The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

Seniors Level Up to College Athletics

Aidan Prezzano photographed by Peter Stewart Anna Savolanien photographed by Todd McDonough
Anna Savolanien photographed by Todd McDonough

If you are an athlete, have you ever considered playing your sport in college?

Student athletes get access to significant scholarships, even full rides. But according to the NCAA, only 7% or about 1 in 10 high school athletes play in college. Those who have the grades to get into a four-year college are more likely to play sports there. There are a few drawbacks to playing in college. Sports will take up much of your time; balancing your schedule will be a daunting task.

College sports are also a lot more intense than your highschool team—somewhere between after school practices and a full time pro career. You will be expected to sacrifice a lot for your team. These sacrifices include giving up much of your college experience. You may not be able to do the same extracurriculars and activities your peers are doing. However, if you truly do have a passion for your sport, this might be an easy thing to give up.

Rhinebeck Reality heard from the following students who are leveling up to collegiate sports in the fall:

What sport will you play?
Griffin Giles: Baseball at Clarkson University
Aidan Prezzano: Track at Colorado College, mainly 400-800 meters
Nate Strassberger: Lacrosse at Salve Regina
Addy Kelly: Crew (Rowing) at Temple
Emily Seldin: Swimming at SUNY Oswego.
Anna Savoleinen: Track and Field (jumping) at Swarthmore
June Nathan: Track at Colgate

What led you to this school?
Griffin Giles: I loved the opportunities that Clarkson provided both academically and athletically. I also loved the coaching staff and the location in upstate New York.
Aidan Prezzano:I loved the track coach and the student athlete atmosphere of the school. I love being right outside a city (colorado springs) and love the weather there – 300 sunny days in a year. I loved the coaching staff too.
Nate Strassberger: Salve Regina is great academically, its location can’t be matched, and I got good scholarships. I really liked the coaches and the culture of the team.
Addy Kelly: I always liked the idea of going to a city school and Temple checked off all of my boxes. The coach reached out to me, and after visiting I was drawn to the all- female coaching staff. One of the coaches was also a coxswain (my position) in college. None of my coaches in the past have ever been coxswains.
Emily Seldin: I focused on my education first. I want to teach, and New York has the best programs and licenses for that, so I focused on schools there. Swim definitely gave me a leg up in the entire process because I could talk to college coaches, swimmers on the teams, and even go on official visits with the team. On those visits, I basically got to be a college student for a day. I shadowed a swimmer on the team, going to classes, sleeping in a dorm for a night, and eating in the dining halls. The visit I did with SUNY Oswego was one of my favorites, and it was the deciding factor in my college search.
Anna Savoleinen: I fell in love with the atmosphere at Swarthmore. From the level of attention that students put into their studies, to the smiles on peoples faces around campus, to the beautiful gardens I knew that it was the school where I would be happiest. Swarthmore made it into my top list of schools long before I even considered reaching out to the track coach. I just had a gut feeling.
June Nathan: I visited last fall and loved the campus and the students and the faculty and everything. I applied and my friend’s parents both went there and loved it. That influenced me to be in it if I got in, and I got in.

What is one thing you’re really looking forward to?
Griffin Giles: I am looking forward to the study abroad program and experiencing playing baseball against good competition.
Aidan Prezzano:I am really looking forward to the block plan (four classes per semester) and competing in my track events. I can’t wait to meet the team and practice with them.
Nate Strassberger: I’m really excited to start playing with and meeting my new teammates. I can’t wait to get to work and hopefully make an impact on the field.
Addy Kelly: I’m really looking forward to being a part of Temple’s competitive rowing team. The campus is amazing, and I can’t wait to go to college in such a historic city. They also have a Chipotle and Starbucks on campus! : )
Emily Seldin: I’m looking forward to being independent and learning to be on my own more. I’m glad to have swim to have some semblance of normal, but I’m just happy to be away from home for a bit and be on my own.
Anna Savoleinen: I’m looking forward to the community that awaits me at Swarthmore. Growing up in RBK has been an incredible experience, but I am ready to branch out and meet new people. Everyone I’ve met so far has welcomed me with open arms, and I can’t wait to explore Philadelphia and meet new people in the fascinating city as well.
June Nathan: I’m looking forward to running track and academics. I’m majoring in Biology, and they just finished building a new science building with labs. The school is really nice, and I feel like I’ll get close with a lot of the teachers and faculty.

What challenges do you think you’ll face?
Griffin Giles: Balancing school life, sports life, and social life. Building connections with people through sports and academics. Keeping school a priority when you have to travel far beyond New York State.
Aidan Prezzano: I think it’ll be hard to adjust to college life in the beginning, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Track will take time, but I am used to playing a sport year round.
Nate Strassberger: I’m going to be a freshman again, so I have to start from the beginning. Nothing I have done up to that point will matter. I have to prove myself and show everyone the player that I am.
Addy Kelly: I’ll have to get used to college life and studies while also being a part of a D1 sports team.
Emily Seldin: I think I’ll struggle a bit with the initial transition; with freedom comes responsibility. I’ll have to manage my own schedule, especially when balancing classes, swim, and staying healthy. Although it’ll be challenging, I’m excited for it. I think I’m ready for college, and I also think I’m prepared to fail by myself.
Anna Savoleinen: I know that I will face the classic challenge of how to balance my time between work, classes, friends, and training. I don’t want to have a calendar scheduling myself to the last minute, but I will need to learn how to dedicate the proper amount of time to all of these areas while still feeling myself and finding who I am away from home and in a new environment.
June Nathan: I’m a little bit worried about the academic and athletic balance. I want to focus on my studies just as much as I’m focusing on my sport. But I feel like schools these days are very good at helping athletes balance their academics with athletics.

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