The first marking period for Verona High School seniors is filled with college applications and the question, “where are you going to college?” Three members of the class of 2018 were able to answer that question before many of their peers because they have committed to continuing their sports at top-level college programs. Two of them, in fact, made their college sports decision while they were still in their early years at VHS.
On Signing Day in November, athletes Maggie Ashley, Cecilia “CC” Courter and Ian Metzger all committed to intercollegiate athletics. Ashley will be playing lacrosse at Bucknell University, a Division I lacrosse school, having verbally committed during her sophomore year. Courter, who verbally committed as a junior, will be playing lacrosse at Saint Francis University, also Div I. Metzger, who verbally committed senior year, will be playing baseball at Southern New Hampshire University, a Division II program.
Playing a sport at college is many kids’ dream, and playing at a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I school is the best anyone can do. Colleges are broken into three divisions–I, II and III–based roughly on the size and the budget of the school, and the number of teams fielded. There are around 315 Div I schools in the country, including large colleges like the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina. These schools tend to have better facilities, a larger budget, and can give out large athletic scholarships. Division II schools can be just as good as Div I, but they tend to have a smaller budget and can only give partial scholarships in the form of financial aid. There are around 300 Div II schools. Division III schools are the smaller schools of the country. These colleges can also be very competitive and high ranked, however they cannot give any form of sports scholarship like Div I and II schools can. Getting into a Div I or II university is very difficult and a huge accomplishment for whoever gets accepted.
The feeling of officially being apart of a college sports team must be amazing and can only be described by the people who have had that experience. “I am so excited about playing lacrosse at Bucknell University,” says Ashley. “I verbally committed my sophomore year, but now that I have signed my National Letter of Intent it finally feels real. I have one more season left with my high school team which is unbelievable. It flew by but at the same time I can’t wait to play college lacrosse in the Patriot League at Bucknell.”
Courter held just as much excitement when talking about her achievement. “I was extremely excited to get an offer from Saint Francis and even more excited to sign as that made me an official lacrosse commit,” she says. “Sports have been a huge part of my life and I am so grateful to be able to continue my athletic career at Saint Francis University.” Along with Ashley and Courter, Metzger was eager to talk about playing in college. “I’m excited to play another four years of baseball and improve myself as a player.”
As good as VHS athletes are, it has been rare honor for them to be chosen by Div I and II schools. Anthony Fasano, class of 2001, and Carlo Calabrese, class of 2009, both played football for Notre Dame, a Div I school. Lauren Ednie and Lizzie Scandiffio, both class of 2014, signed to play Div I lacrosse, at Wagner College and Central Connecticut State University, respectively. Among the 15 athletes from the class of 2016 who committed to play their sports at college, Sam Cummings was chosen for football at St. Francis University. In the class of 2015, Frank Ferrari committed to football at D-I Colgate University, while Ashley’s older sister Julia headed south to play for the Div I soccer program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Many former VHS athletes also compete at Div III colleges.