Five student-athletes realize college athletic dream


Tim Forkin, Sports Editor


For most athletes growing up, they dream to continue to play their sport on past their high school career and into college. A dream that takes the full commitment of the athlete, their family, and their coaches and teammates over the years to make into a reality.

5 senior student-athletes at Milford High School signed on to play college athletics Tuesday, including Mallory Barrett, Natalie Herrington, Conner Jensen, Jessica Niemiec, and Audrey Petoskey.

Barrett will continue her athletic career at the University of Michigan, where she will run cross country and track. Barrett led this year’s cross country team to a state championship, the first in school history.

While she may be a very successful runner, she will be remembered for how great of a leader and teammate she was for the girl’s cross country program.

“Everyone looks towards her and gravitates towards her,” said cross country coach Brian Salyers, who had nothing but praise for the senior record holder.

Herrington will continue her athletic career at Oakland University, where she will play softball. Herrington earned All-Conference, All-Area, and All-District recognition last season while batting with a .529 average and knocking out 10 homeruns. In the circle, she recorded 103 strikeouts in the circle with a 14-4 record.

“She’s hard working, dedicated, passionate, and just a clutch player,” said Jake Herrington, her twin brother.

Conner Jensen will continue his athletic career at Saginaw Valley State University, where he will play baseball. Jensen was recognized as an All-Conference and All-Area player last season, while batting with a .340 average. He scored 28 runs, had 27 RBI, 14 stolen bases, and hit 3 homeruns. Jensen credits the support of his family and friends for his success on the diamond.

“I’m extremely proud of my best friend Conner and all that he has achieved,” said Nick Beether, a long time teammate.

Niemiec will continue her athletic career at Davenport University, where she will play golf. Niemiec earned All-Conference recognition for her junior and senior seasons, as well as All-County honorable mention.

Her tournament scoring average of 81.4 ranks as the second best in school history.

“I’m grateful for the support that my teammates have given me through the season. I’m going miss the girls,” said Niemiec.

Petoskey will continue her athletic career at Lincoln Memorial University, where she will play softball.

Last season, she led her team to division and conference titles. She earned All-Conference, All-Area, and All-District honorable mention last season while hitting 30 homeruns.

“She’s very dedicated and willing to put in extra time to become successful,” said Emily Lowe, her teammate on the volleyball team.

For these students, it’s a dream come true. For their friends, teachers, coaches, and classmates, it’s awesome to see someone go on to represent your community at the college level.

“These are the feel good stories of the school year,” said Jim Marszalek, the Athletic Liason. “It’s a great day to see kids realize their dream.”