Patriots Welcome New Student-Athletes This Fall

Posted: August 3, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

With the start of the 2005-06 academic year, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (IA) will welcome notable new student-athletes after a fruitful recruiting season in several different sports.

The men’s basketball team recruited two forwards: Manassas, Va., native Chris Fleming from Osbourn Park High School; and Sammy Hernandez of Arlington Country Day High School in Jacksonville, Fla., for the new school year. Both signed national letters of intent during the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s early signing period. Head Coach Jim Larranaga said in a statement, “We are very excited to have Chris and Sammy join the program. They are both extremely talented student-athletes and their additions will pay immediate dividends for us, especially in the front court.”

The baseball team signed five high school student-athletes to national letters of intent to play for George Mason beginning in 2006. Outfielder Scott Thomas Krieger comes from Calvert Hill High School in Towson, Md.; outfielder Jonathan Weislow comes from Bishop Dennis J. O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va.; left-handed pitcher Michael Modica comes from Washington Township High School in Sewell, N.J.; infielder Ryan Uphouse comes from Somerset High School in Somerset, Pa.; and outfielder Spencer Wiggins comes from Robinson High School in Fairfax, Va. “All of these new players are expected to contribute to the team during the upcoming baseball season,” says Richard Coco, assistant director of public relations for IA.

The women’s soccer team signed six new high school student-athletes to letters of intent to play for George Mason. Making up the class of 2009 are midfield/forwards Jenny Sparks of Costa Mesa High School in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Colleen Killiany of W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Va.; midfielder Nilani Duarte from Costa Mesa High School; midfield/defender Jessie Hart from Hayfield High School in Springfield, Va.; and defenders Emily Napolitano from Bordentown Regional High School in Bordentown, N.J., and Mary Raveia from W.T. Woodson High School. According to Soccer Buzz, an Internet sports magazine, the team had one of the top recruiting classes in the mid-Atlantic region.

“All of these players are capable of contributing immediately for the Patriots in 2005,” said Head Coach Diane Drake. “This is a very diverse group of athletes with a lot of depth and versatility who will not only complement each other, but will intentionally complement the returning squad. I believe this class is one for the immediate future.”

Nine student-athletes have committed to attend and play for the men’s soccer team starting in the 2005 season. The athletes are Addison Bender from Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, Pa.; Jonathan Borrajo from Clifton High School in Clifton, N.J.; Hugh Fike from Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, Calif.; R. Jeffers Frazier from Calvert High School in Prince Frederick, Md.; Jason Levine from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.; Meir Lewin from Walter Johnson High School in Rockville, Md.; Tyler Orzak from Cherry Creek High School in Centennial, Colo.; Lucas Pardew from Calvert Hall College High School in Parkton, Md.; and Nick Rhodes from Westfield High School in Centreville, Va.

“We are excited about the group of student-athletes we are adding to the 2005 roster,” said Head Coach Fran O’Leary. “We are looking forward to see what the newcomers will bring to the George Mason soccer program, as they are all of good character and possess a lot of potential.”

Despite the buzz surrounding the soon-to-be Patriots, Coco acknowledges that it is too soon to be able to predict exactly how each will perform on the field or court. “It’s often difficult to judge how a standout athlete on the high school level will adapt not only to the change in environment and surroundings, but especially to a higher level of competition,” he says.

For more information on Intercollegiate Athletics, visit the web site.

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