FAIRFIELD >> Monday afternoon at the Fairfield Auditorium, five Fairfield Ludlowe athletes signed national letters of intent to play at the next level in the fall of 2014.
Kevin Hickey, Mikey Arman and Brenna Martini will continue their careers on the diamond, while Isabel Fitter and Jessica Ferrante will be rowing at programs across the country.
For Hickey and Arman, the pair was able to discuss and share the strenuous process of picking a college together. The two ended up signing this summer, Hickey with South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg, S.C.) while Arman is headed to Central Connecticut State.
“I see the other kids struggling deciding right now, and it’s very nice knowing this process is pretty much over,” Hickey said with a smile.
The 6-foot-8 Hickey, who was recruited to pitch, had offers from four other schools. He said he was attracted to the South Carolina Upstate because of the location and what they were offering.
“I really liked the school,” Hickey said. “It’s pretty new, really nice facility and I really like playing in the south, too. I tend to play better in warmer weather.”
It was almost an identical scenario for Arman, who plays in the outfield. He said he wanted to stay in state and liked what Central offered.
“I did a visit during the spring, I watched them play UConn, I liked the campus and I hung out with the players that day. It was a good experience.”
Both Arman and Hickey, who helped lead Ludlowe to a 14-8 record last spring, said they hope to compete from Day 1 for playing time.
“I’m the only outfield commit in my class so I have a lot more confidence going in for me,” Arman said.
Martini headed to familiar location
Despite heading to a new state to continue her softball career, there’s a sense of familiarity at Adelphi University (Garden City, N.Y.) for Martini. The third baseman for the Falcons was sold on the university after almost a year-long process that began at the beginning of her junior year.
“It was the proximity to home, coaching staff, I love it there, and also my grandparents live there (Garden City),” Martini said. “(My) grandpa (Joseph Martini) was a hall of famer there at Adelphi for track and field and football.”
Martini, was is a two-time All-FCIAC first teamer, said she was attracted to the program because of the competitive nature and said she felt like she fit in with the system.
“I practiced with them, I know their style, very fast paced, offensive oriented and very high-tempo,” she explained.
Martini, who finished with seven home runs and over a .500 batter average last season, said she’ll be playing infield for the team, but unsure of her exact position.
“I’ll pretty much go anywhere they want me to.”
Pair of rowers headed across the country
Fitter said she never had her heart set on a university more a few thousand miles away, but when she arrived at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) she knew it was the place for her.
“I really liked the team and the school was awesome and you have so much support academically and the athletes have so many opportunities,” Fitter said. “And I just loved California, I see myself living there.”
Fitter will be joining the nationally ranked Trojans rowing program next fall. Fitter, who has only been involved in the sports since her sophomore year, said she first got involved because her mom simply asked if she was interested.
“My mom asked if I wanted to try it (rowing) and it seemed pretty cool,” Fitter said. “My whole mom’s side of the family is swimming and water polo based and I was kind of interested in trying rowing. It just looked cool. “
The Ludlowe senior easily took to the sport and trains and works with Connecticut Boat Club in Norwalk. She’s only had two full years of participating in the sport but is eager to learn more and said she’s excited for the challenge of USC.
“Yeah, they told me I could be in the varsity boat If I really work for it,” she said.
According to Fitter, she is only one of two recruits the Trojans are pursuing in North America.
Fitter’s teammate Ferrante, who also rows at Connecticut Boat Club, won’t be going too far as she is headed to Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.).
“I really like how competitive it is, and you just have to be so dedicated,” Ferrante said of rowing.
Ferrante, who played field hockey her freshman year, and then switched to solely rowing after, said she liked the Eagles’ team dynamic, and like Fitter, It was the right fit.
“I just hope that they’ll continue to develop my strengths and I can just help the team” she said. “I feel like I’m a really hard worker and if I set goals I can achieve them.”