By Susan Carroll
Lake Orion High School had 28 student-athletes commit to their college of choice this year.The final ten future collegiate athletes signed their national letters of intent to continue their education and athletic careers on April 11.
All 28 student-athletes have a strong drive to succeed on and off the field. They have an average 3.4 grade point average.
The LOHS students who signed this spring to play college sports are:
Ben Gardner for baseball to Cornerstone University.
Ben Gardner plans to attend Cornerstone University as a baseball player and a pre-physical therapy student.
“Ben is one of the all-time great teammates that we have ever had. His school next year is going to get a guy that hits the ball a long way,” said coach Andy Schramek.
Reid Schoenberg for baseball to Mott Community College.
Reid overcame back surgery last year and “worked real hard to get back to the position where he is right now. He has a great baseball IQ for the game,”said Schramek.
Andrew Nepjuk for baseball to Lawrence Technical University.
Andrew will be studying in the engineering program at Lawrence Tech as well as playing on the baseball field.
“He is our catcher, he has natural leadership and character,” said Schramek. “Between what he has done between spring and summer, we have seen quite a bit.”
Chris French for lacrosse to Adrian College.
“Chris is one of the most amazing players that I have ever had the opportunity to coach. He has an incredible IQ for the game. He is going to Adrian and I think he will be an outstanding college player there,” said coach Ron Hebert.
Mathias Biland for lacrosse to Mercyhurst University.
“I think by the end of the season, everyone is going to be talking about Mathias as one of the best defensemen in the state,” said Hebert.
Peyton Gasche for lacrosse to Adrian College.
“He is an incredible natural athlete. When he gets going and gets his confidence going he gets big. He moves fast and has unlimited potential in his athleticism,” said Hebert.
Liam Brown for lacrosse to Milwaukee School of Engineering.
“He is terrific in his adaptability and toughness, we only see great things from him. He is going to be a great addition to the Milwaukee School of Engineering,” said Hebert.
Colleen Campbell will attend Dayton University as a track and field athlete in the fall.
“She had a 12’4″ (pole vault) jump, placing her in the top 30 in the nation which qualified her for nationals in New York City. We went to New York and she finished 21st in the nation out of 30 athletes,” said track and field coach Adam Russell.
Megan Kessler for cheerleading to Adrian College.
Megan is a travel team cheerleader.
“It is a unique situation,” said Athletic Director Bell, “she is a cheerleader not for the school but for a travel cheer team. She competes on a level five co-ed team, has won three state championships, received two summit bids and was second in the nation last year.”
John Marshall for football to Trine University.
The sport of football comes easy for John and he has been known to throw the ball nearly 300 yards in a game.
“The greatest thing about John is there is so much untapped potential and the future is huge in front of him because he is a great athlete, he can throw a ball, he knows the game,” said Bell.
Campbell said she started to pole vault in her freshman year and plans to study the business field in college.
“I did gymnastics for six or seven years before this and it really prepared me for pole vaulting. It was hard for me to decide where to go for college and it took me a long time. I started with seven colleges and narrowed it down. When I went to Dayton, I just fell I love with the college and knew that was where I wanted to go. Money was a limiting factor, so when they offered me a scholarship it made the decision even easier,” she said.
“I’m excited and happy with my college decision. I pretty much had it narrowed down to three schools and it was a hard decision. I wasn’t sure if I was ready or not go and I was not sure if in four years I would still want to play baseball. I normally don’t think too far past the present, and then I had to decide what I was going to do for the next four years,” said Gardner.
“We like to make it (signing the letters) a big deal for the kids because, literally, it is. It’s a combination of years of practices, of games, of skill development. The hard work of the young men and ladies we have up here, the dedication in the classroom, all this generates not only an accomplishment but an opportunity,” Bell said.