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Nine Bobcats make DI commitments


by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

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BREWSTER ACADEMY athletes signing National Letters of Intent on Nov. 14 included (back row, l to r), Kevin Zabo, Isaac Copeland, Max Twyman and Shannon Godin. Front row (l to r), Nate McKenzie, Cody Livermore, Reid Randall, Matt Gilray and Jack Dillon. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
November 18, 2013
WOLFEBORO — Nine Brewster Academy athletes took the next step in their athletic careers on Thursday, Nov. 14, signing Letters of Intent to play sports at various Division I colleges.

Brewster Athletic Director Matt Lawlor hosted a ceremony for the nine athletes in the school's Hall of Fame Room in the Smith Center.

"Nearly one in four graduates from Brewster will play college athletics, either at Division I, II or III," Lawlor said, noting that number has continued to rise and likely will continue to rise.

The nine athletes included five players from the boys' lacrosse team, three from the boys' basketball team and one from the girls' ice hockey team.

Shannon Godin was the lone girl to sign her letter on Thursday, making the commitment to play hockey at UConn, where she will join up with former teammate Sarah MacDonnell.

"This is very good for the program," Brewster coach Ellissa Popoff said of the continued success of players beyond their Brewster careers.

"She has a lot of speed and lots of intensity," Popoff continued. "And she's a sniper."

The Bobcat coach noted that Godin has done a great job of developing herself as a two-way player over the last couple of years.

"She's taken great strides to improve all aspects of her game going toward the collegiate level," Popoff said. "I think she'll make a big splash at UConn."

From the boys' basketball team, Max Twyman made the commitment to play at the University of Albany, Kevin Zabo committed to San Diego State University and Isaac Copeland made the commitment to Georgetown.

Twyman and Copeland are both new to the Brewster program this season, while Zabo is returning for another year after helping the Bobcats to the national championship tournament last season.

From the boys' lacrosse team, Reid Randall committed to Boston University, Nate McKenzie committed to Lehigh University, Cody Livermore made the commitment to Bryant, Matt Gilray committed to Bucknell and Jack Dillon committed to the University of Hartford.

While new Brewster lacrosse coach John Jenkins hasn't had the chance to coach the players in a real game situation (he was hired after longtime coach Bill Lee stepped down following last season), he has been more than pleased with what he has seen from the kids in limited time.

"I've spent a lot of time with them so far, gotten to know them as people," Jenkins said. "Our best guys happen to be our best leaders. That takes a lot of pressure off of my as a new coach."

He noted that the number of athletes signing to play in college will likely grow as the school year rolls on.

"It's really exciting," he said. "This is lacrosse at its best on a national scale."

He noted that one of the reasons he was a good fit at Brewster was the fact that he graduated from Springfield College, which has a reputation for turning out collegiate lacrosse coaches. That gives him a good network of college coaches to market his players with, always a good sign for the Brewster players.

And Jenkins noted that it was also his job to continue the good that Lee built over his years at the helm of the program.

"I see it as my responsibility for five, 10, 15 years down the road, to leave it better than when I came on," Jenkins said. "That's no small task."

But he praised the group of players he inherited, including the five who made their collegiate commitments official on Thursday.

"They're a group of gentlemen," he said.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com.

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