Seniors sign their letters of intent
February 26, 2020
Senior Matt Bauman made his decision to play Division III football at Mount Union not only to play the sport or get a degree, but also because he felt that it was a place where he could best develop himself personally.
“There’s a lot to take into account with this decision,” Bauman said. “They gave me the best opportunity to grow as a person.”
Bauman was considering three schools, but he decided on Mount Union in January because he felt that the professors and coaches there had a long history that would benefit him.
“Playing football in college has always been a goal of mine,” Bauman said.
After talking to friends and family, he feels he has made the right choice for his future because he will get to play football and he has found a college that he feels will truly help him to thrive.
“Time will tell, but I really think that I made the best decision for myself overall,” Bauman said.
Senior cheerleader Olivia Kniola said she is excited to transition from cheerleading into acrobatics and tumbling at Alderson Broaddus University.
“I never expected to gain a scholarship for acrobatics and tumbling for college,” Kniola said.
Kniola said she has dreamed of majoring in exercise science for athletic training since her freshman year at Baldwin High School.
“Acrobatics really goes into more body control,” Kniola said.
Alderson Broaddus is a good fit for her, she said.
“I love the campus and the team,” Kniola said. “Everyone is so nice and welcoming.”
Kninola said she is looking forward to working with her coaches and teammates next year. The team will be trying to make it to nationals in Hawaii.
“My goal for next year is to do my very best in order to get an individual part for nationals next year,” Kniola said.
At the beginning of her senior season, Riley Nolan had no idea that eventually she would be signing a letter of intent. Yet at Tuesday’s official signing, she signed to play Division III soccer at Chatham University.
“I went into this season not thinking I was going to play past high school, but my coach made me feel that if I really wanted to play, it was easily within grasp,” Nolan said.
Nolan said the Chatham program really works with the life of a college student, because it will allow her to focus on her academics and leave time for a social life.
“You still get to play the sport you love, but without all the pressure and time commitment other schools place on athletes,” Nolan said.
Being close to home also plays a role in why Nolan is confident that she made the right decision.
“It will be a lot easier for my parents to come and see my games, and I will still be able to be a part of my younger brother’s daily life,” Nolan said.
For senior football player Naseer Penn, playing Division I football has been a dream. It is now a reality thanks to the full ride offer he has accepted from the University of Maine.
Penn said there is a lot to like about Maine.
“The campus is great, and the football energy is so good, along with the players,” Penn said.
When Penn was younger, heading to the NFL was his big dream — and he acknowledges it is still something he would like to achieve..
“When I was younger that was my goal. Now it’s just something I’d love to do,” Penn said. “Pro would be nice, and I could do it.”.
With the Baldwin season being over, Penn feels “more relaxed” about school, but also is planning on maintaining good grades. He hasn’t decided yet on a major for college.
Senior Zach Pettit knew he wanted to play college lacrosse as soon as he picked up a stick in the fourth grade. Now that dream now has become a reality.
“I loved that lacrosse required a certain technique,” Pettit said
Pettit signed his national letter of intent Tuesday to play college lacrosse for the Division II Seton Hill Griffins on an athletic scholarship.
“It’s a great program and I’m excited to go to school there,” Pettit said.
Pettit credit support from his friends, family, and coaches.
“My mom and everyone who supports me have made this possible,” Pettit said. “I couldn’t be where I am without them.”
Academics drove senior Kieran Schmidt to commit to playing baseball for Division III Hiram College.
“I mainly chose this school because of its nursing program,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt has been playing baseball for 12 years and he is grateful to be able to keep playing.
“Not many people get this opportunity,” Schmidt said. “I am thankful.”
Schmidt has an academic scholarship and plans to major in nursing. He also is fond of the baseball coaches at Hiram.
“I am going to Hiram because of their nursing program and their coaches,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt got to celebrate the moment with his friends, family, and teammates at Tuesday’s signing.
Senior Kenzie Shandor wasn’t entirely sure about running in college. Yet Chatham’s relaxed and welcoming program changed her mind.
“The team has a really good relationship and their coach was super nice. The campus is also perfect for me,” she said.
Shandor has been on the track team since seventh grade and running cross country since freshman year. But college competitions will be a lot harder.
“In college, you have to run a 6K,” Shandor said. “I really want to focus on getting faster and working harder.”
Her biggest support throughout her years of running have been her parents and Coach Rich Wright.
“Coach Wright has always pushed me to be my best,” she said. “He’s always kept me in the loop when a college was interested in me, and he helped me make my choice.”
Shandor will be majoring in secondary math and science education.
Senior Darryn Sleeman plans to study nursing in college, so Chatham University already seemed like a perfect fit.
Their Division III lacrosse team, however, sealed the deal, and Sleeman on Tuesday signed her letter of intent to play lacrosse there.
“Their Division III team fits really well with my schedule,” Sleeman said. “I’m going to be pretty busy with nursing.”
Sleeman has played lacrosse since her freshman year, so playing in college had long been a goal.
“I love the team aspect. It’s very fun to see when everything comes together,” Sleeman said. “It shows how we can work together.”
Sleeman plays mid-field and center, and she said she can’t wait to meet her new teammates.
“I’m so excited,” Sleeman said. “It’ll be different, but everything new takes some getting used to.”
Senior Mason Stahl always knew he wanted to play a Division I sport in college, and this dream became his reality when he signed a letter of intent to play football for Penn State.
“I always wanted to play Division I. I just didn’t know where,” Stahl said.
Stahl has been playing football since he was in seventh grade. His career at Baldwin has had some memorable moments, he said.
“Beating Bethel in double overtime at the homecoming game was definitely a key point in my Baldwin football career,” Stahl said.
Stahl is unsure about what field he would like to major in. He also received offers from Pitt and Slippery Rock University, but many things went into Stahl choosing Penn State.
Senior Tori Tamborino is thrilled that she will be able to continue running track while pursuing her dream major at Carlow University.
“I feel super relieved that I signed”, Tamborino said. “All my friends knew where they were going, and I was nervous I was never going to find it.”
Tamborino wants to major in nursing. She hopes to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Carlow and then work in pediatric oncology. She eventually wants to go back to school and earn her master’s in nursing and become a nurse practitioner.
Tamborino had offers from other schools, but a few things really persuaded her to choose Carlow.
“It is smaller, but I really wanted that close-knit campus. Carlow has a great nursing program to do clinical labs, and right across the street are hospitals,” Tamborino said.
She received the highest athletic and academic scholarships that Carlow offers.
Tamborino has been running track and field since she was in seventh grade and is excited to continue competing at the college level.