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Athletic alumni adjusting to college sports

Recent Malvern graduates share their experiences in their NCAA careers thus far.

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In high school sports a large number of athletes play their last games their senior year. However, according to Malvern Prep’s website, 35 students from the Malvern Prep Class of 2016 – nearly one-third of the class – planned to participate in collegiate athletics.

College athletes agree that playing a college sport is a lot more work than glam. Athletes’ rigorous schedules include workouts early in the morning, school work, mandatory study hall, practices, and much more.

AJ Traynor ‘16, a freshman Lacrosse player at Loyola University in Maryland said, “Lacrosse in college is really hard. There are so many long lifts and runs, but honestly it’s so rewarding to be a part of it.”

Traynor, a midfielder for the Greyhounds, was a Malvern Prep starter for four years and is going into his freshman year with high expectations.

“This fall I am focused on being able to start getting into the rhythm of school work and practice as well as working on strength and speed,” he said. “The fall season is not lacrosse’s official season. So much of it is dedicated to preparing your mind and body.”

Another Friar athlete that is currently playing in college is Chris Butera ‘15. Butera is a sophomore outfielder and pitcher at Lehigh University.

“My freshman year was very tough managing school and athletics in the beginning,” he said. “As the year went on, I got more comfortable and began to understand the schedule.”

Butera said he saw some playing time during freshman year, but is still working to become a full-time starter. “I was able to support my team and get my feet wet to play the next three years,” he said.

Butera is expecting big time things from the team this year. “Our team is going to be very strong this year. We have a good group of freshmen and seniors, and could be a very special group,” he said.

Jake Mullan ‘16, another college athlete, is in his freshman year at Widener University. At Malvern, Mullan managed school, participation in numerous clubs, and starting at third base for three years.

Mullan said that managing baseball and school isn’t too bad right now, because fall baseball practices aren’t as time-rigorous and school is still ramping up.  “In the spring, playing every few days and traveling will get tough to manage the two, but the time management you learn from Malvern helps,” he said.

Mullan expects to see time at third base or middle infield this season.

“Malvern prepared me so much for college athletically, because all the practices were run the exact same as they are in college,” he said. “ It’s an amazing place, but also don’t be nervous for college. College is a blast and there are so many great opportunities.”

Story produced in senior Journalism and Media Literacy elective class.

About Shane Muntz

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