“It paid off big time”: Whitman recognizes committed student athletes, holds signing day celebration

The 12 committed student athletes from the graduating class of 2022 pose for a photo.

By Gibson Hirt

Whitman students, families and coaches gathered on the concourse above the football field November 10 to celebrate the signing of the 12 student athletes from the graduating class of 2022 who have committed to play their sport in college.

The athletes have committed to colleges including Dartmouth, Bates and Macalester across seven different sports: baseball, basketball, crew, lacrosse, swim, dive and soccer. The baseball team sent four players to sign letters of intent, the most of any sport this year.

Whitman parents helped plan the event, and provided community members with refreshments. Before handing the microphone off to coaches and parents, athletic director Andy Wetzel highlighted each athlete and their contributions to Whitman’s athletic programs. 

“It felt good to finally get through the college process and be able to focus on the upcoming season,” said Macalester College baseball commit Niko Alexander.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, many schools disallowed visitors on campus, forcing some students to commit without seeing where they’d spend the next four years.

Brown University lacrosse commit Grace Nemeroff said that going through the recruiting process entirely at home was overwhelming, particularly because of the lack of face-to-face interactions.

“Coaches were expecting me to make a decision without visiting the school or meeting them in person,” Nemeroff said.

Both Alexander and Nemeroff said that the long, unusual recruitment process left them tired, but excited for what their futures hold.

Oberlin College baseball commit Zach Yaqub said that having four members of his team commit together — especially during a pandemic — shows the strength of their support for each other and their collective work ethic. Every athlete at the event worked tirelessly at their individual sport, and each of their outcomes was all they could ever dream of, he said.

“We supported each other every step of the way,” Yaqub said. “We worked hard all offseason, and it paid off big time.”


The list of committed student athletes from the graduating class of 2022 is as follows:

Nicholas Alexander, Macalester College, baseball

Alexis Aronie, Colorado College, basketball

Bennett Browning, Syracuse University, heavyweight rowing

Delaney DeMartino, Loyola University, soccer

Lily Hsu, University of Rhode Island, swim and dive

Ava James, Bates College, basketball

John McGowan, University of Connecticut, baseball

Brennan Murley, Macalester College, baseball

Grace Nemeroff, Brown University, lacrosse

Zach Yaqub, Oberlin College, baseball

Paul Waxman, Dartmouth College, heavyweight rowing

Robert Shively, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, swim and dive