The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

DI and DII Signing Day

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McDonald signing to play at IUP. Courtesy of @owl_athletics Instagram

 After years of rigorous work and playing sports to their fullest potential, one of the most rewarding moments for student athletes is receiving a verbal scholarship offer to play at a collegiate level. A verbal scholarship is followed by a verbal commitment, where a student verbally agrees to attend a school before he/she signs a National Letter of Intent (NLI). A verbal commitment is a non-bonding agreement and can be made at any time, but the signing of the NLI makes everything official. 

 For many Division I and Division II sports, National Signing Day has been a celebrated event for student athletes as it locks in their spot on their school’s roster. Not every school uses the NLI form, and it is not mandatory for students to sign, but a large percentage of students utilize it. There are multiple dates that National Signing Day is celebrated on as each sport is different. The first signing day for all DI and DII sports besides football and basketball was celebrated at LHS on Nov. 8, as five senior Owls solidified their commitment to play their sport on a collegiate level.  

Costello signing to play at GCU. Courtesy of @owl_athletics Instagram

 “Lacrosse has taught me how hard work, effort, and dedication helps you improve. I wanted to continue at the collegiate level because I didn’t want my days of playing to end right after high school; I want to play for as long as I can,” Elena McDonald expressed when asked why she wanted to continue playing her sport. She is committed to play DII lacrosse at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). She began her recruitment process her sophomore year of high school and thoroughly enjoyed it as she was given the opportunity to meet and play with many different players, coaches, and explore new environments. She feels as though the process improved her character and helped her grow as an athlete. When it came time to make her decision, she said,“I chose IUP because I loved that it offered me a perfect balance between academics and athletics. I immediately felt welcomed on campus when I met the team for the first time.” McDonald is anticipating her final LHS lacrosse season as she wants to give it her all for her last one, and she is filled with pride as she is soon beginning the next chapter of her lacrosse career at IUP. 

Casey signing to play at Adelphi. Courtesy of @owl_athletics Instagram

Since she was in fifth grade, Mackenzie Casey’s life has revolved around volleyball. Playing for LHS and a club team and attending practices, games, and tournaments on the weekends, Casey has always been immersed in the sport. She signed the NLI for her commitment to play DII volleyball at Adelphi University. After the conclusion of her final volleyball season at LHS, she is “super excited” to play for her new school. “Volleyball has impacted my life tremendously. It has taught me self-discipline, time management, teamwork, and perseverance. Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to play a sport in college. Volleyball is what I love to do, and I know it will continue to shape me into a better athlete and person in college. I chose Adelphi because of its successful nursing program, competitive volleyball program, beautiful campus, and it’s close to home so my family and friends can come watch my games,” she explained. Casey described her recruitment process as “exciting” as she was able to interact with coaches from all over the country and learn about different programs, but she also said that it could be a stressful process as she always would “put a lot of pressure on myself to play my best.” After dedicating a large portion of her life to the game, Casey is looking forward to showcasing her skills on a new court next year.

For Mary Costello, her recruitment process was “lengthy.” After sending many emails to desired colleges and playing to her best ability during showcases, she landed on Georgian Court University (GCU), where she is committed to play DII lacrosse. She explained that she chose GCU because of the amazing opportunities she was presented at an overnight visit and because of her experiences at the many clinics she attended. One of her friends from her club lacrosse team is also committed to GCU, and it makes the decision “ten times better” for Costello. She knew that she wanted to play college lacrosse since she was ten years old. She explained, “Lacrosse has been such a big part of my life. I absolutely love this sport and knew I wanted to play in college when I heard about all the opportunities that open up for athletes to play at the next level.” Signing the NCI was a monumental accomplishment for Costello; it increased her excitement and is preparing her to play at a new school. She is anticipating furthering her lacrosse and academic career at GCU.

Ferng signing to play at Iona. Courtesy of @owl_athletics Instagram

After falling in love with the atmosphere and coaching staff of Iona University, Katherine Ferng knew it was the school for her. Following a stressful recruitment process, years of playing for a club team, and four years on Lynbrook varsity volleyball, Ferng reached her goal of playing DI volleyball. “Being at tournaments and always having a thought that a coach could be watching at any time is very nerve wracking. Also having to look through films, send videos, and write emails is very stressful because you have to make sure everything is perfect. Even though it was a lot of stress, [the recruitment process] was all worth it in the end,” Ferng described. She is looking forward to playing at the highest level and challenging herself to be the best player she can be. Ferng shared that she will have an extremely demanding schedule next year juggling practice and classes, but she is up for the challenge. As for why she wanted to continue playing volleyball, Ferng expressed, “Volleyball has really impacted my life. I have made so many friends and connections with my teammates and coaches, and it has taught me the importance of working well with others and [having] leadership qualities. I wanted to continue to play at the collegiate level because I just can’t see myself not playing volleyball.” Ferng recently finished playing her final season at LHS and helped lead her team to the end as a senior captain. After retiring the green and gold, she will soon be sporting maroon and gold in a new environment at Iona.

Quinian signing to play at Farifield. Courtesy of @owl_athletics Instagram

“I feel like swimming has been a major part in shaping my entire life. I have met most of my best friends through swimming; all of our struggles and experiences are ones I wouldn’t trade for anything. Not only have I learned so much from all the years of hard work I’ve put in, but I’ve also made so many memories with the best people in my life,” expressed Aimee Quinlan when asked the impact her sport has had on her life. She committed to Fairfield University to swim at the DI level after a stressful recruitment process. She described the immense pressure of the process and how throughout her junior year she had to work tirelessly to improve her times and constantly had to email/call different coaches. After going on many official visits, she narrowed down her options and chose Fairfield because she “wanted to go to a school somewhere [she] would fit in both athletically and academically.” Quinlan added, “As soon as I visited Fairfield and met the coaches/team, I knew it was where I wanted to spend the next four years.” As one of the captains of the girls’ varsity swim team, Quinlan had an exceptional final season as she qualified for States. Beyond all the stresses and pressure, Quinlan was grateful for her opportunity to be a part of the recruitment process and said it was rewarding to finally make a decision. As for her feelings about the change of environment next year, she expressed, “I’m definitely looking forward to the big changes with both school and swimming next year. I’m really excited to experience new things and get to meet new people.”

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About the Contributor
Alexis Raynor, Print Editor-in-Chief
Hi! My name is Alexis Raynor, and I am a member of the Class of 2024 and a managing editor for Horizon. I love to dance and hang out with my friends. I am also a part of the school kickline team and love writing for Horizon!