nine players commit, including: Goalie Kieran Burke (North Carolina), attack Sean McDonagh (Harvard) and longstick midfielder Tim Stackpole (Army Prep).
“I looked at lacrosse as an opportunity to get into one of the best schools in the country,” McDonagh said of his Ivy League path. “It’s about [life] after lacrosse. It doesn’t get better than the Ivys.”
All-Long Island basketball star Symone Kelly committed to Siena over the summer, but made it official by signing Wednesday. Kelly, a power forward, was coveted by D-I coaches who liked her inside game and ability to shoot the three.
“Symone really puts a lot of effort into it,” said. “I’m glad to see it’s all turned out for her now that’s she’s signed this letter of intent.”
The hard work and achievement was impossible to miss. It was written on the college paperwork in the form of signatures and etched on the beaming faces of parents.
St. Anthony's 2012 College CommitmentsAthlete Sport College
Kieran Burkeboys lacrosse North Carolina
Brendan Conroyboys lacrosse Army Prep
George Deignanboys lacrosse Binghamton
Samantha Durantegirls lacrosse Salisbury
Brittnee Frizolgirls lacrosse Catholic University
Jill Fumaigirls lacrosse American
Anne Heagertygirls lacrosse Georgetown
Victoria Hollandgirls lacrosse Brown
Brendan Hurleyboys lacrosse Binghamton
Symone Kellygirls basketball Siena
Chandler Lulleygirls swimming Fordham
Shannon Lulleygirls swimming Fordham
Anne Lynchgirls lacrosse New Hampshire
Jonathan Lynottboys lacrosse Stony Brook
Sean McDonaghboys lacrosse Harvard
Darcy Messinagirls lacrosse Florida
Maggie Murphygirls lacrosse Skidmore
Alexis Nicoliagirls lacrosse Harvard
Devon O’Connorgirls lacrosse Amherst
Stephanie Palosciogirls lacrosse Princeton
Richard Pattriziobaseball Franklin Pierce
Chrissy Schreibergirls lacrosse Rutgers
Tim Stackpoleboys lacrosse Army Prep
Keith Vitaboys lacrosse Scranton
Sal Vitaleboys lacrosse Marquette
Christian Yeagerboys swimming Harvard
Gabrielle Zuttergirls lacrosse Mercy College