Seven Mount Greylock Seniors Recognized for College Sports Plans

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Mount Greylock boys lacrosse program’s “Pilgrim Pipeline” is in tact.
On Thursday morning, two seniors from this year’s Mounties team celebrated their plans to attend Henniker, N.H.’s, New England College and play in the Pilgrims’ Division III men’s lacrosse program.
Reilly Parker and Patrick Storie will join Liam Chenail, a 2015 Mount Greylock and rising junior at NEC, who has 11 goals and nine assists in his first two seasons at the college.
“Just the environment at New England College convinced me,” Parker said. “I really liked it there. It reminded me of being home.
“And I think having a former teammate also playing there helped my decision. I talked to him a little bit. After his freshman year, we started talking because I was really interested in going to that school.”
Parker, Storie and five other Mount Greylock seniors were in the school’s library on Thursday morning to sign letters symbolizing their commitment to play either Division III or Division I intercollegiate athletics.
The one DI athlete in the group, Jenna Benzinger, is headed to Brown University. Like the rest of the Ivy League schools, Brown does not give athletic scholarships, so Benzinger did not need to sign the better known National Letter of Commitment that scholarship athletes ink.
Likewise, there is no athletic scholarship money at the DIII level, but two years ago, the NCAA decided to give high schoolers planning to compete at that level the chance to sign a“non-binding standardized celebratory form,” Mount Greylock Athletic Director Lindsey von Holtz explained.
Von Holtz also coaches one of the athletes at Thursday’s ceremony: Sarah Stripp, who is headed to Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., to play lacrosse.
The other three student-athletes recognized were: Thomas Astle, who is going to Nichols College to play lacrosse; Elizabeth Bartlett, who is going to Simmons College and will continue her swimming career; and Devin Pelletier, who is doing to SUNY-Cortland and plans to keep wrestling.
“Wrestling wasn't my first priority. It was definitely school,” Pelletier said, summing up the DIII philosophy. “But if I could wrestle and go to a good school, that would be great. That's what ended up happening.”
It happens at Mount Greylock more than most places, von Holtz explained.
Of the just fewer than 8 million high school athletes nationwide, just 6 percent play college sports, she said.
“I think there are more people at Mount Greylock who are planning to participate in a sport who are not here, but just with the seven students here, it’s over 12 percent of the Mount Greylock [senior] athletic population,” she said. “That’s kind of impressive, both for these individuals and the school itself.”
Storie said that his decision to attend New England College was influenced by Parker, who committed to the school first.
“I think that really pushed me to make the same decision,” Storie said. “I just think we have a great bond together, and I that will continue to last.”
“It’s just awesome that I get another four years to play with him,” Parker said. “We’ve been playing since we were 9 years old, I think. It’s just going to help me get used to everything and learn how to play at a higher level. Having him there with me will help.”
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