A Closer Look at JJ’s D1 Athletic Commits


At John Jay High School, we have about 11 students committed to playing athletics at Division 1 universities. Some have been committed for over a year and others just recently.  However, most of them, if not all, will be intensely training to prepare for their sport at the collegiate level. As follows are the names of students and their universities they will be attending:

Bryce Ford – Fairfield University Men’s Lacrosse

Dean Ford – Fairfield University Men’s Lacrosse

Grace Vittoria – Binghamton University Women’s Soccer

Grant Edwards – Iona University Men’s Swimming

Alison Oestreicher – University of Vermont Women’s Soccer

Brett Paulsen – Stony Brook Men’s Baseball

Rosie Ceisler – University of Vermont Women’s Field Hockey

Joe Biancone – George Washington University Men’s Baseball

Jenna Giardina – University of Holy Cross Women’s Lacrosse

Cara O’Reilly – Colgate University Women’s Lacrosse

Pippa Nuttall – Georgetown University Women’s Track & Field

Being a committed athlete has its perks, but it’s a major commitment as well. I interviewed three commits to see just how different their senior year is from regular students: one boy’s lacrosse commit, one girl’s lacrosse commit, and one girl’s soccer commit. I asked them all the same 5 questions.

1) When did you commit as a D1 athlete?
2) Has the decision affected your work ethic for high school?
3) Does the school your playing for provide a workout?/ Is it difficult?
4) Have you met kids also committed to the team?/ Do you like them?
5) Do you plan on continuing your sport past the collegiate level?   

Dean Ford, Jenna Giardina, and Grave Vittoria all answered these questions similarly which gets me to believe that most collegiate athletes share a similar experience. However, as expected, when asked question number 1, all had different answers. Dean Ford committed with his twin brother in the “fall of [his] junior year.” Jenna Giardina committed in “February of [her] sophomore year.” And lastly, Grace Vittoria committed in “July of 2017.”

Though, when asked the second question, they all agreed. When asked “Has the decision affected your work ethic in high school”,  Ford said, “my work ethic has been swayed in a way. I do have to keep a certain GPA but it is not nearly as good as it used to be my first two years of high school”. Giardina replied, “yes. I have to keep a 90 GPA (or around that). My parents and coach except me to keep my grades up”. And Vittoria responded, “Yes, not during my junior year because I continued to work hard and really cared about my grades but once I got to senior year my motivation to study really plummeted, probably because I already knew where I was going to school and everybody else was freaking out about applications and deadlines..”

After the interviews, it became clear that almost all D1 commits receive work out packets for their offseason training in the summer. Ford explained, “I don’t receive my workout from my school until the summer. But until then, I have to work out on my own to make sure I’m a similar size to an 18-22-year-old once I enter college.”  Giardina also said, “I haven’t seen the workout yet but this summer I will get a packet for running and lifting.”

Additionally, most D1 athletes reach out to other commits on their future collegiate team. Dean Ford said, “I have met most of the kids committed with me. Aside from meeting them we also are in constant communication over social media. I do like most of the kids committed with me. Some of them I just don’t know well enough yet to have an opinion on.” Jenna replied, “Yes. I love all of my teammates.”

Finally, most D1 athletes agree that they won’t continue their career after college. Vittoria and Giardina both said “no” when asked if they were going to continue their career. Ford explained, “As of right now, lacrosse is not a big sport after the collegiate level but I will play in men’s leagues and other similar playing grounds once I graduate”.

John Jay is fortunate to have so many athletes excel to the next level of athletics. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.