Twenty-three Wildcat seniors who have committed to play sports at the college level were recognized in a ceremony on February 5 (see photos and video). The nearly two dozen student-athletes have agreed to play in 11 sports, three at Division 1 programs: Marielle McHale of Clifton Park, NY, will play hockey at Syracuse University; football players Michael Polk of Long Beach, Calif., heads to Princeton University and Xavier Thibault of Quebéc, Canada, to Columbia University.
Athletic Director Mark Conroy said an estimated 32 percent of Williston’s 2018 graduating athletes will go on to play in college, compared to a national average of around 6 percent.
“It reflects on the quality of the coaching and the experience here,” he said.
To date, 30 Williston seniors have either signed or been recruited and admitted to play in college next year, 11 of whom have signed National Letters of Intent for scholarships at the Division 1 or 2 levels. Conroy said he expects eight to 12 additional students will commit to play at the college level in the spring, likely five from the basketball program. “This is highly unusual compared to national averages.”
Conroy also pointed at the high quality of the schools they plan to attend. For example, “When you see one program (football) placing two in the Ivy League, two in the NESCAC, and one in the Patriot League, it speaks volumes for the quality of the Williston education and athletic experience,” he said. “These are arguably the most competitive academic/athletic leagues in the country.”
This success is the result of a combination of factors, Conroy explained: “an outstanding education, exceptional coaches, highly competitive prep school schedules, and a commitment to helping each student-athlete reach his or her potential.” He continued, “An athletic program’s ability to place student-athletes in college is only one measure of success but the percentage of kids going off to play in college is a tremendous reflection on the quality of the Williston student-athlete experience.”
The following students were honored at the ceremony:
- Jack Phelan, College of the Holy Cross, golf
- Jordan Strum, New England College, softball
- Tim Fay, Gettysburg College, baseball
- Henry Poehlein, Fordham University, men’s squash
- Maya Soley, Roger Williams University, women’s swimming
- Marielle McEnaney, Connecticut College, women’s soccer
- Caroline Channell, Haverford College, field hockey
- Mike Janocha, St. Joseph’s College of Maine, men’s lacrosse
- John Kilcommons, Rochester Institute of Technology, men’s lacrosse
- Max Livingston, College of Wooster, men’s lacrosse
- Fiona Bundy, Bowdoin College, women’s lacrosse
- Sophia Schaefer, Bowdoin College, women’s lacrosse
- Brooke Leveillee, Babson College, women’s lacrosse
- Madison Fulcher-Melendy, Williams College, women’s lacrosse
- Gabby Dicomitis, St. Michael’s College, women’s hockey
- Brianna Haviland, Elmira College, women’s hockey
- Dani Marquez, Bowdoin College, women’s hockey
- Marielle McHale, Syracuse University, women’s hockey
- Brandyn Jones, Tufts University, football
- Noah Clack, Bowdoin College, football
- Michael Polk, Princeton University, football
- Xavier Thibault, Columbia University, football
- Braeden Heald, Boston College or Lafayette College, football
Seven seniors signed letters of intent to play college sports at a ceremony in the fall. A third signing will take place in the spring.