Seven lacrosse players were among the 10 Highland Park High School athletes who signed national letters of intent during the school’s fall signing ceremony.
The event, which is normally held on the cafeteria stage, had to be moved to the back of the room to accommodate them all.
Boys lacrosse coach Rich Moses said he was especially excited to see HP send players to several new destinations – universities the school hasn’t sent athletes to before.
“We’re growing, and we’re getting better,” Moses said. “Hopefully next year we will continue that trend.”
This is Moses’ first year as the Division I lacrosse coach.
He has been with the program for nine years, and has known most of the players since they were in sixth grade.
Seeing them ready to move on “is a little bittersweet, but it’s more sweet than bitter,” he said. “I’m excited for them.”
Leading the lacrosse contingent was Cade Saustad, a star receiver on the football team who could have played either sport in college.
“I always just felt like lacrosse was my sport,” he said. “When I got to high school, I started to excel at it and I got recruited, so I just embraced it.
Saustad will be attending the University of Virginia, which he chose because he liked its “southern feel” that felt like home to him.
Finn Jent and Cameron Reeves will continue to be lacrosse teammates at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida near Orlando. The long-time best friends thought it would be fun to go to the same school, but did not initially think it was a realistic possibility.
Reeves said coaches would talk with both of them at tournaments. Jent committed to university first this past January.
“As we started talking, I was like, ‘This could actually happen,’” Reeves said. “And it actually happened. It’s awesome.”
Girls team standout Zoe Durham, a two-time team captain whom coach Lellie Swords called the “heart and soul of the team,” will be headed to Yale next fall.
“I wanted to play lacrosse in college, but I also wanted to use lacrosse to get into the best academic college that I could,” Durham said. “I’m super excited.”
She will be joined at Yale by baseball pitcher Grant Kipp. He struck out 58 batters and compiled a 0.91 Earn Run Average during his junior year when he was named to the Dallas Morning News’ All-Area second team.
Other athletes who signed letters of intent were lacrosse players Paxton Alexander (Michigan), Cooper Kneese (Utah), and KK Callaghan (Butler University), as well as volleyball stars Berkley Hayes (Colorado State-Pueblo) and EC Stanzel (UT- Dallas).