By Max Bowen-Max.firstname.lastname@example.org
Five Bishop Feehan students with North Attleborough ties have been recruited for both their academic achievements and skills in athletics.
Elizabeth and Kristina Norko, Haley Coupal, Erik Watka, and Ryan Shute have all signed their National Letters of Intent and will continue their respective sports in college. Coupal will play softball at the University of Connecticut. Watka will be on the Case Western Reserve University’s swim team, as will Shute, at Davidson College. The Norko sisters will both play on Bentley University’s lacrosse team. They’re among the 20 members of Feehan’s Class of 2022 to sign their letters.
The students signed their letters on Nov. 10, and it’s expected that more will do the so in the next few months.
Coupal said that UConn was her first choice, in part because when an ACL injury sidelined her in the sophomore year, the school was among those that stayed with her. She spoke to the UConn coaches (Head Coach Laura Valentino and Assistant Head Coach Christie Novatin) and loved their dedication to competitive excellence. She said the school is focused on to team building and bonding.
“They’re great people and care about you,” she said. “I felt I was coming into a welcoming environment and an environment that would push me.”
Coupal said she has a lot of trust in the coaches and the team, whom she’s had the chance to meet. She knows that the next four years will be a challenge, but she’s looking forward to it.
“They’re really cool people,” she said.
Coupal said she hasn’t yet chosen her major, but is interested in graphic design with business as a fallback. She’s played softball since the age of 5 and joined the town’s team at age 7. Since freshman year she’s been shortstop, describing the position as the captain of the infield.
“You’re involved in a lot of the plays,” said Coupal.
Elizabeth and Kristina knew a lot about Bentley from two cousins who went there and saw how it challenged them. The lacrosse team and it’s recent championship wins helped secure it as their choice.
“They have an awesome coach,” said Elizabeth. “That definitely drove us into that decision.”
Both of the Norkos have played lacrosse since second grade, starting with Titans Lacrosse and later with Big Red Lacrosse, then back to the Titan team in sixth grade. In seventh grade they played with Gold Star Lacrosse and have played for the Bishop Feehan team since. They played goalie for years but switched to midfield in eighth grade.
“We liked the action,” said Elizabeth.
Kristina said there’s no other sport like lacrosse, that it combines speed, strength, finesse and skills. The two have met the coach and team at Bentley and Kristina said they could tell immediately that it’s the program they were looking for. Being on campus, she said it was evident that it was a welcoming school.
“They’re (the team) here for each other and compete and push each other harder each day,” she said.