Finn Sipes ’22
In recent years, Mercersburg has dedicated itself to nurturing an environment that allows its students to play at the highest levels they can achieve. Some students grow so much through their time at Mercersburg that they end up playing at the collegiate level. The members of the Class of 2021 accomplishing this incredible feat are: Taylor Chepren ’21 (lacrosse, Marymount University), Kiersten Donnelly ’21 (swimming, University of New Hampshire), Tom Flanagan ’21 (basketball, St. Lawrence University), Ava Hull ’21 (basketball, Swarthmore College), Liz Kendrick ’21 (lacrosse, Vassar College), Andrew Yuen ’21 (swimming, Amherst College), and Maiyah Johnson ’21 (basketball, Johnson & Wales).
Mercersburg does a lot for the students who want to work to play sports at the collegiate level. Andrew Yuen stated, “Mercersburg has given me the structure to compete in sports at the college level. From the strict regimen of having to show up every day at practice to working hard in and out of the pool.” The hard work and dedication it takes to play at such a high level are extraordinary. Ava Hull said. “One of the biggest things Mercersbugr provided for me was the Elevate program, which helped me build strength, show me injury prevention exercises and overall feel more comfortable in the weight room.”
Apparent in these statements is the idea that athletes need to put in the work not only during PGA time but also during free time. The ability to use the weight room or even practice independently, using tools like the shooting machine, helps Mercersburg athletes to continue to compete at their highest level.
Taylor Chepren said, “Typical work I put in outside of PGA consisted of going to the gym and lifting, going on runs outside, and spending much time with my stick on a wall or with a net to shoot. I also played summer lacrosse and played in many tournaments.” College bound athletes put in incredible work on a day-to-day basis, showing their dedication and love for their respective sports.
Many of the recruited players are excited to switch the scenery in which they play and work. Going to college allows them to face new challenges and stiffer competition. Hull stated, “Playing in college will allow me to build new relationships with new teammates and to be able to make lifelong friendships with them.” Chepren said, “I look forward to a change in environment, as Marymount is within a city. But also look forward to my growth in athletics, academics, and who I am as a person as well as my independence.”
Though these fantastic athletes look forward to playing at a new level, they carry much love for the place where they made the dream happen and all the incredible memories they’ve made. “I’d like to thank my coaches, Coach Ahlgren and Coach Chepren, and my teammates for being such great supporters and people who help me push my limits and make me stronger,” said Chepren.
“I want to say thank you. To all my coaches and even teachers. Thank you to all my friends and family, I wouldn’t be where I am today without each and every coach and friend with me,” Yuen said.