From A Dream to Reality: Four SHS Seniors Commit to Athletics in College

Story by Colette Dreher, Associate Writer

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High school students are continually put under pressure to figure out exactly what they want to do in life.  They need to figure out where they want to go to college and what activities they want to pursue after they complete their four years at Stonington High School. The college process usually takes a lot of time, effort, and stress that sometimes lingers until the students know whether or not they have been accepted into their desired schools. For Kevin Ferrer, Halle Anderson, Nick Benjamin, and Kate Hall, that large amount of stress has been lifted off of their shoulders due to the fact that they have officially committed to different universities to pursue not only a higher education, but athletics as well.

Kevin Ferrer has been playing baseball all of his life and has always wanted to play at the collegiate level. Recently, Ferrer officially committed to the University of Connecticut to play on their division one baseball team. Ferrer is confident in his level of play, and when he was asked if he was nervous to play baseball in college, his response was “a little, but not really.” Ferrer thinks the bigger challenge will be adapting to the college lifestyle. He recently toured the UConn campus to get a sense of the university. Ferrer says what he likes the most are “the indoor sports facilities, like their weight room and indoor turf field, because they were really nice.” Ferrer’s initial reaction when he committed was excitement and shock. He added,“Then I just started thinking that now I have to really work hard.”. Since Ferrer already has his future planned out, he wants the year to fly by so that he can begin the new chapter of his life at UConn.

Halle Anderson is another senior who committed early to the University of Massachusetts Lowell to participate in their division one women’s soccer program. Anderson has visited the campus multiple times and is extremely fond of the area around the university. She said, “it’s pretty historical so there are really pretty buildings that Lowell is beginning to buy and renovate, and just a bunch of new awesome facilities in general because the school is growing in student interest and success.”  Anderson knows that she needs to work hard to earn her spot on the starting roster because nothing is guaranteed. When asked if she was nervous to play soccer, she said, “yes, kind of, because the competition for a starting spot is really high. My coach has been bringing in a lot of international players that play on their national teams so the level is really high, but I have confidence in my coaches’ opinion and value of me as an incoming addition.” Already having a plan for the future has made Anderson feel as if she is on cloud nine. Halle said that committing made her “so happy to be done with that stressful process. It was just constant stress since the end of freshman year and it all just released once I committed which felt better than anything I’ve ever felt honestly. I’m just chilling because I’m like done with my years of stress and it’s kind of fun watching all my peers go through the same things I did for the first three years of high school. Stressed senior is my aesthetic.”

Like Anderson, Nick Benjamin has also decided to commit to playing division one soccer, except he will be playing for the University of Hartford. Benjamin has toured the campus and commented that he liked the layout of the campus and the food options.  He stated, “Moe’s is my favorite food they have there. Also, the campus is easy to walk around and there are a lot of fans that attend the sporting events.” Benjamin is excited for those fans to attend the events where he is one of the players on the field. When asked if Benjamin was nervous to play soccer in college, his response was, “I am a little nervous but I think I will be okay because I have played in big games before. The biggest challenge will be playing against some of the best players in the country and guys that are three or four years older than me.”  At the moment, Benjamin is only verbally committed but is eager for the signing of the paper on National Signing Day in February. Benjamin’s feeling after he committed was pure happiness. “I felt that all my hard work and sacrifices have paid off,” he added. Senioritis is kicking in big time for Benjamin since he has his exciting future planned out. “I feel that I’m ready for college, and even though I enjoyed high school, I am ready to move on,” he admitted.

Last but certainly not least, Kate Hall has committed to Southern New Hampshire University to be a member of their division two track team. She also has hopes to potentially join their basketball team, becoming a two-sport athlete for the university. Hall recently visited and stayed the weekend at the campus and said, “I stayed overnight from Friday to Sunday. My favorite parts were the brand new track facilities, weight rooms, turf offices, and locker rooms. I also liked the brand new dorms and apartments.”  Hall is confident in her incredible running abilities and is not nervous at all to participate in athletics in college. She is much more excited than she is nervous. She believes her biggest challenge will be outside of sports. “The biggest challenge for me will probably be living with another person,” she admitted. Now that she has committed, she admits a weight has been lifted off of her shoulders. “It’s so relieving. And it makes it easy to answer questions because everyone asks which makes everything so much less stressful.” These four athletes are expected to have bright futures in their athletics and educations as they start the next chapter in their lives.

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From A Dream to Reality: Four SHS Seniors Commit to Athletics in College