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Nine Brewster Bobcats sign on the dotted line


Brewster athletes make commitments to Division I schools in four different sports



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NINE BREWSTER athletes signed Division I Letters of Intent last Wednesday. Front row (l to r), Markus Kennedy, Durand Johnson, Max Hooper, Naadir Tharpe and Jakarr Sampson. Back row (l to r), girls’ ice hockey coach Jonathan Fouser, girls’ soccer coach Matt Butcher, Mitchell Chapman, Taylor Booth, Sarah MacDonnell, Patrick Eaker and boys’ basketball coach Jason Smith. Not pictured is boys’ lacrosse coach Bill Lee. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
November 15, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Nine Brewster Academy athletes were honored on Wednesday, Nov. 10, as they chose their collegiate and athletic paths.

Five Brewster basketball players, two lacrosse players, an ice hockey player and a soccer player all committed to Division I schools and took part in an honorary ceremony as part of National Signing Day.

"Nine kids at a school of 365 is impressive," said Brewster Athletic Director Matt Lawlor. "You'd be hard pressed to find another school that can do that.

"It's not just good for the kids, it's good for the student body and the community," Lawlor stated. "And it's good for recruiting too."

He noted that all of the student-athletes who made their commitments on Wednesday were also great students as well.

"They have many great options coming out of here," Lawlor noted.

Lawlor also pointed out that he expects that a few more athletes will commit to universities as the seasons go along.

The boys' basketball program at Brewster has a tradition of fielding some of the top prep players in the country and many of coach Jason Smith's kids are recruited by schools from all across the country. This year, five of his players have committed to Division I schools.

"We'll probably have another few guys signing in the spring," Smith noted.

He also pointed out that having five players with their basketball futures set makes it easier for the team.

"It's great to get the bulk of the guys out of the way so they can focus on the season," Smith said. "But a couple decided to wait until spring."

Smith noted that it was also great to see athletes from three other teams on hand to sign Division I Letters of Intent.

Naadir Tharpe of Worcester, Mass. is the lone player signing who has spent more than a year with the Bobcats. Currently in his third year, Tharpe will play for the University of Kansas after leading the Bobcats to the National Prep Championship and the New England Championship last season.

Durand Johnson of Nottingham, Md. will be bringing his game to the University of Pittsburgh after finishing this season with the Bobcats.

Max Hooper of Irvine, Calif. is heading to Harvard University.

Markus Kennedy of Yeadon, Pa. has committed to head back to his home state and will play for the Villanova Wildcats.

Jakarr Sampson of Barberton, Ohio will be playing for St. John's University next season.

Four athletes from three other sports also made their commitments official on Wednesday.

Sarah McDonnell of Quispamsis, New Brunswick, a four-year member of Brewster's ice hockey and soccer teams, has committed to the University of Connecticut to play ice hockey.

"Since entering Brewster Academy as a freshman, Sarah has been one of the top players on the girls' hockey team and in the New England prep school league," said coach Jonathan Fouser. "She is blessed with great speed, tremendous creative ability and the desire to compete."

MacDonnell was one of three forwards named to the New England DI All-Star team and is regarded as one of the top players in North America, a fact confirmed with her naming to Canada's National Women's U18 team.

Soccer goalkeeper Taylor Booth of Epping has committed to play at Siena College. She helped Brewster earn the New England Championship in 2009 and led the team to three Lakes Region championships and is also a three-year member of the girls' basketball team.

"Since I have known Taylor, she has been working hard to accomplish her goal of becoming a DI goalie at a college known for both its soccer and its academics," said coach Matt Butcher. "Today, she achieved that goal by committing to Siena College."

Siena won the MAAC championship this season and is currently preparing for the NCAA tournament.

"While at Brewster, Taylor has been a leader in every aspect of student life," Butcher stated. "But Taylor has been her best on the soccer pitch."

In Booth's time at Brewster, the team has gone 44-4-2 and she has recorded a school record 30 shutouts and has allowed more than one goal in a match on only three occasions.

"Taylor has contributed to the legacy of Brewster soccer and she has had a terrific impact on the Brewster community," Butcher said. "She surely will continue to excel at Siena next year."

Lacrosse players Mitchell Chapman of Oshawa, Ontario and Patrick Eaker of Redding, Conn. also made commitments on Wednesday. Chapman, a three-year starter for the Bobcats, will play for Bryant University and Eaker will suit up for Maris College.

Coach Bill Lee praised both of his signees.

"(Mitch) has been an integral part of defensive schemes," Lee said. "He is probably the best open-field defenseman Brewster has ever had in my 11 years here."

"(Pat) is an incredibly athletic defenseman who also plays at the midfield," Lee said. "He has great size and speed and will be fun to watch this spring.

"Both players bring an explosiveness to the Brewster team, especially during transitional opportunities," Lee continued.

Lawlor again pointed to the strength of the Bobcat programs in turning out nine Division I athletes on one day, but also noted that the kids certainly do Brewster proud.

"It's a great feather in our cap," Lawlor said. "The kids are all great ambassadors for Brewster."

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