By Keeler Pansing, Spencer Schultz, and Nicholas Wynn
On Nov. 9, senior athletes Ty DeBonis and Adrian Ell signed National Letters of Intent to play their sport at their colleges next year. DeBonis signed to play golf for Northern Kentucky University, and Ell signed to Florida State University to play volleyball. McNick will hold two more NCAA Signing Days for senior athletes later in the 2016-2017 school year.
DeBonis will attend Northern Kentucky University starting fall 2017 to further his golf career. In addition to leading McNicholas Men’s Golf Team to its third state tournament this year, he helped lead them to their first State Championship, Debonis was a four-year First Team All-Conference and a three-year First Team All-District and All-State at McNick.
DeBonis became interested in golf when he was five and six years old. “I’ve been playing golf for 11 years, and my parents, coaches, and teammates have helped me the most through my journey to playing in college,” DeBonis said.
“I’m excited to see his game develop and watch him compete at the collegiate level,” DeBonis’s father Sam said.
DeBonis considered playing golf at the University of Dayton, Cincinnati State, and Mount Saint Joseph, but knew Northern Kentucky was where he wanted to be. “They gave me the best offer, and the school is close to home. I want to start playing right away and not have to wait a year for playing time, and this is the best opportunity to achieve that,” DeBonis said.
Ell signed to play volleyball at Florida State University starting fall 2017, and will begin pre-season training June. She is attending on a full athletic scholarship. Ell was on the varsity team at McNick for three seasons, missing her junior season due to a battle with cancer. She returned for her senior season as an All-Ohio nominee and League Player of the Year nominee. Her senior season efforts also earned her District Player of the Year, among other awards throughout her high school career.
Ell was introduced to volleyball early in life. “I was introduced to volleyball three days after I was born. My mom was a high school coach so I have been around the sport my entire life,” Ell said. She started officially playing in third grade at St. Thomas More, then began playing club in sixth grade.
Florida State was not the only school to give Ell offers, but it was her favorite. “I picked Florida State because of the campus, the culture of the team, the success that is expected in the athletic department, my ability to impact the program as a freshman, the people, and the overall academic challenge of the school,” Ell said. She is very eager to start her future volleyball career at FSU as she has been committed since her sophomore year.
Ell’s parents are also excited for and proud of her. “It’s been her dream for forever, so I’m happy to see her accomplish so much and get everything she’s ever wanted,” Ell’s mother Angel said.
“I will remember the people [from McNick] that I have met and that have impacted my life. I really loved the people on this team especially, and the close bond we all share,” Ell said.