Five Conant athletes sign commitments to play in college
Photos by Adithya Chari
Five Conant athletes have signed their ceremonial letter of intent to play college sports at their respective schools. Athletes at the Nov. 17 ceremony included softball players Makenna McCarthy and Jackie Carlucci, golfer Lina Jang, basketball player Ryan Davis, and baseball player Sam Ryan.
Athletic Director John Kane said, “We’re extremely proud of the athletes that go on to compete in college. They represent our student-athletes at the next level, and they’re role models for their teammates. We follow them in college, and we really love to see them compete and share their experiences with us.”
McCarthy will play softball at Winona State University next year, a Division II school in Minnesota. She won First Team All-conference honors the past two seasons and is a member of the National Honor Society. She thanks softball coach CathyAnn Smith for making her into the person and outfielder she is today. “Makenna has stepped into the role of a great outfielder and uses her versatility to help us in all areas of the team,” Smith said. McCarthy plans on majoring in nursing.
Carlucci will play softball at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a Division III school. She plans to major in nursing and then earning an advanced degree in pediatric nursing. “Walking on campus, it felt like home, and getting to play softball there is so exciting,” Carlucci said. She will be a pitcher in college. “Jackie knows how to push herself, not only for herself but for the team. She always puts the team first. We’re excited to have her as a leader this senior year,” Smith said.
Jang will also attend Winona State University, but unlike McCarthy she’ll be playing golf there. “I wanted to go somewhere far, but not really far. When I went there, I really liked the campus, so I was like yep, I want to play here,” Jang said. She credits her success to pushing herself really hard freshmen and sophomore year. She made state this season. She plans on becoming an international sports agent after college. “I hope that she enjoys her time there and makes some more friendships and develops her game even more,” girls’ golf head coach Megan Hebert said.
Davis will play basketball as a center at the University of Vermont, a Division I school. Davis said he is attending Vermont for a variety of reasons, including having a good fit with the coaching staff, the high level of academics there, and the fact they won their conference last season. “My mindset has pushed me to the next level to never settle and always work for something to be the best that I can be,” Davis said. Davis will either double major in or major and minor in business and kinesiology. “He’s got great size, but he’s also got very high skill level. Sometimes people have one or the other, but he’s got both,” boys’ basketball head coach Jim Maley said.
Ryan will play baseball as a shortstop at Saint Xavier University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school in Chicago. Conant’s head baseball coach, Derek Fivelson, played baseball there from 1998-2001. “It feels amazing. I look up to [Fivelson]. He’s a mentor to me and to go to the same college as him is amazing,” Ryan said. Ryan won Conant Baseball’s Mr. Hustle award last season, an award based on voting by his teammates. “I hope to give [Saint Xavier] the best opportunity to win baseball games and contribute the best I can,” Ryan said. Ryan plans on majoring in business administration.