For senior Bethany Yauch, who verbally committed to play Division I tennis for Cleveland State University during her junior year, Monday’s official signing for a full scholarship made her feel much better.
“I was nervous about potentially getting injured and losing my scholarship, so having the official signing done is a huge relief,” Yauch said.
Yauch, who was a standout tennis player at Baldwin, said she does not plan on continuing her tennis career past college.
“I just want to play in college. I don’t plan on going pro,” Yauch said. “I just want to enjoy my college career and leave it at that.”
Yauch said that Cleveland State University being close to home is not the sole reason she selected it, but it played a role in her decision.
“I’m definitely glad that it’s close to home, but more than anything I love the quality of their facilities as well as their dorms,” Yauch said.
Senior baseball player Nick Dolan said he had a lot of reasons to sign his letter of intent to play Division I baseball at Ohio University, where he received a partial scholarship.
“I like that they’re close to home, but I also loved their baseball program,” Dolan said. “They focus a lot on player development and I just really liked their values and ideas regarding the sport.”
Dolan said that playing baseball in college wasn’t always a dream of his, but playing in high school made him want to continue his playing career.
“When I got called up to varsity in my freshman year, I knew that I would definitely be willing to keep playing baseball after high school. I really fell in love with it after my first year.”
Dolan said he is feeling great moving forward, and that he is ready to continue his academic and athletic pathways.
“I’m beyond excited to play for Ohio University, and I can’t wait to start up yet another season,” Dolan said.
Volleyball player Ally Schenk cannot imagine her life without volleyball in it. That won’t be a problem anytime soon, since she signed her national letter of intent to play Division II for Fairmont State University.
Schenk said she is eager to take it to the next level with the sport she has been playing for such a long time.
“It is so awesome. I cannot see myself without volleyball because I love it so much,” Schenk said. “I’m really lucky to get to keep playing at the college level.”
School is the top priority for Schenk, though, as she is majoring in national security and intelligence at Fairmont.
“I picked Fairmont because it is one of the only schools that has the specific major I want to study,” Schenk said.
Schenk also said that her friends and family have been looking forward to this day, as they are all excited as well.
“It was really nice to be able to finalize something that my entire family is excited for with me,” Schenk said. “Having everyone there with me to celebrate was so nice.”
Senior Allison Murray is thrilled to continue playing the sport she loves, as she just signed her letter of intent to play Division I volleyball at Saint Francis University.
Murray, who is majoring in nursing, loves the atmosphere of the college and cannot wait to get started.
“The campus at Saint Francis is lovely,” Murray said. “The coach and I bonded and the environment over there seems great.”
Murray has been playing volleyball since she was young and she is eager to play at the next level
“I have been playing this sport for a while now, so it feels great to continue doing what I love for another four years,” Murray said.
Murray’s family and teammates were also at the signing, and they are all happy for her.
“It was a nice feeling to celebrate this moment with my family,” Murray said. “They have done so much for me and it felt great.”
Senior Salena Jaquay wants to work in education after college, which led her to sign a letter of intent to play Division II softball at California University of Pennsylvania.
“I love the coaches and the softball program at Cal U, but I am also going to pursue an education in early childhood education,” Jaquay said.
Jaquay’s partial scholarship pays for most of her schooling, but she still has to make up a small portion of the rest.
The process of applying to colleges and looking for a scholarship was stressful for Jaquay, but she said that having it all figured out is a huge relief.
“I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders since I am officially signed,” Jaquay said. “I am feeling great knowing I have a scholarship to such a great program.”
Jaquay said that she is excited to play softball, but even more excited to continue learning about her dream career path.
Senior Cassie Carlson knew she wanted to play softball for Division I Youngstown State University as soon as she visited the campus for the first time as a sophomore.
“When I went to see the campus, I didn’t want to leave. I loved it right away, and after meeting the coach and some of the girls, I knew that was where I wanted to go,” Carlson said.
Carlson, who signed her national letter of intent to play softball for Youngstown State on a scholarship on Monday, said she knew she wanted to play softball at the collegiate level after she started playing for a travel team at age 10.
“When I started playing travel, I understood that I wanted to play in college, so that became a conversation I had with my parents and they knew my goals,” Carlson said.
Carlson said Monday’s signing was a big moment for both her.
“I was really happy my softball team came to support me. It was also a really big moment for my family because we have been through so much together through the years, and it was really cool to have this moment,” Carlson said.
Senior Jenna Lutz, who committed to play Division III basketball at Allegheny College, said she put academics first in her choice.
“I picked Allegheny because I loved the campus and the people there first,” Lutz said. “They also have a great environmental science program, and that is what I am going to major in.”
Lutz, who has been playing basketball since she was in third grade, said that earlier in high school, she did not necessarily envision herself playing at the college level. Now she is excited to become a part of Allegheny’s team.
“I could never imagine myself playing for another team” besides Baldwin, Lutz said, describing how she felt earlier. Now, though, “This sport has really become a part of my life,” she said.
Lutz enjoyed Monday’s celebration with her teammates and her family.
“My family and teammates have really pushed me the past couple years because this has been a goal of mine since freshman year,” she said. “The hard work has paid off. I was so happy they were all there to celebrate with me.”