By Griffin Johnson and Chris Wood
There were no surprises on Nov. 13, 2013, National Letter of Intent day for Jamesville-DeWitt High School's future Division I athletes. Unlike J-D alum DaJuan Coleman, who made his choice on-air in front of an audience of his peers and reporters, these athletes had previously committed to their schools of choice. Nevertheless, it was still a special day for the athletes, their parents, coaches, teammates, friends, and the J-D community.
This year, there were five different athletes who signed their National Letter of Intent to play four different sports. Seniors Ryan McKee and Griffin Feiner will be attending Canisius College and the University of Hartford respectively to play lacrosse. Senior Jafar Kinsey is headed to Robert Morris University to play basketball and senior Chris McGee is going to The State University of New York at Binghamton to play baseball. The last athlete, the only girl who signed, senior Kalie Coyne will be attending The University of Loyola Maryland for swimming.
Chris McGee made history this year with his signing to play baseball at Binghamton University next year. This is because there haven’t been many players to go play Division I baseball from J-D. McGee thinks it is “cool” to be one of the few players to be Division-I caliber from J-D. “I’m surprised because we have a good baseball program so I would think there would be more player, but it shows how hard I have worked.” McGee chose Binghamton because, “I loved the coaches better than any school I visited and it felt like home.”
Feiner joined the long list of lacrosse players to continue their careers at the next level. Feiner felt the decision to attend the University of Hartford was easy. “I felt the school was the right size for me and a good fit. I also felt like I really fit in with the team at Hartford. I feel that the coaches are truly committed to leading the team to be successful both on and off the field,” he says. Feiner thinks that it’s great to be done with the recruiting process because, “it relieves a lot of pressure.” He also says that he’s glad he is done because whereas many seniors are still nervous and trying to figure out where they are going next year, he doesn’t have to carry that burden.
Along with Feiner, McKee will also be playing DI lacrosse next year. McKee will be joining former J-D lacrosse players and brothers Jeff and Tim Edwards at Canisius College on the Golden Griffins’ lacrosse team. “It feels great that it’s all set and done. Knowing where I will be going to school is relieving,” said McKee. McKee was also considering playing for Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Sacred Heart University and also Salisbury University, but ended up choosing Canisius soon after he visited there this past fall.
The J-D basketball program has produced yet another DI collegiate athlete in Kinsey with his commitment and signing to Robert Morris University. Now that he is signed, “it’s a big relief off my chest,” says Kinsey. “Now I can focus on school, my social life, and the basketball season.” Kinsey, who was also considering many other DI schools, such as Boston University, Canisius College, Cornell University, and the University of Albany, says that fact that he formed a great relationship with Robert Morris Head Coach Andrew Toole played a key role in his decision. He also found that the Colonial’s style of play was very similar to his own. “They play up tempo, which I like. That’s my style too. Get out and score a lot of points.”
Coyne made her choice only a few weeks before the NLI Signing day came around. After visiting Loyola’s campus, Coyne knew that it would be a better fit for her than some of her other top choices, which included Marist College and Bucknell University. Coyne also found that her future school would provide her with “a good balance of academics and athletics.” And the “athletics” will start very early for Coyne as she has been told by her coach that she will contribute to the team during her freshman year.