Five Sign NLIs in Penfield

- Penfield NLI

Penfield LacrosseA good number of Penfield seniors including five boys lacrosse players and five girls lacrosse players met in the gym recently to celebrate their commitment to athletics in college with the signing of their Nation Letters of Intent.

All five senior boys in the lacrosse program had two common comments about the Patriot lacrosse program. First, they consistently credited Head Coach John Schembri with teaching them skills that go beyond the lacrosse field, and second, they all spoke about winning [at least] a sectional title this year.

Penfield Athletic Director Pete Shambo welcomed a group of family and friends to the assembly and helped to organize the signings and pictures after expressing his pride in the athletic seniors.

Cody Calvert

Penfield NLI signingsAfter looking at SUNY Cortland, Goucher, Mount St. Mary`s and Hamilton, Cody chose Ohio Northern as the place he wants to be for college lacrosse. "They have a great business program and there is really a national championship atmosphere. It's beautiful in the fall and I liked that everyone seems to know everyone else but it's like a big atmosphere."

Ohio Northern Head Coach Nat St. Laurent finished the NCAA Division III school's inaugural season last spring with 8-7 record. Section Five alumni Lucas Blaszyk (Churchville-Chili), Evan Corteville (Newark) and Noah St. Croix (Irondequoit) are on the current Polar Bear roster.

Cody transferred from Irondequoit High School in his sophomore year and looked up to US Lacrosse All American goalie, Willie Klan. "He was like a brother. He has done everything for me… and still does. I talk to him every day. He transferred too, so we had something to share." He quickly pointed out that his parents have been key to his high school career, noting that his father has coached him in youth lacrosse. Like his teammates, Cody wanted to thank Coach Schembri for making him feel so welcome. He also talked about his coach at Irondequoit, Craig Whipple, who he said, "he was, second to my father, the most important person in my life."

As for his last season with the Patriots Cody is looking for a Sectional Championship and more. "We're the first senior class in a while who hasn't won one. "Pittsford will be tough. Fairport will be tough. It's a tough division every year but we have a really good team this year. We play well together. It's going to be a lot of fun this year."

Adam Witscheber
Wanting to stay close to home, and with a close friend also attending, Adam easily picked RIT as his home after graduation from Penfield next spring. With an interest in accounting, he also looked at the College of St. Rose and Stevens Institute.

The long stick midfielder spoke highly of Coach Schembri. He also stated that as a younger player he looked up to Justin Rehm, the US Lacrosse All-American LSM who went to Siena. "Coach Schembri always told me to be like him because he was like a ball hawk so I watch his clips on-line and tried to do things like he did."

With his last season approaching Adam noted that although the Patriots always start off the season with the goal of winning the NYS title, "This year I think we have a pretty good chance. I'm hoping for a good year."

Peter Schwab

"It felt like the right fit for me," said Peter about his decision to move on to SUNY Albany next fall. "When I first met the coach, he seemed unique and I liked the atmosphere that be brought to practice. I liked the campus and how everything was so close." Hoping to study business administration, Peter also looked at Siena, Colgate, UMass and Bellarmine.

He took his official visit a couple of weeks ago and it went well. "It was awesome. I got to meet my future teammates and they seemed great. It got me really excited. No less than seven Section Five alumni were on the 2016 Great Dane roster.

Quite a lot of learning took place in his Varsity years, according to the two-time Section Five All-Tournament team player. "The Penfield lacrosse program is awesome and the coaches have taught me everything I know." He acknowledged, a number of personal decisions that he has made for himself as well, "Hard work, believing in myself and setting goals every day, to remind myself of what I can achieve."

Like his current teammates, Peter hopes this spring "we will raise the brick", winning a Section Five Championship. "I can't wait."

Penfield NLI

Andrew Powlin

With an interest in engineering it was not a difficult choice for Andrew to decide to take the five-year engineering program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "It's the best fit, overall, for me. They had my academic interest and, obviously, a great [NCAA] Division III program." He also looked at Le Moyne, Canisius and Clarkson.

Credit for his career thus far, goes to his coaches. "[Coach Schembri] inspires you to do a lot when off the field like shooting, wall ball and getting in the weight room. Without him, it wouldn't be the same."

Bellarmine midfielder Brian Wall was a role model for Andrew. "I looked up to him big time. When I was pulled up at the end of my freshman year I just remember him tearing the defenses apart. I liked his style."

To get ready for RIT the senior midfielder noted that he needs to get bigger and stronger. Beyond that, "I want to work on my offensive knowledge, my IQ of the game. RIT plays at a very high speed so getting my knowledge is [important]."

As for his last high school season. "We are very excited. We only lost two seniors from that year`s team. I think, offensively, we will be explosive with all three of our attackmen back. I hope that this year I can contribute to both offense and defense."

Brady D`Hont

There were lots of reasons why senior defenseman Brady D`Hont chose Canisius over schools he looked at. "My parents can come watch me play and it's a great fit for me both academically and athletically. There are many opportunities to play very soon in my career there. I loved Coach Mearns and Coach Murphy and all the guys there. It's a great program."

In moving to an NCAA Division I program, Brady noted a list of to dos: "Personally, I need to get a little faster, put on a little more weight and then keep my grades up, so I can maintain a good GPA going into college."

Like his other teammates, Brady speaks highly of Coach Schembri. "He is the workhorse of the program, not just the Varsity, but at all levels. He drives me and all the other players to be the best man and not just the best player. I give him all the credit [for my successes]. "My parents also do a lot for me. They support me in everything." He also noted his friends as key in his development. "I'd like to thank all my friends. They support me no matter what."

As for the immediate future, "Our goal is to win States, but right now it's one game at a time. I think it's going to be a great year."

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