Senior Athletes Commit to Colleges Early


Harry Birch (upper left), Lorenz Esposito (lower left), and Ryan Kirshner (right) playing their respective sports.

It’s the thing athletes fantasize about while at the gym; what they dream about every night; the light at the end of the tunnel that makes all the concussions, broken bones, and countless trips to the trainer worth something: committing to a college.

For a few lucky athletes at Staples, Christmas came early this year.

Ryan Kirshner, Lorenz Esposito, and Harry Birch are among those seniors who had committed to a university before they even packed their backpacks for the first day of senior year.

“I didn’t want to lose the opportunity,” stated Kirshner, who committed to Colgate University last December for girls’ lacrosse. “Rather then dragging out the process which consumed my whole junior fall, I wanted to get it done and get the pressure off of me.”

Future Bucknell mens’ soccer player Harry Birch expressed a similar feeling.

“I wanted to get my college process over with and felt very happy to commit myself to spending four years playing there.”

Even though these seniors can breathe easier with the pressure of college applications off their backs, they can’t breathe too easy, as committing early doesn’t come without its own expectations.

Both Kirshner’s and Birch’s schools have already informed them that they are expected to maintain their GPAs for the remainder of the school year and to stay out of any legal trouble. Failing to meet this requirement could jeopardize their spot on the team; in addition, both Birch and Kirshner still have to fill out the same college application for their schools that every Staples senior will submit.

In contrast, soccer player Lorenz Esposito’s future home, The University of Connecticut, has not mentioned any requirements academic-wise. But Esposito still understands the importance of remaining in good academic standing and plans to maintain his GPA.

“It’s important to know that sports aren’t everything, and obtaining an education is equally important,” said Esposito.

Even though these athletes still have to do their calculus homework and study for their world history tests just like the rest of the student body, Kirshner thinks it’s still pretty sweet to have the burden of college off their backs.

“It’s more relaxing because while everyone has to do around ten applications and essays, I have one application, the common app, and one supplementary essay, so I don’t have to worry as much,” said Kirshner.

For Esposito, the chance to commit early wasn’t just about getting the pressure off early, but also “about starting on the team and working towards new goals.”

These atheltes do have some advice for those at Staples who hope to one day commit to a college for athletics.

“It’s very time consuming and you have to be confident and committed to putting time and effort into it,” said Birch,

Kirshner agreed, adding, “Don’t let the prestige of a school get in the way because it can really start to impact your decision. Make a decision based on if that school is right for you, if you like the student body, and your overall gut feeling.”