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HIGH SCHOOL LACROSSE

Four Auburn High varsity lacrosse players make college commitments

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Auburn Signing Ceremony

Auburn lacrosse players, from left, Ella Bouley (Daemen College), Kate Izzo (Harvard University), Jack Geer (Dominican College) and Colin Tardif (Mercyhurst University) sign letters of intent on Friday in the Auburn High library. 

AUBURN — Lacrosse season remains months away, but four student-athletes from Auburn got a head start on their future plans. 

Two members of the Maroons' boys lacrosse program and two from the girls lacrosse program signed their national letters of intent on Friday to continue their careers at the next level. 

For the boys, Colin Tardif will attend Mercyhurst University while Jack Geer is heading to Dominican College. On the girls side, Kate Izzo has committed to Harvard University and Ella Bouley is going to Daemen College. 

During the signing ceremony in the Auburn High library, school district superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo offered his congratulations, commending each athlete for "your hard work and all the dedication, not only in the classroom, but on the field and off the field."

Auburn athletic director Christian Maher followed with some notes, alluding to the rarity of high school lacrosse players advancing to compete in college.

"When you think about the percentages, how it whittles down at each level, the odds have certainly been stacked against you," Maher said, speaking to the student-athletes. "If we think about what's happened in this world the last year-and-a-half, it becomes even more impressive. You deserve the pats on the back and the recognition."

Each student-athlete was then introduced by their coaches, boys varsity coach Matt Smith and girls varsity coach Bill Dean, who each read a laundry list of on- and off-field accomplishments for each. 

• Bouley is an honor roll student student in each of her four years at Auburn. She's been a varsity lacrosse player for four years and varsity tennis player since sophomore year. She was a Salt City Athletic Conference first team all-league selection last spring, and received honorable mention recognition as a freshman. Bouley was also named an Under Armor All-American last season. 

• Izzo was a member of the Under Armor Upstate New York team in 2018, while also being named a second team all-league selection that season. In 2021, she was included among the SCAC's first team selections. Izzo has also been heavily recognized for her efforts in cross country running and indoor track and field. She has been a high honor roll student throughout her high school career.

• Geer, a longstick midfielder and defender for the Maroons, is a high honor roll student at Auburn the last two school years. He's been a member of the lacrosse program for seven years, and this spring will mark his second on the varsity team. 

• Tardif is a high honor roll student throughout high school and a member of the varsity team since freshman year. His career includes 42 goals and 35 assists, and Smith expects he'll join the top 15 in program history for both categories this upcoming season. Tardif is a former first team all-league selection and was also voted the Maroons' offensive MVP, and was picked to represent central New York's regional team where he was named an all-star. 

While Dean and Smith offered well wishes toward the future endeavors, each coach's message shared a common theme: To enjoy the present. Each student-athlete has seven more months of high school education, which includes their senior seasons for lacrosse in the spring. 

"You'll look ahead to attending new schools, joining new teams, making new friends at college and creating new bonds with teammates. Those are all wonderful parts of the college experience," Dean said. "The advice I want to give is to enjoy the here and now. To be present can be a difficult practice, but one that's totally worth the effort. I implore you to take the time to step back and appreciate what you have. Take it all in, because you'll never forget it and you'll never have this chance again."

Added Smith, "Pretty soon you'll be making that commitment to your next institution. But you still have seven months left to be a high school student-athlete. Continue that journey and enjoy every single bit of it, because you're only a high school athlete once in your life. When you turn that tassel on graduation day, you're turning the page to your new career."

Sports reporter Justin Ritzel can be reached at 282-2257 or at justin.ritzel@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenRitz.

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Sports Reporter

Justin Ritzel is a sports reporter for The Citizen. Justin has been covering high school sports and minor league baseball in Cayuga County since 2015.

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