Nauset Student Athletes Celebrated During College Signing Ceremony

by Brad Joyal

NORTH EASTHAM – Thirteen senior student athletes were celebrated during Nauset’s annual signing ceremony on Thursday in the school’s library.

All of the seniors will continue their athletic careers at the next level, and Thursday’s ceremony provided them with an opportunity to celebrate the milestone in front of a packed crowd that included many of their teammates, coaches, friends and family.

“It’s definitely crazy,” said Gabby Foster, an Eastham resident who committed to play both women’s basketball and lacrosse at Framingham State. “I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to do this, so I’m really glad that we got to. I thought it was really cool.”

Foster was one of 10 athletes who committed to Division 3 programs. Chase Beach (baseball) and Owen Blanc (football) both committed to Bridgewater State, joining Rebecca Cahill (Springfield College track and field), Charlie Cushing (Wheaton soccer), Ryder Holm (Curry College lacrosse), Logan McWilliams (Plymouth State football), Sienna Reeves (Nichols College hockey and lacrosse), Colby Smith (Mass Maritime lacrosse) and Jordyn Streitmatter (Mitchell College basketball).

Three athletes were celebrated for Division 1 commitments, including Caroline Kennard (Ball State soccer), Olivia Avellar (Boston University soccer) and Damian Bebber (Army track and field). Avellar and Bebber were both unable to attend Thursday’s ceremony but were recognized for their accomplishments.

The ceremony carried special significance for the athletes, each of whom decided to attend their schools for different reasons. For Foster and Reeves, part of their decision was centered around the opportunity to play multiple sports in college.

“Hockey was always the one I wanted, but then lacrosse became an option and I just followed along with it,” said Reeves, a Brewster resident.

“At first, I was definitely not going to play two,” added Foster. “I was just looking into basketball, but once I knew that I was probably going to be going to Framingham, I looked at lacrosse and felt like I could definitely be a good fit and the coach offered me a spot.”

Regardless of the athletes’ sport and choice of schools, many said they made their decisions after feeling at home during campus visits.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but I just knew that I felt happy there,” said the Mitchell-bound Streitmatter, a Brewster resident. “I knew that I could make a difference for the basketball team and help out.”

“I stepped foot on the campus and it felt like home,” said Cahill, a Brewster resident and versatile track and field athlete who competes in the high jump, hurdles, triple jump and some relay events.

For Blanc, Thursday’s ceremony represented just how far he has come after returning to the gridiron during his high school career.

“Just two years ago, I got back into playing football after not playing for a few years before that,” he said. “To be where I am now, it’s really exciting. I can’t wait to play next season.”

While all of the athletes are excited about what the future holds, many of them admitted they have mixed feelings about leaving Nauset after impacting their respective programs.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” said Streitmatter. “I’m scared, glad, happy — all of that.”

“Seeing me and all my classmates going on to the next level is really awesome, especially with such a large class,” added Beach. “I’m going to miss all my friends and coaches here, they have all been awesome, and Mr. Mattson has been great. It’s definitely bittersweet, but I’m ready for the next step.”