As many of you know, several college commits will be signing their National Letters of Intent over the next couple of days. Panas volleyball stars Brigitte Burcescu (Northeastern) and Shaina Campbell (Iona) inked their letters on Wednesday. Below is my colleague Brian Heyman’s story on some of the big-name recruits in the section — for all sports — and where they will be headed, with some side notes from myself. Again, if you know of any players committing to a college (at any point the rest of the school year), please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take it away, Brian:
She had known this day was coming since the spring when she made her choice, but the act of actually autographing a National Letter of Intent with the words “Brigitte Burcescu” during a signing ceremony Wednesday at Panas was still a big deal.
The 17-year-old volleyball star will be taking her talents to Boston. Burcescu will be playing for Division I Northeastern on a full scholarship, now signed and sealed in ink.
“It’s definitely a big step,” Burcescu said. “This is just kind of setting it in stone. So I’m really excited to finally make it official.”
Her teammate Shaina Campbell (both pictured right) did the same thing, signing with Iona. Indeed, several area athletes made their commitments official on the first day of the early signing period for sports other than football, soccer, field hockey, cross country, track and field and men’s water polo. Others plan to sign during this span that runs through next Wednesday.
Jonah Shainberg wasn’t waiting.
“For me, Notre Dame just seemed like the ideal place,” said the Rye senior, the top-ranked 17-and-under sabre competitor in the country after last season and now the No. 5 junior. “The (fencing) team that’s there right now is just an amazing group of people. The coaches are amazing. I fell in love with the campus. I fell in love with the academic program there. Just everything about Notre Dame appealed to me.”
“I think it’s an amazing choice for him,” said his mom, Robin. “He is exactly the kind of kid who is a Notre Dame student-athlete, because athletics are important to him and academics are important to him.”
Former Brewster hockey standout Joe Wegwerth signed up for Notre Dame, too. Eric Paschall of Dobbs Ferry and St. Thomas More signed on to play basketball for Fordham. Arielle Shuren of Suffern signed to play tennis for Delaware. Irvington’s Megan Gallagher signed to swim for Colgate. Nicole Morales, the golfer from South Salem, signed with Alabama. Rye golfer Alexis Hios signed with Towson. Vanderbilt hopes to have Rye Country Day’s Theo Humphrey signed for golf this weekend.
Tappan Zee’s Kristen McLaughlin signed with Fairfield for basketball on Wednesday. Pearl River’s Kevin Degnan will probably sign with Fairfield for basketball Thursday or Friday. Woodlands’ Imani Tilford will sign on with Georgia Tech for basketball Friday. Hackley lacrosse player Stefanie Frolo plans to sign Tuesday with Binghamton.
In baseball, Fox Lane has three players signing in this period — Alec Brown (North Carolina A&T), Kenny Hayden (Albany) and Henry Jacobs (Saint Peter’s). Eastchester has two — Nick Campana (Hartford) and Mike Milo (Albany). Iona Prep (Ryan Doty, Villanova); John Jay (Joe Drpich, Siena); Kennedy (Jason Agresti, Binghamton); Lakeland (Anthony Fava, St. John’s); Mahopac (Kevin Kernan, Stony Brook); Pelham (David Wright, Fordham); Suffern (John Saviano, NJIT); and TZ (Chris Monaco, Virginia) also have signees.
Like the others, Burcescu mulled her options, and the 6-foot-1 outside hitter chose Northeastern over Fordham, Lehigh and Georgia Tech.
“I was looking at the schools I was getting the most money from and then also looking at what I wanted in a college,” Burcescu said. “I really like the city, because it’s like right in the heart of Boston. Also, I wanted a great athletic and academic school. So with Northeastern, I was able to get them both.”
Photo credit: The Journal News