Dreams come true for athletes in blue
November 25, 2009 - Smiles broke out on the faces of Jenna Coates, Kaleigh Kenny and Matt Kamieniecki as they signed their letters of intent on Nov. 16.
As the ink dried, all three athletes felt their dreams continuing to come true.
Kamieniecki will take his basketball skills to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he plans to study business. The 6 foot, 7 inch player felt relieved.
"It is a good burden to get off my shoulders," he admitted. "I am just happy to get it out of the way so I can concentrate on the season."
His parents Rita and Scott were excited.
"He really enjoyed our visits to Ball State and the coaches," said Rita.
Matt has played since he was 5-years-old and said he loved it ever since.
"I know it's a dream come true for him to go to college and play ball," said Boys Varsity Head Coach Dan Fife. "I am really excited for him. He has the opportunity to play for four more years and go from there. Good things happen to good people. That is what happened here. Good family, good people and he made his own way."
Matt chose Ball State because he likes the campus and the coaches.
"I went there unofficially for the first time and I had a great time," he said. "When I went down there for the official visit, I played with the guys and connected."
Kenny also felt a connection with the school she chose to play basketball for – Findlay State University in Ohio. Findlay started recruiting her during her sophomore year and came to most of her games last season. She appreciated the interest and visited the school.
"I realized what a great school it was," she said. "I liked the way it felt. I love the coaches. It's a great academic school and has what I am interested in."
Kenny will study biology and plans to be an orthopedic surgeon.
She started playing in fifth grade mainly because she wanted to play a different sport.
"I actually wanted to play football my whole life," she laughed. "My dad said 'there is no way you are playing football' and he got me interested in basketball. I have loved it ever since."
Her parents, Tom and Lori, and coach, Tim Wasilk, shared their excitement as well.
"She has brought a great work effort to our program and leadership," said Wasilk.
"Offensively she has brought so much to the table – she can go outside, she can go inside. When she is gone she will be missed. We look forward to getting a good senior year out of her."
Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Avenall had a proud moment watching Jenna Coates sign to Central Michigan University.
"It's amazing what she has done in three years," said Avenall. "She has been a great leader. She set the bar and set the standard high for kids who are aspiring and fighting for her spot next year."
Coates verbally committed herself to Central Michigan University last September.
"I am really excited," she said. "We have gone up for a couple of games for the season. I love the atmosphere and the girls."
She wants to study anything sports related and is keeping her options open, listing kinesiology, sports management, and sports marketing as possibilities.
"We feel great," said parents, Don and Kim.
"She has worked hard for this," Don said.
Matt and Kaleigh's season begins in December, and Jenna has wrapped her final season.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.