As senior student-athletes navigate through their final year at Oceanside High School, the district celebrated seven that have committed to continue playing their sports in college at a signing ceremony on March 9.
Those being lauded included varsity soccer players Michelle Lomoz, Joseph DiMiceli, Shane Monaghan and Joseph Mesoraca; softball pitcher Sabrina Seeger; swimming captain Kyle Sheinberg; and football player Vincent Vollaro.
“…This is what your hard work has been about since you were real tiny,” Jeffrey Risener, the district’s director of athletics, told the students. “All the dedication, the preparation, the studying to prepare to get you into college to play at the next level.”
The event was the second of this school year, as eight girls on the Sailors lacrosse team had symbolically inked their commitments to colleges back in December. Like that one, it was covered by Oceanside’s broadcast students, who interviewed the student-athletes afterward.
“The cameras, lights, action,” Risener said. “It’s just a terrific event and it also brings us all together.”
The school began holding ceremonies like these about seven years ago, when Jeffrey Risener, the district’s director of athletics, came to Oceanside. He and Frank Luisi, the district’s adviser for NCAA college-bound student athletes since 2011, have worked with teens — as early as freshman year — to make sure they can fulfill their dream of playing college athletics.
“It’s kind of surreal, because I’m finally growing up, graduating and going on a different level to play softball,” said Seeger, who will be attending St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.
Seeger, a four-year member of the varsity squad who also played basketball, helped pitch Oceanside to the county championship in 2015 during her sophomore year. She earned All-Conference accolades that season, and garnered an All-County Honorable Mention last year. Her expectations for her final season this spring are high.
“We have no expectations [other than] a county championship,” she said. “…We’re going to take it game by game, one at a time.”
Vollaro, another two-sport athlete also on the baseball team, hopes to make an impact on both sides of the football at SUNY Maritime College. The wide receiver and cornerback said his greatest high school memory came in the county championship during his junior year, when he caught a big pass to put the team in scoring position. The Sailors would ultimately lose to Farmingdale in that game, 34-23.
He said he is excited to pursue studying engineering while also playing a sport he loves.
“Obviously I’m determined and everything to work hard in football,” Vollaro said, “but [my] goal was to get a career out of it, and Maritime can give me that.”
DiMiceli and Lomoz will play soccer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Mesoraca is taking his talents to Mount Saint Mary College; Monaghan will play at St. Thomas Aquinas College; and Sheinberg will swim at Adelphi University.
“[By] the number of kids that we’re helping to get into college to play,” Risener said of the district’s efforts, “it seems like it’s been successful.”