IR students dance and drive their way into universities
On Friday, April 20, Indian River High School seniors Laura Seitz and Taylor Lewis signed their letters of intent to continue their education and carry on their athletic performance at the collegiate level this fall.
Seitz, who has been dancing most of her life, will enroll at the University of Delaware as a member of the dance team, while Lewis will aim to carry over her success from the Indians’ varsity golf team to Towson University, where she will compete in their lineup.
“Dancing has always been a part of my life,” said Seitz, who has been dancing since she before she was 3 years old. “Because a dance program isn’t offered at the school, I’ve been dancing at Seaside Dance Academy in Berlin [Md.] for years. It’s something I’ve always loved to do. I’ve wanted to dance on a college team ever since I was little.”
For the second year in a row, an Indian River senior earned a scholarship for a program that was not available at the high school at the time. Last year, Abby Miller signed her letter of intent with Queens College of Charlotte in North Carolina for lacrosse, a sport that wasn’t introduced as a junior varsity sport until this spring. Like Miller, who also played on the school’s basketball team, Seitz juggled her responsibilities and activities through high school as a member of the varsity volleyball team.
“People haven’t always looked at dance as a sport,” said Seitz, “and they didn’t always take what I did seriously, but now that I’ve made the team at the University of Delaware, people say, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’”
Her accomplishments reflect her hard work, a quality that many young student athletes at Indian River possess.
“Having a student-athlete sign with a university for something not yet offered here shows that we’re a well-rounded school,” said Indian River athletic director Todd Fuhrmann. “It proves that our kids are not just focused on only one thing their whole lives. They’re willing to try something or do something else to, hopefully, help them achieve the goals that they set.
“In Laura’s situation, her goal was to dance, and she also wanted to be a part of a varsity sport. She was able to help out our athletic program while working toward what she wanted to accomplish.”
Last year, varsity golfer Taylor Lewis earned the best score in two matches, to be named medalist in each of those competitions. This season, she doubled her medalist matches to four, before reaching the schedule’s midpoint. This fall, she aims to find the same success on the links as part of the Towson Tigers golf team.
“Since she was a freshman,” recalled Indian River head golf coach Paris Mitchell Sr., “Taylor was a starter for us. She’s been our low-scorer and a medalist in four out of our [first] six matches. I really think she’s starting to hit her stride, and I’m very happy for what she’s accomplished. She has always talked about playing on a college team, and we’re proud that she gets the chance to play at Towson.”
Joining the Indians’ team as one of just two females in her freshman year, and the only female throughout her final three years on the team, Lewis did everything she could to keep up with the rest of the team and, ultimately, move her way to the top.
“I remember in my freshman year,” she said. “I was really little. I knew at the time I couldn’t compete with the college athletes, so I started to hit the gym and build muscle. It definitely helped my golf game. I got a lot stronger and was able to focus on more techniques.”