By Megan Kelley
Five student-athletes from Lake Orion High School, spanning three sports, signed letters of intent to five different colleges last Wednesday in the high school’s first signing day of the 2021-22 school year.
The students were joined by their families, as coaches took turns introducing their athlete and saying a few words about each.
Athletic Director Chris Bell also took a moment to say a few words and thanked parents for all that they have done to support their child and get them to where they are today.
“It’s always one of our favorite days because it’s a chance for us to celebrate with our student-athletes, with our families. It’s a pretty remarkable achievement,” Bell said. “Our student-athletes seated today are among the elite. I say elite because there are so many kids that play high school athletics and there are so few that go on and have that opportunity to play at the collegiate level. It’s really a great thing. It’s really a tribute to their talents, their hard work, their coaching and also the dedication and support from their families.”
Bell also reminded them of what to expect moving up to the college level.
“It is an achievement. It’s a great opportunity. It’s something that could be life-enhancing, life-changing for you. It’s going to open a lot of doors. It’s going to challenge you beyond what you’ve already been challenged,” said Bell. “I was talking to some of the kids yesterday, they’re great athletes here at Lake Orion High School. Well, they’re going to go onto a college program, and I don’t care if it’s NAIA, division three, division two, division one or a junior college – it doesn’t matter. They’re all great athletes. They were all all-league, all-state — that’s what you’re going to go compete with. And when they go, they’re also going to be two, three, maybe four years older than you. So, now we’re going in and now we’re the small fish in the big pond instead of the other way around.”
Bell gave the athletes some advice that included staying at it, keeping their priorities in order, working hard and most importantly going to class so they can earn their degree.
Varsity baseball head coach Andy Schramek kicked things off with Tony Grazioli, who is a catcher for the LOHS varsity baseball team. Grazioli signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Evan Waters, a pitcher for the varsity baseball team, signed to play on Central Michigan University’s baseball team.
Ron Hebert, head coach of the boys varsity lacrosse team, introduced Cross Papadelis. The midfielder signed to play lacrosse at Concordia University.
Next, Bridget Finneran, a member of the varsity girls soccer team, was introduced by assistant coach Amanda Hutchinson. Finneran signed her letter of intent to play soccer at Lawrence Tech University.
Lastly, the girls soccer head coach Chris Corteg introduced Kacy Lauer, who committed to playing soccer at Grand Valley State University.
Both Lauer and Finneran are planning on going into nursing.