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Student Spotlight: Exemplary Athletes

By Jasmin Jani

Senior Caley Caleca and junior Sofia Bigeni are two dedicated athletes at New Hyde Park Memorial High School who recently committed to continue their athletic careers in college. Sofia committed to play Division 1 soccer at Iona University, and Caley committed to play Division 2 field hockey at Molloy University.

Source by Sam Tsui

Sofia Bigieni and Caley Caleca wear the first of many college clothes they expect to receive as an athlete to show their excitement for committing to play a sport in college.

What led you to commit to playing a sport in college at such a young age?

Caley Caleca: I committed early because I knew I wanted to play field hockey, and Molloy gave me that opportunity while still being able to study general education.

Sofia Bigieni: I committed at such an early age because I found the school at a really early time, and it was the right fit for me.

How was your overall sports experience at New Hyde Park Memorial?

CC: Playing sports at New Hyde Park Memorial has definitely given me a variety of opportunities. Over the years, the coaches have taught me so much, and I am very grateful for that!

SB: My overall experience playing at New Hyde Park Memorial was amazing. It is so much fun playing school soccer compared to club soccer.

What are your future sports goals?

CC: In the future, I want to be successful at Molloy and possibly earn a starting spot. When I graduate, I want to be able to coach field hockey.

SB: My future sports goal is to pursue my career at Iona University. I am excited for a new beginning and a fresh start.

What is the recruitment process like?

CC: The recruitment process was definitely a little bit nerve racking because of the possibility of not getting in. But, my coaches guided me through it, and I used platforms like Instagram and FieldLevel to help me get noticed by coaches.

SB: The recruitment process was definitely stressful, but it got easier towards the end.

What or who inspired you?

CC: My parents definitely inspired me during my field hockey journey because they’ve worked so hard their whole lives. They had to work hard for what they wanted, and I had to work hard by going to extra practices, trying to get into tournaments and practicing with teams even though I wasn’t able to compete because of the location of the tournament.

SB: My sister inspired me because she played field hockey in college, and I also wanted to play a sport in college.

Why did you choose the sport you play?

CC: I chose field hockey in seventh grade because I wanted to try something new, and I ended up loving it. It was so fun, and I knew I wanted to continue playing it throughout high school. In junior year, I realized that I wanted to play field hockey in college.

SB: I chose soccer because it was the only sport I played growing up.


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