MHS athletic talent sign early

Hannah Stanley, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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Signing letters of intent early in the year, five MHS student athletes have officially committed to Division I colleges for their specified sport to further their athletic careers. Although each student has a different reason for their decisions to commit, the five student athletes share the same love for their sports.

Elizabeth Brandt

Attending: University of Detroit Mercy

Sport: Women’s Lacrosse

Experience: “I have been playing for about seven years.”

Reasoning for continuing the sport: “I really enjoyed playing lacrosse whenever I could, and I knew I didn’t want to just stop after high school. I play year round, and I couldn’t even for a second imagine not playing ever again.”

Decision-making: “Over the summer I had the opportunity to see the campus after meeting with my college coach. I really liked the atmosphere and how small it was, yet still in a big city. But what really solidified my early decision was the official visit where I got to dorm with two players. Hanging out with them and living a student-athlete life for two days really made me want to sign and be a part of that team. At the end of the trip, I verbally committed because I knew that’s where I would see myself spending the next four years.”

Favorite takeaway: “I love everything about playing the sport. I like the physicality even though most people don’t think it’s that physical. I enjoy the bonds that you create with others on and off the field. I love the feeling you get when you make a goal or get the draw to go where you want it to go. It really is all the little things that make it such an amazing sport.”

MHS impact: “It had grown my love for the sport even more. Our amazing head coach, Coach [Caroline] Gully, truly believes in everyone. She can see the potential in a player, and she wants them to grow and get better. She really pushed me each and every year to be the best player I could be. If not for her believing in me from day one, I don’t know if I would be committing at UDM. Also, the players on the team helped grow my confidence. In a sport like lacrosse, if your team doesn’t allow you to fail, then you don’t grow as much. They have allowed me to fail and learn from my mistakes; that helped me to be the player I am.”

Biggest supporters: “Along with Coach Gully, my friend [2019 MHS graduate] Ellie Maldando. She, from day one, took me under her wing and never let me settle for anything but the best. She pushed me to be the best I could be. She would take the time to go out and wall ball and also shoot around to work on shots. She knew what to say to me during a game when she knew I was frustrated. She has been the best friend and teammate I could ask for.”

 

Austin Greco

Attending: Miami University

Sport: Baseball

Experience: “Since tee-ball, about the age of four.”

Reasoning for continuing sport: “I have a deep passion and love for the game; there’s nothing I’d rather do than play baseball.”

Decision-making: “I committed in the fall of my junior year because I knew there was no other place that could offer what Miami had.”

Favorite takeaway: “The competitiveness, people who surround me, and I never get bored playing the game. There’s nothing I hate about my sport.”

MHS impact: “My friends have been supportive of all my decisions and also support me during the spring on the baseball field. I can’t thank them enough.”

Biggest supporters: “Dave Payton [a travel team coach] is the reason why I have been so successful. I’ve never met a man that constantly goes out of his way to help players. Without him, I don’t know if I would’ve been up at that table during signing day with my national letter of intent. He has been a role model in my life and has pushed me to become the player I am today.”

 

Faith Krabbe

Attending: Eastern Illinois University

Sport: Women’s Volleyball

Experience: “I have been playing volleyball since I was twelve years old.”

Reasoning for continuing the sport: “My dad earned a scholarship to play football at Purdue University, and I want to be just like him.”

Decision-making: “I started the recruiting process when I was a freshman. In the spring of my sophomore year, EIU scouted me. Later that year, they invited me for a visit and really ‘courted’ me throughout the process. After I spent two days on campus and met the coaches in person, I knew it was the school for me. By November of my junior year, I verbally committed to them. Therefore, signing this November was actually one year to the date from when I verbally committed to them.”

Favorite takeaway: “I love all the traveling we do with club. It’s so much fun seeing new places and playing different teams from all over the U.S.”

MHS impact: “MHS has allowed me to continue playing volleyball and to meet new friends.”

Biggest supporters: “Mike Hulett was my first volleyball coach. He knew I wanted to play in college. He felt I had great hands, so he made me a setter. This was around the time when colleges were starting to look for tall setters rather than the shorter setters of years’ past. He was there at the beginning when I was 12 years old, but sadly he died recently and will not be able to see me live out my dream of playing DI volleyball.  However, I will carry everything that he taught me over the years with me as I begin this new chapter.”

 

Dillon Blake

Attending: University of Minnesota

Sport: Men’s Track and Field and Cross Country

Experience: “I have been doing both since seventh grade.”

Reasoning for continuing the sport: “I decided to commit early because I knew that I found the right fit and that I didn’t need more time to search. I started my recruiting process over a year ago with the goal of committing early, and I was able to narrow my search to a few schools by this fall.”

Decision-making: “I decided to continue my athletic career because I have grown to love running, and I really enjoy the team aspect.”

Favorite takeaway: “I love that anyone can become a good runner with enough work. I really don’t have anything I hate about it.”

MHS impact: “I definitely would not be the athlete I am now without my teammates and coaches. I have and had some of the best training partners in the state, and we have all been able to grow together.”

Biggest supporters: “There is no one specific individual that has impacted me. I am lucky to be surrounded by a great team, great coaches and a great family that all support me.”

 

Morgan Frank

Attending: Colgate University

Sport: Women’s Basketball

Experience: “I started playing in about fourth grade.”

Reasoning for continuing the sport: “I wanted to further my athletic career because I believe that my best is still yet to come, and I can’t imagine my life without basketball in it.”

Decision-making: “My decision was sparked after visiting the campus and talking to the staff and players. Everything about Colgate is perfect to me, so I really felt no need to wait.”

Favorite takeaway: I love the bonds that I have made with people from playing basketball and being able to compete against some of the best players in the country.”

MHS impact: “My time at MHS has really shown me what it takes to be successful and how much work must be put in to succeed.”

Biggest supporters: “My parents have always been really supportive of all my decisions and have guided me to where I am today. Without them, I wouldn’t be in this position.”