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Red Devils prepare to don new uniforms

Central's class of 2019 sporting standouts extend playing careers at college programs


Last updated 7/31/2019 at 5:28pm | View PDF

Class of 2019 student-athletes who committed to play sports at the collegiate level were recognized at one of two signing days at Hinsdale Central, including this one in November. The Red Devils donned the colors of their future alma maters for the group photos taken at the events. (photo courtesy of the Hinsdale Central athletic department)

Commencement ceremonies in May meant the end of competition for many athletes who played for Hinsdale Central.

But a few dozen former Red Devils will have the chance to continue their careers at the college level. The Hinsdalean asked those who have committed to play what they will miss most about Central and their hopes for the next four years.

This is the first in a two-part article.

Samantha Brescia

University of Oregon, lacrosse

I'll remember: the bonds and connections I made with people. I was a part of the lacrosse team all four years, and when you spend that much time with people, you get to know them really, really well. Growing up with two brothers, the girls on the team were like my sisters. The bonding we did off the field was what made a huge difference on the field for us. We wouldn't just go to practice and be done with each other. We ate together, went out together and trained together. I will never forget the memories I made with all the girls. We shared our successes and our failures, and I have so much love for all the girls that made my years at Central memorable.

I'm looking forward to: seeing is how much better I can get. I will have access to a lot of resources in college that will help me grow as a player. There is going to be more training, more hours and harder competition. I played defense my last two years of high school, which took me out of my usual midfielder position and gave me a different skill set. I am excited to push myself into being someone who is capable of playing all ends of the field.

Kayla Byrne

Northwestern University, cross country/track

I'll remember: my teammates and all the memories we have had. There is something about being in high school that makes balancing friends and the team difficult, but they made it so easy - and I know I have made lifelong friends.

I'm looking forward to: the new level of intensity at Northwestern. Running in particular is the kind of sport where what you put in is what you get out of it, and I'm looking forward to seeing how hard I can push myself over the next four years and how far I can improve.

Jack Cain

Colgate University, lacrosse

I'll remember: the people I got to meet and become friends with.

I'm looking forward to: playing and living with a group of people that want the same thing that I do, which is competing - and winning - at the highest level possible.

Sydney Collignon

University of Denver, lacrosse

I'll remember: winning state my junior year. We worked so hard throughout the season and winning state made the whole experience 10 times better. The friendships I made from playing lacrosse at Hinsdale Central will last a lifetime, and I am grateful for those girls for pushing me each day to be better.

I'm looking forward to: playing at a higher level with girls from all across the country. I am excited for new experiences and becoming a better player and person.

Jacqueline Dorsett

Villanova University, cheer

I'll remember: the people I met at Central. They made my time in high school so enjoyable. I will also never forget the Friday night games cheering under the lights with the whole town watching.

I'm looking forward to: being a part of a new community of people cheering on the school. Villanova has a large school spirit and I am excited to be a part of it.

Gabe Larson

University of North Georgia, golf

I'll remember: besides the homework, winning three state championships and making great friends on and off the team.

I'm looking forward to: playing with and against some really good players and continuing to improve my game.

Josh Lundmark

Cornell University, golf

I'll remember: when I chipped in on the last hole to win the state golf tournament by one stroke.

I'm looking forward to: competing at Ivies and hopefully finding myself and my team in a position to compete and NCAAs.

Mac McClear

University of Iowa, golf

I'll remember: the good times we had as a team during our season. It was so fun to play and practice with all our friends. We keep it pretty light so there are a lot of jokes going around, which makes it really fun.

I'm looking forward to: college a lot because it should be a little more serious. I'm just really excited to be in a environment where everyone wants to get better and everyone wants to compete at their highest level. There needs to be a balance between fun and serious, and I'm hoping college can get that right. I ultimately want to play golf at the highest level, so in college it will be important to spend any bit of free time trying to get better.

Bella Pisani

University of South Carolina, cross country/track

I'll remember: all the great relationships I made during my time at Hinsdale Central, especially the ones I made through playing sports. I met my best friends during track and cross country and it really made my high school experience special, because I got to enjoy it with people who I was close with.

I'm looking forward to: improving my race times as a runner because I know that there's a lot more depth in competition in college, which I know will push me to be my best. I'm also looking forward to meeting all my new teammates and getting to experience the next four years with them.

Matthew Rush

Washington University (St. Louis), football

I'll remember: bonding with my teammates and coaches at Hinsdale Central. I will remember all the effort and time that the people at the school put in to see us succeed.

I'm looking forward to: creating new friendships with my future teammates, and I will also be looking forward to four more years of playing the sport I am very passionate about, as well as receiving a great education.

Ethan Ruth

Illinois Wesleyan University, track and field

I'll remember: the team atmosphere that we had as well as the coaching staff being involved and looking out for our best interest. My overall best memory from my time at Central was the state series my senior year. When I qualified at the state meet, my whole team was there to cheer me on, and when I finished the race, everyone - including the coaches - ran over to congratulate me. The feeling of having your whole team behind you is one of the best feelings I think you can have in any situation.

I'm looking forward to: meeting new people on my team in college as well as being able to compete at a high level with other great programs. I have been really excited this whole time for the start of my collegiate career, and I can't wait to travel to some of the meets we have this upcoming year. I am also excited for a sport-specific change, which is the switch from 39- to 42-inch hurdles in the 110s and from 300-meter to 400-meter hurdle races. The higher hurdles present more of a challenge for me, but the longer hurdle race in the intermediate height is my better event and I cannot wait to start racing that distance.

Kristiana Strtak

University of Vermont, lacrosse

I'll remember: an excellent education, endless opportunities and friendships that are sure to last a lifetime. I'll always remember the community gathering for sporting events and cheering loud and proud for the Red Devils.

I'm looking forward to: playing competitive D1 lacrosse and being a part of a strong, bonded team.

Mike Ward

University of St. Thomas, cross country/track

I'll remember: the people. The friends I have made in my one year at Central through sports are the best friends I have ever had. They will be friends for life, and they have had a long-lasting impact on my life.

I'm looking forward to: meeting new people in college. Hinsdale Central is definitely a very diverse school, but college is completely different. There are people from all over the country and even the world. I can't wait to be part of a new team once again and establish more friends that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Vincent Zelisko

Denison University, football

I'll remember: The brotherhood and family that's created. A lot of teams talk about being a family, and claim they are one, but are they actually? Hinsdale really does a great job of creating those bonds within your teammates on and off the field.

I'm looking forward to: starting a new chapter in my life. It's almost like hitting the reset button. You know little to no people - you have to recreate friendships and bonds with your teammates. You have to start figuring out how to do things on your own. I'm excited to see new competition and have new teammates and hopefully be able to make a deep run in the playoffs for a national championship.

Author Bio

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 630-323-4422, ext. 104


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