By Marco Valle
Many senior student-athletes feel that graduation can mean a bittersweet ending for their athletic careers at New Hyde Park Memorial. However, this is not the case for athletes Brandon Lynn, Cody McClean, Aidan Garvey and Alexa Stec who have made the decision to continue their sports in college. After many years of participation and grind, many NHP senior-athletes have established a career for their sport. They have been chosen to display their talent and skill as they take their athletic career to the next level.
For instance, senior and pitcher Brandon Lynn is committed to play Division II baseball at Felician University next year. Cody McClean is committed to play Division II lacrosse at Belmont Abbey. Aidan Garvey and Alexa Stec are committed to play Division II lacrosse at Adelphi University for men’s and women’s lacrosse respectively.
Many New Hyde Park student-athletes believe that this recognition does not come without hard work and dedication. Many student-athletes realize the amount of work and time committed to their sport comes from a place of appreciation for their respective sports. Therefore, these athletes dedicate hours of practice to hone their performance in their respective sport. Additionally, some students feel that the support of their friends, family and coaches is crucial to their success as an athlete.
“I had to grind nonstop for a decade by having catches and ripping shots with my dad, working out whether it was interval training, weightlifting, or speed training and I had to watch and learn different moves and techniques from the best of the best.” senior Cody McClean said.
“Ever since I started playing lacrosse I have put in a tremendous amount of work.” Alexa Stec said. “I have hired multiple lacrosse trainers ranging from national team goalies to local goalie coaches, I have been up and down the east coast and even flew to Texas in order to play in front of college coaches, and my club team trained together and watched film all year round.”
“It took a major commitment to the game at a young age to get to where I am today.” senior Brandon Lynn said. “I’m grateful for family, friends, teammates, coaches, and my travel team for helping me reach my goal to play college baseball, and I'll be working harder in college.”
“Every year since I was about 7 years old I played in travel teams as well as PAL.” senior Aidan Garvey said. “Ever since high school it's been a workload every day during practice. In the off-season I've done many skill and agility sessions to help improve my game.”
Pursuing a sport in college can be vastly different from sports at NHP. College sports require a new level of dedication and perseverance that is evident in many recruited athletes.
“It will be different because in college the schools are more involved in their sports, and everything is nearby on campus.” senior Brandon Lynn said. “I’ll see my teammates more and everything I do will be with my team.”
“It will be a lot more physically and mentally demanding because of longer hours playing, lifting, and watching film. Our practices will also be year-round.” senior Cody McClean said.
“It will definitely be different from high school sports because it’s no longer about playing sports just to have things to do after school.” Alexa Stec said.
Sources by Areej Zaidi, Monica Soluri, and from Brandon Lynn
NHP athletes work hard in practices and games to help develop their skills for the next level.
“I expect a change from competition level as well as an increase of engagement throughout practices.” senior Aidan Garvey said. “High school lacrosse isn’t easy but it’s going to be a drastic difference compared to college, I'm going to need to work for a spot.”
While pursuing their athletic careers, each athlete has had great guidance from their coaches. Many athletes feel that the support of their coaches was an essential component to their success. Providing both technical and emotional support, coaches are responsible for challenging athletes to their limit.
“Brandon Lynn is a competitor,” Coach McCormack said. “One of the things that sticks out in my mind when I think about his career at NHP is Brandon’s freshman year. He pitched for the varsity squad and was unfazed by facing the older competition. He took the mound with ice in his veins and immediately gained the respect of his upperclassmen. I think that experience helped him develop into the leader he has become. He has a strong work ethic and continues to improve his craft each practice.”
Source from Brandon Lynn
Brandon Lynn aims to continue his athletic career as a Division II baseball player at Felician University.
“When I think of the student-athletes from the Class of 2024 I think of values like hard work, dedication, perseverance, and commitment.” NHP athletic director Mr. Maguire said. “Each one of these athletes is talented in their chosen sport. But it takes an incredible amount of dedication, and hard work that I see each one of them put in day in and day out. I am so proud of our college commits and believe they represent the best of New Hyde Park on and off the field.”