While High School Sports Ended Prematurely, 14 PDS Grads Heading to College Athletics
NEXT LEVEL PERFORMERS: Jomar Meekins, left, defends a foe in a game this winter for the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team during his senior campaign and Brianna Astbury tracks the ball last fall in action for the PDS girls’ soccer team. They are two of 14 Panther student-athletes who graduated last week and will be continuing their athletic careers at the college level. Meekins is headed to Bard College where he will be playing for its men’s basketball program while Astbury is going to Muhlenberg College and will compete for its women’s soccer program. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
While the high school spring sports season was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a group of 14 accomplished athletes at the Princeton Day School will get to continue their athletic careers at the college level.
Having honored its senior athletes all spring on social media, PDS recognized those stellar performers headed to college sports programs last week as the school prepared for its graduation ceremony that took place on June 6.
The female standouts who will continue their athletic careers at the next level include field hockey stars Caroline Haggerty and Lexie Hausheer, a quartet of soccer stalwarts Brianna Astbury, Riley Felsher, Ariana Jones and Tulsi Pari, volleyball player Brynna Fisher, and lacrosse standout Ellie Schofield.
As for the male athletes, those headed to college sports programs include lacrosse stars Jake Bennett and Cal Caputo, baseball standout John Carroll, and a trio of basketball stalwarts, Jaylin Champion-Adams, Lucas Green, and Jomar Meekins.
In reflecting on this group of athletes, outgoing PDS Upper School Athletic Director Tim Williams lauded them for their impact over the past four years.
“It’s always a bittersweet time of year to congratulate your seniors on their accomplishments and see them depart, and for our seniors this spring, the same holds true,” said Williams.
“We are extremely proud of them and all they accomplished in their PDS careers. It will be hard to see them leave, but we wish them all the best.”
Gritty midfielder/defender Haggerty, who is headed to Middlebury College where she will play for its field hockey program, accomplished a lot in her PDS career. A four-year starter, Haggerty was named as a Prep B All-State performer as a senior and helped the Panthers win the state Prep B title in 2016 and make it to the Prep B final three times. She also helped PDS advance to a pair of Mercer County Tournament title games.
Star goalie Hausheer will be going to Cornell University where she will compete for its field hockey program. Like Haggerty, she was a four-year starter and a Prep B All-State selection as a senior. Hausheer was named as the Trentonian Prep Goalie of the Year all four seasons of her career and was a National Futures Championships selection every year of high school.
Skilled center midfielder Astbury will be going to Muhlenberg College and playing for its women’s soccer program. Astbury tallied 20 goals and 15 assists over her PDS career as she helped the Panthers win four straight state Prep B crowns.
Goalie Felsher emerged as a star for the Panthers on her way to NYU and its women’s soccer program. She saved her best for last, making 120 saves and posting 10 shutouts as a senior, earning Prep B All-State and Mercer County All-Area honors.
High-scoring Jones will be staying in the area as she will attend The College of New Jersey and compete for its women’s soccer program. Over her PDS career, Jones tallied 38 goals and 24 assists. In her final campaign, she had 14 goals and eight assists, getting named as a Prep B All-State and Mercer County All-Area performer.
Defender Pari was a stalwart on the PDS back line through her career and is heading to RPI where she will play for its women’s soccer program. Pari was a two-time Prep B All-State selection and was known for shutting down a number of top scorers over the years for the Panthers.
Middle/outside hitter Fisher will be attending Pratt Institute and competing for its women’s volleyball program. Serving as a captain for Panthers in her senior season, Fisher received the team’s Varsity Award in 2019 and 2020.
Prolific midfielder Schofield will be taking her talents to Bowdoin College and its women’s lacrosse program. Schofield tallied 50 goals and 17 assists over her career, including 33 goals and 11 assists as a junior.
Star attackman Bennett is headed to Amherst College where he will compete for its men’s lacrosse program. Bennett was a star from day one for the Panthers, scoring four goals, including the overtime winner, in a victory over Hun in his freshman debut. Tallying 40 goals and 40 assists as a junior in 2019, Bennett helped PDS win its fourth straight MCT title. He totaled 173 points in his career.
Forming a one-two punch with Bennett, attacker Caputo will be attending Williams College and playing for its men’s lacrosse program. Producing a break-out season in 2019, Caputo led the Panthers in scoring, tallying 77 points on 58 goals and 19 assists.
The versatile Carroll is headed to the Coast Guard Academy where he will be competing for its baseball program. Seeing time as infielder, outfielder, and pitcher, Carroll produced a dominant campaign in 2019, batting .556 with 35 hits and 20 runs and starring on the mound with a 2.38 ERA in 35.1 innings pitched. His heroics helped PDS reach the state Prep B final and earned him NJSIAA First-team All-State honors.
Hard-driving guard Jaylin Champion-Adams is headed across the state to Drew University where he will be playing for its men’s basketball team. Champion-Adams started from day one as a freshman and tallied more than 1,000 points in his PDS career. He averaged 16 points a game this past winter, helping the Panthers win the state Prep B title and earning Prep B First-team All-State honors.
Tenacious forward Lucas Green will be attending Colby College and competing for its men’s basketball program. Green transferred into PDS as a junior and made an immediate impact in the paint. He averaged 10 points a game this past winter and played a key role in the Panthers’ run to the Prep B title.
Sharp-shooting guard Jomar Meekins is headed to Bard College, where he will be playing for its men’s basketball program. Known for hitting clutch three-pointers, Meekins was the recipient of the team’s 2019-20 Coaches Award for his contributions to the squad’s championship campaign.
With such recently-graduated PDS athletes as Davon Reed (University of Miami men’s hoops), Cody Triolo (Lehigh men’s lax), Connor Fletcher (Cornell men’s lax), Jake Alu (Boston College baseball), Coby Auslander (Christopher Newport men’s lax), Annika Asplundh (Lindenwood women’s hockey), Madison Mundenar (St. Bonaventure women’s lax), and
Mariel Jenkins (Harvard women’s lax), among others, having enjoyed success at the college level, the Class of 2020 should add to that tradition of excellence.