Work of student athletes pays off on national signing day


Senior Jane Bowen committed to Fordham University. Photo courtesy of Jane Bowen

Yenyia Terry

Jane Bowen signed off on a letter to continue her academic and athletic career in college. She has managed to meet the NCCA guidelines for education while still putting effort into their sport. About her athletic career, Bowen said, “I manage my academics and sport by being disciplined. I utilize my time wisely and prioritize tasks. … Most nights I either have practice or am training on my own, so staying focused on the task at hand is key to not becoming overwhelmed.”

Bowen is one of several senior athletes that are taking their sports career to the college level.

Athletes managing their education while participating in a sport can come natural to some but for others it requires more work. Senior swimmer Hope Boldizar said, “I have been an athlete for so long that balancing the two is like second nature.”

Being a D1, D2, D3 athlete is not easy; some of the seniors athletes explain how they had to make sacrifices to get where they are today. Kyle Musser, a senior and baseball player, has made sacrifices in pursuit of his sport. “I traveled the East Coast to play baseball every summer. I missed out on everything you could imagine. Celebrations, parties, spending time with family and friends,” said Musser. “I was willing to give up anything to become the best athlete I could possibly be.”

The coronavirus has affected some athletes in different ways than others. Some senior athletes feel that the virus has not changed their plans unlike those that feel that they benefit from it. “If COVID did not happen I would not have talked to as many college coaches as I did…with more time on my hands I was really able to explore more options and connect with more coaches,” said Nicolas Billoni. 

Musser agrees. “It was scary trying to get recruited through the pandemic,” said Musser. “Because of NCAA rules and Division 1 rule changes, there were a ton of unknowns.”

Motivation is a big key when it comes to athletes participating in their sport. Sports can be very difficult especially during the covid outbreak but motivation from parents, team mates, and  coaches can help an athlete in their sport. 

Shawn Larroza, a soccer recruit, said his parents were instrumental in his success as an athlete. “[My parents] have been doing this since I was four years old. Just signing me up for teams and then teaching me how to drive when I got my car so air could drive myself to games and practices,” Larroza said. 

Larroza and many other athletes appreciated their supporters and the support they gave them.

Senior Al’liyah McCloud also stressed the important role her family played in nurturing her as an athlete. “My parents and my older siblings have taken me to practices and meets and I always hear them cheering in the stands. My friends are always there to congratulate me and tell me that I got this and to keep it up,” said McCloud. 

College can be an exciting topic when it comes to athletes because athletes state to have new opportunities, meet new people and new teammates. Senior athlete Alyzah Martinez is eager to begin the college experience. “I am excited to get to know the other girls on the team as well as studying my major criminal justice because of my passion for it,” said Martinez.

Bowen agrees. “I cannot wait to meet new people, explore New York City, become involved in leadership activities, pursue science so that I can hopefully become a doctor in the future,” said Bowen. “While still playing the sport I love.”