Less than 1 percent of high school athletes are offered Division I scholarships, according to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School's Atheltic Director Ryan Miller. On Nov. 21 the high school held a brief ceremony to honor three of four athletes who have received scholarships to play a Division I sport.
Christine Monroy and Colin Stripling will be heading off to college to play Division I soccer, while Stephen Pederson will be leaving in July to join the golf team at West Point.
Last week, James D'Angelo also signed his official letter to play Division I baseball at Manhattan College.
The athletes will also receive their name on a plaque which will be on a wall in the school as long as the building stands, Miller said. All four athletes will be joining the roughly 150 SPFHS Athletes that have played Division I sports over the years.
Golf coach Ryan Goracy said after witnessing Pedersen's leadership in both the classroom and on the golf course, he can see why West Point would choose him as a cadet .
Pedersen said going to West Point is something he has always wanted to do and has been very interested in. He noted it being a perfect fit.
He added that his grandfather was in the 82nd Airborne Division during the 1950's.
Although Pedersen's appointment is not official until February, he has been officially offered a place on the golf team.
"My whole family plays and they introduced me," said Pedersen who has played the sport since he was about four or five.
Pedersen's father, Stephen Pedersen Sr. said he and his wife are very proud of their son.
Since starting at SPFHS three years ago, Miller said it has been a privilege to see these students develop since their sophomore year.
"What's been remarkable is them leading their teams," he said.
Miller also said that with the soccer players there is a hint of sadness with the current season not turning out the way both teams hoped.
However, he said he hopes that the players will walk away realizing how far they have gotten, especially these players moving onto Division I teams.
Monroy will be attending the University of Louisville, where she plans on majoring in either chemistry or biology. The Center Back has played soccer since she was 7 and is looking forward to being in the new competitive environment.
Although she was unsure where she originally wanted to attend college, her must-have was to be out of the tri-state area and once visiting Louisville she really enjoyed it.
"I'm definitely looking forward to being in a new environment that's far away from here," she said.
Monroy is receiving a 65 percent athletic scholarship and a 30 percent academic scholarship to the University of Louisville.
Stripling will be staying a bit closer to home to attend Monmouth University. The Center Midfielder said he is looking forward to a new environment and playing at the collegiate level.
"I'm very lucky right now and going to make the most of it," Stripling said.
He added that he anticipates his next season to be much harder, but he is looking forward to it and will take each day as it comes.
Miller wanted to call on how remarkable the athletes have always been since he doesn't get the chance to tell them during the season.
"I can't think of a single instance where they weren't remarkable," Miller said. "I'm proud of them."
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