South’s athletes sail to college athletics

Prisha Priyadarshini, Managing Editor

     Eight hours of school, sports practice until five, dinner, homework, sleep, then repeat. This is a typical schedule for high school athletes who hope to play in college. Whether tennis, football, track and field, cross country, fencing or volleyball, committing to play a sport at the college level isn’t easy. According to Athletic Scholarship Stats, “Overall a little over 7% of high school athletes (about 1 in 13) go on to play a varsity sport in college.” But with the hard work and determination of our Pirate athletes, we’ve been able to achieve this. South’s college bound athletes are Ananya Devpura, Ayush Saran, Kavya Karra, Carlton Cummings, Jordan Ritchwood, Ruby Madia, Sibana Gonzalez, Samantha Syrek and myself, Prisha Priyadarshini.

Ayush Saran:

     Ayush Saran will be participating in Division I track and field and cross country at Dartmouth and plans on  majoring in Economics. Saran said, “The hardest thing about being a student athlete is trying to excel in your sport while handling a tough workload as a student.” 

Carlton Cummings:

     Carlton Cummings will be playing Division III volleyball at Emmanuel College and plans on majoring in Psychology. He was named WW-P South’s Male Athlete of the Year and played for South’s varsity soccer and volleyball teams. Having to play two sports at a high level is demanding. Cummings said, “I have learned that everyday you need to focus on improving everyday to have consistent growth.”

Jordan Ritchwood:

     Jordan Ritchwood will be playing Division III football at Fairleigh Dickinson University and plans on  majoring in Liberal Arts. He has had a great impact on WW-P United’s football program. As a senior, he set an example for his underclassmen to show them how to be a true student athlete. Ritchwood said, “It is going to take hard work and dedication to be a student athlete because you have to learn how to make it before practice or games.” 

Ruby Madia:

     Ruby Madia will be playing Division III softball at Babson College and plans on  majoring in Finance. As the only captain of WW-P’s United Softball team, she is both a leader and a player. Madia said, “Dealing with pressure and stress, working with those around me and learning how to be responsible and dependable are all so important and softball helped me develop those skills in a whole new way. “

Sibana Gonzalez:

     Sibana Gonzalez will be playing Division I volleyball at Long Island University and plans on majoring in Biology and is interested in being a pediatric orthodontist. Sibana has had a stunning high school career in volleyball with over 100 all-kills.  Gonzalez said, “Being a student athlete has definitely shaped me into the person I am today by developing skills like determination and discipline as well as keeping myself accountable and being responsible.

Prisha Priyadarshini:

     I saved myself for last. I will be playing Division III tennis for The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and plan on majoring in Computer Science. Last year, I won third place in the first singles flight in the Mercer County Tennis Championships and also was the Most Valuable Player for Girls Tennis. Some advice that I would give to younger student athletes is to party hard, work harder, and rest hardest. 

   Being a student athlete is difficult, time consuming, and it requires a lot of dedication. I am very proud of myself and the other athletic commits for achieving this rare feat and wish them luck as they sail to college. Go Pirates!

Carlton Cummings , Jordan Ritchwood, Ananya Devpura, Kavya Karra, Samantha Syrek, Prisha Priyadarshini, Ruby Madia, Ayush Saran, and Sibana Gonzalez