National Signing Day: 11 locals make college commitments


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Today is National Signing Day, with my locals set to sign National Letters of Intent or make their commitments to play at the next level. I wrote a story about all of the athletes that are heading for Division 1, Ivy League or military academies, but here is an excerpt about the boys soccer players: 

Eleven local boys soccer players will be playing at either Division 1 or Ivy League schools next fall, with nine of them coming from U.S. Soccer Academies.

Byram Hills defender Dan Bank (Bucknell), Mahopac midfielder Arun Basuljevic (Georgetown), Irvington forward Ben Ovetksy (Binghamton), North Rockland defender Blaise Panepinto (Iona), Tappan Zee goalkeeper Zach Adler (Columbia), Beacon defender Theo Miller (Yale), Fordham Prep goalkeeper and Katonah resident Mark Rajovic (Marist), Ossining midfielder Cameron Jones (Massachusetts-Lowell) and forward Alex Tejera (Siena), and Mamaroneck forward Nick Tunic (Central Connecticut) and midfielder Stefan Gualano (Stony Brook) have each made their college decisions.

Only Tunic, the Section 1 large school player of the year, and Ovetsky, the Section 1 small school player of the year, played high school soccer this past fall.

“You have the best training, you play with the best players and it’s the best environment for me to become a better player,” Bank said of playing U.S. Academy soccer. “But it was such a hard decision. Coming from Byram Hills, it’s such a great program, and I really wanted to be a part of it. It was a tough decision, but I chose academy because I thought it would best prepare me for college. Looking back now, it was the right decision.”

Photo by Peter Carr/The Journal News

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About Author

VINCENT Z. MERCOGLIANO has been with The Journal News and since March 2010. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 2005 and from Hofstra University in 2009 with a degree in broadcast journalism. He currently covers boys soccer, wrestling and baseball, while assisting with LoHud's Yankees coverage.