BY JAKE FUHRMAN
PRINT SPORTS EDITOR
For most high school seniors Feb. 3 might just seem like an average, stressful Wednesday with a couple of quizzes and maybe some classwork assignments. For a certain bunch of Cypress Bay seniors, this day alters the next four years of their lives.
On National Signing Day, 25 student-athletes (a new Cypress Bay record) signed their official letters of intent to announce their commitment to the schools that they will be competing for at the collegiate level. The athletes ranging from 10 different sports (football, boys tennis, girls tennis, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, swimming, girls volleyball, softball, baseball and girls soccer) signed to a variety of programs ranging from Division 1 to Division 3.
“It’s the most signings we’ve ever had so that’s really cool and something we are very proud of,” Assistant principal Jeff Nelson said. “Any time you have a mechanism for the students to pursue a passion that they have and also pay for their education is a great thing.”
The athletes see the day as a reward for all of the determination and effort they have devoted to their respective sports over the years. Marquette University lacrosse commit Anthony Courcelle said he has always wanted to play lacrosse in college and was grateful to have received the opportunity to do so.
“There is no better feeling than seeing all of your hard work pay off,” Courcelle said. “It just shows that if you put your mind to something, and stick to it, nothing can stop you.”
Baker University football commit Gavin Green said the feeling of signing the commitment letter in front of his family, friends and coaches was unlike any other.
“I really appreciate everybody coming out to celebrate such an important day with me,” Green said. “Without all my teammates and coaches, I wouldn’t be anywhere, so it was special to me.”
Senior Tyler Clont signed with Wittenberg College to play football. Klont said the recruiting process can get to be long and stressful; however, receiving the letter makes the waiting process worth while.
“For a while, I wasn’t receiving any offers, but I was lucky to get in contact with a certain coach who saw something special in me,” Clont said. “It is honestly such a blessing to just be able to play the sport I love at the next level.”
Courcelle said because he received multiple offers, it was important to thoroughly evaluate each college and make a smart decision.
“I was previously committed to Bellarmine University, but after reevaluating my options carefully and visiting the campuses, I decided that Marquette would be a better fit for me,” Courcelle said.
Green said he felt the atmosphere and coaching staff at Baker University set it above other schools on his radar.
“I had a couple of other offers, but I was just getting a really good vibe from everything relating to Baker,” Green said.
Clont said he is not only proud of his fellow teammates on the football field, but he knows that every signee from the Bay will succeed at the next level.
“This class of athletes is amazing, and I know everybody will dominate on the field, on the court or in the pool,” Clont said.
Senior Kylie Loporto will continue her lacrosse career at the collegiate level at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Loporto said she has always wanted to play in college and immediately felt a sense of belonging when she visited the school.
“It felt amazing to represent my family and school,” Loporto said. “I loved the school when I visited, and being part of a family and playing a college sport has always been a dream of mine.”