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Senior Athletes Shine at First Signing Day

Samuel Dern

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[ot-caption title=”Senior Garret Rukes signs with the University of Alabama, (via Jack Steinberg, junior)”]

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 was a very special day for five incredible students and their families. Pine Crest’s Annual Fall Sports Signing Day is always a proud and emotional day for the students who are lucky enough to continue playing the sport they love at the collegiate level, and this year’s kickoff was no different. The Pine Crest family supported this year’s early signees: Bri Bruny, Garret Rukes, Izzy Lopez, Julia Montgomery, and Bianca Tedesco, as they committed to their future college to start the next athletic and academic journey in their lives.  Each athlete is special for a different reason, and PC is thrilled for these five seniors.

Bri Bruny began playing volleyball in sixth grade, where she hoped to make new friends and have fun, but it eventually turned into a passion. She realized that she loved the game of volleyball and wanted to become more serious about it in the eighth grade, and the rest is history.  A huge part of deep playoff runs last year and this recent season, Bruny will take her talents to Division I’s Bryant University in Providence.  She stated about this opportunity, “For the future I’m really excited to explore a new state while playing volleyball. I’m always excited to meet new people and try new things so I think the potential opportunities that Rhode Island holds is the best part.”

Next, Garret Rukes will represent Pine Crest as he continues his baseball career in the SEC.  Garret is unique for a couple of reasons.  He pitches side-armed and with his left hand, making him a nightmare to try to hit.  Additionally, Rukes has a rare blend of power and finesse that is sure to keep batters off balance form the first pitch.  He’s the only pitcher in South Florida to pitch an outstanding fifty innings in a season for three consecutive years. Garret is psyched to have the opportunity to continue playing the game he loves at the University of Alabama.

Julia Montgomery began running in elementary school with her dad a few days a week, but that quickly escalated into running 5Ks and eventually Middle School Cross Country meets all over Florida. She had always looked up to the older girls when she was younger and strived to follow in their footsteps. Julia shares her experience throughout high school as she climbed up the ranks; she said, “When I came to Pine Crest, I reached a whole new level of running that I never thought was possible.” She currently holds seven records at PC and looks to pave her path in college the same way. Julia will run cross country and track for William and Mary next fall.

Bianca Tedesco will continue her lacrosse career.  She began playing lacrosse in second grade solely because her brothers played.  Bianca had a dream, and she knew exactly how to go about achieving her goals.  She stated, “I always knew that I wanted to play in college, and I worked with my family to put myself in the best situations to be seen by coaches and to get recruited.” Not only does she have a passion for playing lacrosse, but she also enjoys spreading her love for the sport through the Coral Springs Chiefs recreational youth league. Head of PCGLAX, Coach Eileen Pliske shared how remarkable and selfless Bianca is both on and off the field in her community. Through hard work and determination, Bianca’s dream became a reality, and she plans on attending Winthrop University in the fall.

Finally, Izzy Lopez has been playing lacrosse for many years, and her hard work payed off.  After transferring to Pine Crest as a sophomore, she immediately became a crucial part of the girls’ team as an attacker. Coach Eileen Pliske believes that she is such an incredible player not only because of her ability to score quickly and often, but also because of her ability to play any position when she is needed. Her diversity as her player makes her an integral part of the team at PC, and it will translate to the collegiate level when Izzy attends American University next year.

All five of these athletes have committed so much of their time to work hard and achieve their goals of playing their specific sport in college, and the Pine Crest community wishes them congratulations and the best of luck as they begin the next chapter in their lives.

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The Student News Site of Pine Crest School
Senior Athletes Shine at First Signing Day