Early Signing Day: Senior Sports Stars Sign, Celebrate Success

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Officially signed seniors Jack Hurley and Joe Nastasi, decked out in their future college garb, pose for a photo with State High varsity baseball coach Jeremy Dinsmore. Hurley and Nastasi were joined in signing their National Letter of Intent to play division I college sports next year by Matthew Brownstead and Zachary DeCarmine. “For them to share this early signing period as a coach is an awesome feeling just because you get a chance to see them cherish this moment together,” Dinsmore said.

Quincy Steidle, Sports Editor

On November 13, a small ceremony took place in the auxiliary auditorium for Early Signing Day, the annual event when college-committed high school senior athletes sign their official National Letter of Intent. The National Letter of Intent signing period opened November 13, and for all sports except basketball and football, remains open until August. This year’s early signing athletes included Matthew Brownstead, Jack Hurley, Joe Nastasi, and Zachary Decarmine. Each athlete sat at a table on the stage, surrounded by family, coaches, and friends, as they signed their letter of intent to play a varsity sport at a Division I college.

Matt Brownstead signed his letter of intent to be a swimmer at the University of Virginia. Brownstead is the top-ranked swimmer in the state of Pennsylvania and ranked 23rd in the 2020 class. Brownstead has qualified for numerous national competitions, including the YMCA Short Course National Championships in April and Phillips 66 Summer National Championships in July.  Brownstead has qualified for the USA Olympic team trials in both the 50 and 100-meter freestyle events. Brownstead also competed in the Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary over the summer, where he was a part of a gold medal-winning relay team. 

Zachary DeCarmine, a hurdler for the State High Track and Field team, signed his letter of intent to compete at Central Michigan University, a large D1 school in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Though not fully decided, DeCarmine intends to pursue his academic career within the health or sports medicine field.

“Early signing day was something I had marked on my calendar for years,” DeCarmine said. “I was blessed to share the day with family and friends that shaped me to be in that position.” The 5’9” hurdler’s impressive athletic resume includes multiple state championships and multiple top two finishes at the USATF National Youth Track and Field Championships. While he exemplifies hard work and dedication in his athletic pursuits, DeCarmine expressed his relief at signing his letter of intent.

“It was a ‘Mom, we did it’ feeling that was unforgettable,” Decarmine said. Following the ceremony, Decarmine, as well as the other athletes, were interviewed by the local Hometown Sports magazine and WTAJ News. The other two athletes to sign their letters of intent and subsequently interview with the media were Jack Hurley and Joe Nastasi, members of the State High baseball team. Jeremy Dinsmore, the head coach for the State High Baseball Program, expressed his pride for his athletes at the ceremony.

“For them to share this early signing period as a coach is an awesome feeling just because you get a chance to see them cherish this moment together,” Dinsmore said. “I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Dinsmore has coached Nastasi since he was a member of the 8th-grade football team. While Nastasi still plays football for State High, he signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Penn State. Nastasi is primarily a pitcher and can touch 90 miles per hour with his fastball, well above the average for high school seniors.

“It’s been really cool to see how [Nastasi’s] hard work and work ethic and his abilities have brought him to this opportunity,” Dinsmore said.

Nastasi also celebrated after the ceremony with teammate Jack Hurley, an outfielder who can throw 94 miles per hour from the outfield, well into the upper tier for athletes his age. Hurley has been a member of the State High varsity team since his freshman year, and has set big expectations for himself by committing to Virginia Tech.

“He is probably our best athlete in this entire school and seeing what his future could hold for him is exciting,” Dinsmore said, of the 6’1” outfielder.

“Making my commitment official was something I have been waiting to do for a long time,” Hurley said. “It was a great and very anticipated day.”

Hurley, along with the rest of these athletes, will look forward to continuing their athletic careers in college, but for now will settle to continue to do great things in State High sports.

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