Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Decisions, decisions: PMHS class of ’24 top athletes talk recruitment and commitments

With college decisions starting to be made official, ten PMHS senior athletes have announced their commitments. The class of 2024 boasts a diverse group of sporting starts participating in rowing, baseball, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball and fencing.

The college process is a daunting one. Adding in sports recruitment to the process makes it even more difficult to navigate. These athletes described spending months on the phone with coaches, filling out questionnaires and doing hours of research. Others traveled for tours or reached out to schools themselves. In the end, each weighed the academic and athletic aspects of each college before making their decision.

Alex Caltenco is committed to play lacrosse at Eastern Connecticut State. He began the process as an athlete for a club team, looking for Division 3 schools. After being spotted at a showcase, he was invited to tour Eastern Connecticut. Two other PMHS seniors will play college lacrosse next fall: Mia Orlando at D1 school Villanova University and Charlie Zabatta at the College of Wooster in D3.

Olivia Medrano, co-captain of the Pelham girls tennis team, will take the courts for Hamilton College. She began to playing at age ten and worked her way up to play in showcases starting in her junior year.

Medrano is particularly excited for college play, acknowledging the rare opportunities for team play in her sport.

“I look forward to meeting my new professors and the other students, as well as competing with a team for the first time,” said Medrano.

Max Purcea, who rows for the Pelham Community Rowing Association in the varsity boat, is committed to Cornell University, and Chinemere Njoku, rowing in the second varsity boat for Row America Rye, will take to the oars to Bucknell University. These two future D1 rowers emphasized the emotional awakening upon finding the school meant for them.

“From the moment I got to Bucknell, I knew I wanted to be at this school, and my parents and I knew that this was the place for me,” said Njoku.

Purcea described a similar feeling upon visiting Cornell.

“I was hooked to the atmosphere and family the team built,” said Purcea.

Emma Laskaj and Isaac Lief have decided to join college volleyball and fencing teams, respectively. Laskaj is a defensive specialist/libero planning to attend Muhlenberg College, while Lief chose Duke University. Both athletes stressed the importance of regular communication with coaches, whether that be through phone calls, zoom or in-person meetings.

Pelham has two committed D3 baseball players: Infielder Ryan McGovern will go to Washington and Lee College and pitcher Henry Kagan to Emerson College. The two have played their whole lives and have a profound love for the sport, despite the draining effort of recruitment.

“Stick with the process,” said McGovern.. “It’s going to be hard. Use the people around you to help you get through it.” 

Njoku urges future commits to persevere through their journey.

“Take breaks, eat well and keep on loving your sport.”

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About the Contributor
Julia Findikyan, Contributing Editor
Julia Findikyan is a sophomore at Pelham Memorial High School. She discovered her love for news 5 years ago, writing for the Colonial Times. She keeps herself busy with theater, soccer, baking, and ukulele. Julia has a twin (who also writes), and she especially loves playing with her dog, Henry. Although she is busy, she loves being the Entertainment Editor for the Pelham Examiner!

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