EAST PROVIDENCE -— Ten student-athletes in the graduating Class of 2023 at East Providence High School, five each young women and men, formalized their choices to continue their sporting …
EAST PROVIDENCE -— Ten student-athletes in the graduating Class of 2023 at East Providence High School, five each young women and men, formalized their choices to continue their sporting careers during a signing ceremony held Wednesday afternoon, May 24, in the Elmasian Auditorium.
Three Townies will go onto play softball at Roger Williams University in the fall: pitcher Keira Quadros, catcher Ava Mendence and outfielder/second baseman Josley Sosa. Ryleigh Grant will join her mates in Bristol to play for the Hawks' women's lacrosse squad. Yet another in the EPHS Class of '23, Manny Santos, will play baseball at RWU.
Brookelyn Feola next joins the women's volleyball team at Rhode Island College while Jack McKnight becomes an Anchorman in baseball.
Martim Moniz's wrestling career next takes him Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska while teammate Jacob Poore moves onto Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute. And Yusef Abdullah is headed just across the state line to play football at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
"For us (the signing ceremony is) a way to say thank you, but also to say we're going to be following you," said EPHS Athletic Director Alex Butler. "So as you go off to college we always hope that you come back, you graduate, you go onto to your profession, you guys are always Townies. You guys are always welcomed back...These are great kids. They're awesome kids. They're the best of the best. These are type of kids we want to come back to East Providence and continue to put their imprint on the community."
EPHS has held similar signing events sporadically over the last several years, but Butler said upon taking over the position late last calendar year from his predecessor Gregg Amore the ceremony was something he wanted students and their families to look forward to annually in the future.
"It's important to recognize the success of our athletes regardless of what level they play at in college," said Butler.
Nine of the Townies will vie in the NCAA Division III ranks next fall. Moniz heads to Concordia where the Bulldogs vie in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
"Athletes at East Providence High School should be recognized for playing at the next level regardless if it's Division I, II or III," Butler continued. "Roughly two percent of all high school athletes go on to play intercollegiate sports. And that's not just four years. That's for one season on a roster. So for me it's a tremendous accomplishment for the kids and for the parents.
"I think about this now with my kids. The amount of driving, going around to tournaments. I need this glove. I need this cleat. I need these pants. Nope, not those, mom, dad, that's not the one. But all of that, it's worth it to see them up here on the stage today."