Aces Seniors…

Four senior athletes reflect on their time at LM and how it has shaped their futures as athletes and as people.

Many seniors used the life skills learned through their respective sports to navigate through a difficult and unprecedented recruitment process both on and off the field. | Graphic by Emmi Wu ’23/Staff

The beginning of my freshman year soccer season, I tore my ACL. This was extremely tough, but it helped pave the way for a change in my work ethic and realizing that I didn’t want high school to be my last four years of soccer, that I wanted to go on and play in college. The recruiting process was definitely different for me than for other people, and having the pandemic happen right in the middle of it made it even harder. In the end, I’m super grateful for everything that happened though because it brought me to where I am now and I know I’m going to the best place for myself! I also got to learn some really important life lessons about how to present myself to other people, especially adults, and how to speak to them. High school sports let me spend a lot of quality time with people I have grown up with and helped me meet a lot more new people and I’ll forever be grateful for that. I’m super excited for college soccer and my new team; I’ve already made some great friends from it and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to play at and represent such a great school while getting an amazing education.”

 — Nicole Balduccini ’21, Millsaps College

 

“I’ve enjoyed the teams I’ve been a part of at LM, both swimming and lacrosse. Most memorable has been the four years as a part of the LM swim team, from starting as a freshman and being scared of the fast upperclassmen, to a couple great runs all the way to states, to states being shut down in the middle of the meet in 2020. Most of all I will remember all the good times with both the girls’ and boys’ swim teams, and I wish that for the future members of the LM Swamily. The recruitment process for class of 2021 was unprecedented. Neither coaches nor players knew what was going on or how to approach any of it in the past year. My recruitment process was shut down in the spring of 2020 and completely reworked in September. I fortunately was able to make a decision without having any in-person meetings with coaches or players or campus tours. I think Rider is a great choice for me. Sports have helped me learn to be a part of a collaborative team effort and I have enjoyed building bonds with my teammates in competition and in the classroom. Being a part of Rider’s swim team will help with my transition to college life, both in and out of the classroom. Once an Ace, Always an Ace….. but GO BRONCS!”

— Allison Stewart ’21, Rider University

 

“Being on the LM swim and dive team has taught me so much about myself and allowed me to grow as an athlete. I have had beyond the best high school career, qualifying for districts and states all four years. Diving at LM has taught me independence, confidence and so much more. This has allowed me to carry on that independence to USA competitions and through the NCAA recruiting process. When COVID hit, the recruiting process became pretty hard; I went through months of anxiety but ended up being blessed with such an amazing offer from one of the best swim and dive programs in the country. For me, it is so important to give all the glory to God. If not for Him I would not be here, and I pray my amazing experiences in my high school career continue to college.”

— Amari Brown-Swint ’21, North Carolina State University

 

“My high school football career was great. I built a strong bond with my teammates that will last a lifetime. Football taught me a lot, such as time management, consistency and attention to detail. My senior year I had to pay a lot of attention to the small details like the stance of the opposing linemen to see which way they were going to block. It taught me how to manage my time because I had to balance practice, film, schoolwork, and recruitment calls. Recruitment for me was unpredictable and hard. I was contacted by a lot of great schools on all three levels but in the end I had to choose what was best for me. I chose West Chester because of their academic reputation, great football program and school colors. Sports have always had a tremendous impact on my life. To me it is a means to have fun while getting an opportunity to have a great education.”

— Phil Cook ’21, West Chester University