Nauset Celebrates Senior Athletes’ College Commitments

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: Sports , Nauset Regional High School

Nauset senior student-athletes pose for a photo at the end of Monday’s signing ceremony in the school gymnasium. The students all plan to continue their athletic careers while pursuing their degrees. Benjamin Calsson and Emmalynn Schnitzer are not included in the photo but were also celebrated for their college commitments. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

NORTH EASTHAM – If you find yourself at Nauset Regional High School during after-school activities some afternoon, you might hear a cheer from one part of campus one minute and a roar from another part of campus a few moments later.

Nauset’s top student-athletes are used to being celebrated, though they rarely have the opportunity to be honored in one place at one time.

On Monday, Nauset celebrated its 15 senior student-athletes who intend to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level during a signing ceremony held inside the gymnasium.

“It was fun to get everyone together that’s going to do something in college,” said Julia Weiner, a senior from Harwich who will play women’s hockey and study business at the University of New England.

The ceremony was open to seniors who plan to play college sports regardless of the division their future program competes in. Among the Division I commitments were Zoe Bates and Lauren Knight, two seniors who signed National Letters of Intent to play field hockey at Bryant and Quinnipiac, respectively.

Bates acknowledged recruiting was impacted due to the ongoing pandemic, adding that she’s glad to land at Bryant, where she plans to enter the school undecided before ultimately pursuing a business degree.

“It was definitely a hard time for recruiting because of COVID,” said Bates, an Orleans resident. “I’m really excited I’m ending up at Bryant because it’s the perfect school for me.”

Knight, another Orleans resident, had her college plans solidified long ago. She said she first connected with Quinnipiac’s coaching staff after they spotted her during her freshman season.

“They first saw me at a tournament my freshman year and then that summer I spent going to clinics and getting to know the coaches and the team,” said Knight, who plans to study biomedical sciences. “I ended up committing in the fall of 2020, so I’ve known for a while now. I knew right when I walked on campus that I wanted to go there — I love the coaching staff, the team and the facility.”

Will Schiffer said his decision was more recent. After contemplating where he would play men’s soccer, Schiffer, a Barnstable resident, decided he’d head to Division III Roger Williams University.

Although it’ll be a new team for Schiffer, who was named Cape and Islands League boys soccer MVP in the fall, he’ll be with some familiar faces: Jack Avellar, Spencer Rushnak, Sebastian Headrick, three former Nauset players who all found a home at RWU.

“It’s exciting,” said Schiffer, who noted he’ll study architecture. “I know a lot of the kids on the soccer team there now, and they have a really good architecture program, so I just fit.”

Nauset boys soccer coach John McCully said he’s happy to see Schiffer, who he described as “the heart and soul of our team,” land in a familiar setting.

“They’ve been pulling him,” McCully said of the three former Nauset players now at RWU. “We had a connection because we used to go to camp there, so once my guys got on that campus and saw how nice it was, it was a good draw for them.”

Other Division I commitments included Caroline Keeffe-Jones (Brown, sailing), Charlotte Manganaro (UMass Amherst, ice hockey) and Brynn Morris (UMass Amherst, swimming).

Division III signings also included Benjamin Calsson (Plymouth State, cross-country and track and field), Noah Clarke (Bridgewater State, baseball), Max Dio (Bates, baseball), Riley Homes (Plymouth State, lacrosse), Camden Viprino (Maine Maritime, lacrosse), Brady Deschamps (Mass. Maritime, soccer), Emmalynn Schnitzer (UMass Dartmouth, soccer) and John Szucs (Springfield, swimming).

Calsson, an Orleans resident with plans to study outdoor education at Plymouth State, said he made his decision in the fall.

“It was one of my top options because I heard that their team is very good as well as the school and the academics,” Calsson said. “It was a pretty easy decision — I made it right away after I got in.”

Nauset baseball coach Kevin Curtin attended to support Clarke and Dio, two standout players for the Warriors who Curtin said will do big things at their respective schools.

“Max is an outstanding high school pitcher and I’m expecting him to do great things at Bates,” Curtin said. “Noah’s a great hitter and he’ll continue to work hard behind the plate — Bridgewater State is lucky to have him.”

Although the majority of students have had their college plans solidified for months, Monday was still an enjoyable experience for them to celebrate their hard work alongside their peers.

“It’s nice,” said Keeffe-Jones, an Orleans resident who will study mechanical engineering while sailing at Brown. “It feels real now.”

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com.

Twitter: @BradJoyal