By Dan Shriner
Lake Orion’s student athletes have become known as prized catches at colleges and universities throughout the country and last week, there were 15 more Dragons who signed national letters of intent to play at the collegiate levels.
The group was recognized at a special signing ceremony attended by more than 100 family members and friends, including their Lake Orion High School coaches. It was the largest-ever signing at Lake Orion for student athletes.
The athletes, their sports and new schools are: Dakota Sole, lacrosse, Cleary College; Ian Simek, baseball, Northwood University; Sheldon Drake, track, Oakland University; Justin Cathers, football, Adrian College; Daniel DiPinio, lacrosse, Adrian College; John Butler, baseball, Albion College; Mairead Brown, lacrosse, Carthage College; Andrew Lorant, track, University of Michigan; Carly McGee, women’s hockey, Stevenson University; Lauren Thorne, basketball, Hope College; Lauren Danielson, golf, Dennison University; Evelyn Wischmeyer, basketball, Albion College; Wies Hurkmans, volleyball, St. Francis College; Koreen Varney, volleyball, Florida Atlantic University; and Tyrna Gladstone, bowling, Siena Heights University.
Lake Orion Athletic Director Bill Reiss said the school, coaches and parents are proud of the student athletes who have received college scholarships and share in helping them succeed. There were 14 student athletes who signed letters of intent earlier this year.
The varsity coaches for the students spoke to the group about the dedication and hard work their athletes put in throughout their high school years. The total of 29 students receiving athletic collegiate scholarships this year is remarkable, Reiss said.
“We know that less than three percent of kids who play high school athletics go on to college with scholarships. It’s a very select group and we are averaging more than that.
“It boils down to the hard work and ethics that comes from this community. We have been successful at sending kids on to college. It shows the kind of work ethic they have, the good coaching and the support of their parents.”
Reiss noted that most of the student athletes have grade point averages above 3.0.
“The colleges know that we have kids who can succeed and stick in their programs. We are getting a national reputation about the quality of our student athletes. It is very nice to hear things like that.”
“We are so fortunate here. This is my 43rd year here and one of the things that has kept me here is the sense of community we have. We always have great support from the parents and the coaching staff here is so dedicated to coaching these kids. The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is so true here. The entire community shares in these successes.”
By Dan Shriner