Friday, December 13, 2013
High school athletes aim high when it comes to college choices because, in most cases, that’s what they’re encouraged to do. Maranacook graduate Ryan Martin was determined to play Division I basketball and spent two years at the University of Maine, mostly riding the bench his freshman year, before becoming a redshirt this past season. He certainly upgraded his game at Maine, based on practice alone. But he didn’t get to do what he enjoys most and that’s play. He’s subsequently transferred to Division III Keene State and will be back on the court next fall.
Cony High graduate Monica White took a practical approach. Although she was named Miss Maine Softball her senior year — Martin was named Mr. Maine Basketball — she chose a small Division III college, Rivier in Nashua, N.H., where she could play both basketball and softball. She excelled in both sports and this spring has led her school to a 32-4 record and a berth in the regional tournament. Statistically, White is one of the best Div. III pitchers in the country. Could she have played Div. I or Div. II? Probably. But she has no regrets with her choice of colleges. White who also thrives in the classroom, will graduate with a degree in biology with an eye toward a medical career. And while she was doing it, she had a blast on the basketball court and softball field.
Good luck to this year’s high school seniors who are moving on to play in college. May your experiences rival those of White’s.
Gary Hawkins has worked at the Kennebec Journal since 1980. His primary beats are baseball, boys basketball, girls and boys soccer and golf.