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Massapequa Student Athletes Announce College Picks

Graduating Chiefs ready to move onward and upward.

top student athletes took the first step towards the next chapter in their lives Wednesday as they signed letters of intent to continue their sports careers in college.

One group at a time, representatives of six of the school's major sports teams filed into Principal Dr. Barbara Williams’ office for the signings, all while under the proud gaze of their parents, many of whom took the day off from work for the occasion.

"It's really great to see them compete on the field and in the courts," Dr. Williams said. "Now that they've made their decisions on what they're going to do in the next phase of their lives, it's just really exciting."

Representing were Victoria DeVivo, who signed with Bentley University, and Nicole Raab, who signed Philadelphia University, a school that she said served her top two interests perfectly.

"I'm going to do Fashion Industry Management, and that's one of the majors they specialize in," she said. "There are not many options when it comes to both fashion and playing competitive soccer, so Philadelphia was just everything I've ever wanted."

From the team, Max Aronica signed with SUNY Albany; Dakota Barnethon with Virginia Commonwealth University; and Connor Nealis with SUNY Binghamton, a school that worked hard to retain his services on the field, he said.

"Coach [Paul] Marko of Binghamton has been there for ten years, and he's recruited me the hardest during the whole process," he said. "He was really nice, and that's what made me choose Binghamton, where I’m going to major in business."

Both Mike Sollenne and Anthony Turano of Massapequa’s chose to play next Fall at C.W. Post. Turano is especially looking forward to playing for Post, where he will be majoring in biology.

"They gave me a great opportunity to play ball there," he said. "The coaches are great, the players are great, I love the campus, they have my major...everything just seems to be in place. So, I'm excited to work hard for them."

Turano’s father, Anthony Sr., was beaming with pride while his son put pen to paper in the Principal’s office that afternoon.

"My wife and I are very proud of him," he said. "We're proud of his accomplishments both on and off the field, we're happy that he's going to continue his education, and we're especially happy that he's staying home."

Boys track was represented Spencer Nord, who plans on studying Industrial Labor Relations upstate at Cornell next Fall.

"I just really love Ithica...I think it's beautiful," he said. "The team up there has won the last eight Ivy-league conference championships, the coach up there is really cool, and my brother actually went there, so that helped out."  

Field Hockey team member Dana Aherns has her sights set on Adelphi this coming Fall.

"I chose it because they have an excellent Nursing program," she said. "Also, I love field hockey and Adelphi has an awesome field hockey team."

Girls track had three members sign- Andrea Bourgal, who will be attending Bucknell; Heather Sweeney, attending Brown University; and Lauren Lavaro, who plans on majoring in Early Childhood Education at High Point.

"The campus blew me away...it was beautiful," she said. "It really fit all my criteria...everyone was so friendly, and the positive energy that was there really just drove me to the school. Anybody would love it."

Lavaro’s mother, Michelle, said that her daughter is a real go-getter who will have no problems achieving her goals in life.

"I'm so proud of her, because she's really self-driven and motivated," she said. "She loves this sport. She started running in Junior High, and really just created this passionate person that she is. Plus, she got a scholarship, and I'm happy to get the free money to help with school."

Edward Robinson (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I hope you all join me in congratulating them on a job well done! Good luck in college!
Chris Boyle February 02, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Certainly an inspiring group of young man and women.
K February 03, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Congratulations to the entire Class of 2012. Its a shame Massapequa HS doesn't recognize those students who are less athletic and carry heavy AP classloads.
Kristen Ferrari February 03, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Congratulations!! Each one has achieved something amazing. Their parents must be very proud!

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