The Pine Bush High School Athletic Dept. on Wednesday honored the school’s 19 senior athletes who plan to play collegiate sports in the fall.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment,” Pine Bush athletic director Michael Gillespie said. “Very few athletes get to take their play beyond high school and going to compete at college.”
Superintendent of Schools Tim Mains said the 19 athlete’s college experience is going to be much richer than his was as he didn’t have an opportunity to play a sport in college, just high school.
“I want you to know that, as you move forward and do this, as far as we’re concerned, you’re an extension of our school and the time that you spent with us,” he said. “And we’re going to follow your career. We want to know how you do.”
Three athletes will play Division I: Gunnar Meland (baseball/Siena College), Michael Dempsey (soccer/Bucknell University) and Bryce Boddie (track and field/Monmouth University).
Kevin Godinez will play Division II men’s lacrosse at Dominican College, while 13 athletes will go on to Division III schools and two will play at junior colleges.
Gillespie noted the challenges of the past year, which began in March 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the cancellation of the Spring 2020 season and delayed the start of Section 9 interscholastic sports until February. The “fall” season started immediately after the winter ended on March 1 and spring picked up April 19, immediately after the fall season ended.
Those challenges also translated to recruiting as recruits were unable to visit colleges the way they usually do.
After the athletes were recognized, they took pictures in front of a banner with their families and coaches.
“This year was a challenging, but also an exciting year for us because we didn’t know what was going to happen with sports,” Gillespie said. “We were able to get all three seasons in although they were one right after another. We’re proud of the fact that we were able to get everyone playing again this year, and that this group of athletes gets to take their game to all these different colleges next year shows what (Pine Bush) is all about.”