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Eight Ocean City High School seniors signed letters of intent to play collegiate sports on Tuesday. Bottom row, from left, Jesse Schmeizer, Shannon O'Reilly, Dan Nunan, Sofia Cooper. Top row, from left: Alexa Weber, Maggie Wallace, Ryann Styer, Maren Stickley.

JAMES CLARK

OCEAN CITY -- Surrounded by family and friends in an overflowing community room Tuesday morning, eight Ocean City High School seniors took the next step in their athletic careers by signing letters of intent to play in college at a Division I or II school.

"Not every athlete gets this opportunity," said first-year athletic director Vincent Leavey. "It truly shows how much these scholar-athletes have excelled."

Leavey went on to outline how rare it is for a high school student to go on to play in college.

"The numbers speak for themselves," he said. "Only 5.8 percent of high school baseball players play in college. The number for cross county is 5.7 percent, and it's similar for all the other sports. It goes to show the sacrifices they have made and how they have paid off."

The eight athletes are: Sofia Cooper, who will row crew at Jacksonville University; Dan Nunan, who will play baseball at the University of Delaware; Shannon O'Reilly, who will play field hockey at LaSalle University; Jesse Schmeizer, who will run cross country and track at Lafayette College; Maren Stickley, who will row crew at the University of Miami; Ryan Styer, who will swim for the University of South Carolina; Maggie Wallace, who will swim for Indiana University; and Alexa Weber, who will run cross country and track for St. Joseph's University.

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Contact: 609-365-6174

JClark@catamaranmedia.com

Twitter @ClarkCapeSports

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