Five Brighton student-athletes made huge life decisions on Wednesday afternoon, each signing a National Letter of Intent to attend their given schools to play their given sports.
Brighton girls lacrosse’s Amanda Archer (Tiffin University), boys lacrosse’s Dylan Mercier (University of Detroit), girls swimming’s McKenna Resconich (Navy), cross country and track’s Jenna Sica (Grand Valley State University) and softball’s Emily Barr (University of Findlay) gathered with their family and friends at the high school to cement their choices.
For Resconich, who also considered University at Buffalo and Air Force, finding Navy and ultimately signing on to become a Midshipmen marked one of the best moments in her life.
“I know I will succeed there,” said Resconich of choosing the school located in Annapolis, Md. “It’s an amazing school with amazing people. It was like a family. When I went and visited, everyone told me, ‘You get that gut feeling when you find the school of your dreams.’ And I got it at Navy.
“I even texted my mom, ‘I found my new home.’ I knew I belonged there.”
Resconich said the idea of going to a military academy entered her mind early in the college selection process. It became her focus once her uncle came over in the summer and saw West Point on her list of potential schools.
“He said, ‘Did you look at any of the other academies?’” Resconich said. “And I looked at Navy and realized that coach had emailed me, too.”
After a visit, Resconich was sold. She’ll swim for a Midshipmen team that won the Patriot League last season. When she’s done after four years, she’ll then serve the country for five.
None of Wednesday’s other signees will serve, but each hopes to succeed in their chosen sport.
Amanda Archer, who plays goalie for the Bulldogs, is looking forward to her freshman year at Tiffin. She’s been eyeing the next level of the sport since her sophomore year when she traveled to the East Coast for a tournament and realized her skills were on par with many college athletes.
“It all came about when I played travel lacrosse,” said Archer, who along with playing lacrosse will major in exercise science. “I didn’t really know where I wanted to go to school or what I wanted to do, but Tiffin found me when I played in the President’s Cup in Florida for my travel team (Detroit Coyotes). I started talking to the coach and I fell in love with the campus.”
Bulldogs boys lacrosse player Dylan Mercier loved the proximity of the University of Detroit to Brighton.
He also loved that he already knew many of his teammates. That’s why he’s been committed to the Titans for more than a year and never wavered.
“I just liked the coaching staff and I’m good buddies with a lot of people on the team already,” Mercier said. “And I love how close it is to home. They also have a criminal justice program that I wanted to do and all that, so that’s basically it.”
Mercier isn’t certain what position he’ll play for the Titans just yet, but guessed midfield.
Jenna Sica won’t have a position as a cross country and track runner for Grand Valley. The distance runner who just helped the Bulldogs cross country squad to a second-place finish at the Division 1 state meet joins an equally-talented group at the college level.
Grand Valley won its third straight Division 2 national championship last year and is looking to extend that streak to four in 2015. That, of course, is both exciting and intimidating to Sica, who is thrilled to be on a perennial winner but nervous with them having a roster of 36 runners.
However, she expects that to motivate her to reach her peak performance.
“It definitely helps that they’re already a very successful team,” said Sica, who chose Grand Valley over Hillsdale and Bowling Green. “But with success, it makes it harder to be a varsity runner on a team like that. So it’s good and bad. But it will definitely push me to be better.”
Emily Barr, meanwhile, will head to the University of Findlay in Ohio.
She’ll play for the softball team in either the outfield or at second base. She’ll also go for her master’s degree.
“It has a five-year master’s program for athletic training,” Barr said, “and that’s what I want to go into.”
Perhaps Barr, talking about her own situation, also summed up everyone’s thoughts best.
“Just my hard work and dedication paid off,” she said.
And although they’re all going different places, that rings true for all five of the Brighton signees.