Monomoy Senior Athletes Ink College Commitments

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Monomoy Regional High School

From left: Monomoy seniors August Hand, John-Michael Canto and Jake Burnie pose during a signing ceremony held May 25 at MRHS. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

HARWICH – One of the most exciting periods of high school got a little more special for a group of Monomoy seniors who recently solidified their athletic futures as student-athletes during signing ceremonies held at the high school.

One week after Harwich resident Caroline DiGiovanni signed to play field hockey at Babson College, three Monomoy senior boys — August Hand, Jake Burnie and John-Michael Canto — inked their own commitment letters to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

“It felt really good,” DiGiovanni said of signing, “especially since school is pretty much over and I’m starting to fill out stuff for college and am getting workout packets and things like that. It seems a lot more real. It’s just really weird. It’s going to be different to say I’m not in high school anymore.”

Hand and Burnie will play men’s lacrosse at the University of New England and Lasell University, respectively, while Canto is set to play baseball at Rivier University in Nashua, N.H. All three boys call Harwich home.

For Canto, a third baseman who plans to study cybersecurity, Rivier seemed like a natural fit due to the campus’s proximity to his family’s New Hampshire vacation home.

“We have a house in New Hampshire like a half hour away, so we went there on our way home from our New Hampshire house and I just fell in love with it there,” Canto said. “I know a few of the players and honestly, I really love the coach [Louie Bernardini]. He made a very good first impression and that went a long way for me.”

Burnie’s recruitment was a little unique due to his personal circumstances. He missed his entire junior season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during a preseason practice last spring, so it was a little more challenging for him to showcase his talent to prospective coaches.

However, with the help of Monomoy boys lacrosse coach John Kent and former MRHS boys lacrosse player Kyle Charlot, a rising senior on the Lasell men’s lacrosse team, Burnie found a home with the Lasers in Newton.

“My recruitment process was a little bit different than most because of my injury,” said Burnie, who noted he plans to center his studies around entrepreneurship and business. “I didn’t have any film actually, so it was based off a couple phone calls and coach Kent sent a recommendation letter, which was a big help. My buddy Kyle, who was a senior here two years ago, plays there and was a big help, too.”

Although Hand knew he wanted to play lacrosse at the next level, his decision wasn’t limited to finding a solid team he could join. In fact, his college decision really focused on finding the right school to help him move closer to his goal of becoming a physician assistant.

UNE in Biddeford, Me., seemed like the ideal spot for him to pursue his dream while also playing the sport he loves.

“I’m going to school to be a PA and really like their science program,” Hand said. “When I was looking for a school to play lacrosse in college, I focused more on the academic aspect. I got into the PA program up there and pretty much decided I’d go there.”

Hand acknowledged the process of settling on a school was a little daunting before acknowledging it was special to see family members and many boys lacrosse teammates attend the signing ceremony held May 25.

“Signing onto a college is so much stress because it’s going to change your whole life,” he said. “I’m excited. To see all of the people I care about in one room supporting me was pretty nice.”

DiGiovanni said she plans to study business at Babson, where she’ll devote all of her training to field hockey after making a name for herself on the Cape as a star three-sport athlete on the basketball court, softball diamond and field hockey field.

“It’s going to be a change,” DiGiovani said. “I’ll definitely miss basketball and softball because I’ve been playing them my entire life, but I think it’ll be good to go to a really competitive level at Babson and to just focus on field hockey and make the most of it.”

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