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  7. Brunelle, Dawson Sign National...

On Wednesday afternoon, Averill Park High School’s Colin Brunelle and Maisie Dawson signed Letters of Intent to compete at the collegiate level. Brunelle will compete for Siena College in Cross Country and Track and Field while Dawson will be playing softball for Belmont University.

Brunelle has been a member of the AP running programs since middle school. In cross country, he has received the team Most Valuable Runner Award for the past two seasons. In addition, he was named a Suburban Council All-Star as a sophomore and a senior.

“I started running to become a better athlete. Little did I know it would become my passion,” Brunelle said. “I look forward to running every day. Whether it’s a hard workout, an easy recovery run or race day, every run is a joy. I want to give special thanks to Noah Bonesteel. He is a great running partner, mentor and friend. I want to thank the coaches I have worked with over the years, particularly Coach (Zach) Gobel. His guidance and support through the years from coaching me in football to track & field has helped me build my running and athletic ability. I have made lifelong friends at Averill Park. Alec, Matt and Brendan are great friends, teammates, fans and even a coach. It’s pretty great to have friends that have been with me this whole time and helping me every step of the way. Lastly, but certainly not least, I have the support of great parents. Thanks Dad and Mom. I am very grateful and excited to announce that I am continuing my academic and athletic career at Siena College.”

“Colin has been one of the top distance runners for our indoor program since he was in 8th grade. He is a tireless worker and very motivated. As he has gotten older he has become a very strong leader, not just with the distance group, but with the entire track & field program,” Gobel stated.

Brunelle has placed first in many dual meets as well as in the top 10 in several invitationals. In outdoor track & field at Averill Park Colin currently sits 7th all-time in the 1600m, 4th all-time in the 3200m and 3rd all-time in the 3000m steeplechase.

“Colin has been an integral part of our cross country and track & field programs for the past five years,” Director of Athletics Mark Bubniak said. “He has turned into a fantastic leader and a someone that all of his teammates can look up to. He is also a member of our Student-Athlete Advisory Council. We wish him all the best at Siena College.”

Head Boys Cross Country Coach Wendy Glunk added, “It has been my pleasure to watch Colin develop over these last four years as a team leader, team member and scholar-athlete. He has shown tremendous growth, both in his ability to run and his leadership skills. Colin sets goals and achieves them through his dedication to proper diet and stretching. We as a country family wish Colin only success in his future in running and will truly miss him. Congratulations Colin!”

“It has been my privilege to coach and watch Colin develop into the athlete that he is today,” Head Boys Outdoor Track & Field Coach Scott Keegan said. “Colin’s growth and commitment as a distance runner over the past few years has been remarkable. Colin’s increased leadership role, combined with a strong work ethic, has earned him the trust of his teammates and leads to greater development from our entire outdoor track & field team. I have no doubt that Colin will be at his best this spring season and beyond. Thank you for your dedication and good luck as you continue your journey at Siena.”

Dawson has been on the varsity softball team for five years. As a junior she hit .451 with four home runs and 27 RBI. She was a 1st team Suburban Council All-Star as both a sophomore and junior. Dawson was named Class A 2nd team All-State as a sophomore and Class A 3rd team All-State as a junior.

“Maisie has been an integral part of our softball team for five years,” Bubniak said. “She was also a member of the 2022 NYSPHSAA Class A championship girls basketball team and is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council. She is an extremely hard worker and is passionate about the game of softball. We wish her all the best at Belmont University.”

Head Softball Coach Kevin Earl added, “Coaching Maisie as a 7th grader on the Mod9 team it was easy to see her outstanding potential and softball skills. Maisie went from that team to the starting varsity catcher as an 8th grader. Excelling on the field and off, Maisie is a member of the National Honor Society. Maisie’s love of the game is second to none. She is always looking to help improve her teammates as well as herself. She is an excellent example of a young person with a goal, a plan and the work ethic to go after it. She is an amazing leader who displays genuine concern for others. We wish Maisie continued success as she prepares to play at Belmont University.”

Dawson noted that playing softball for 14 years taught her many things, not only about the sport, but about life.

“It’s brought me my best friends and allowed me to travel the country with my family. Without softball I probably wouldn’t be as responsible as I am, or have really good time management skills, both of which will be huge advantages as I start my next journey athletically and academically at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee,” she said. “I have been blessed to play varsity softball at Averill Park since I was in the 8th grade and have been the starting catcher ever since I first stepped on the field. I’ve worked so hard my entire life to accomplish that, and now it has awarded me a Division I athletic scholarship in city that I am so excited to live in! Thank you to everyone who has played a part in my softball career up to this point. Coach Earl and Coach Pugs, you guys are the best! I’ve loved being coached by the both of you. You are tough, but supportive and knowledgeable, the perfect combination! Coach Bailey thank you for giving an 8th grader a shot and for believing in me. Thank you to my travel coaches throughout the years (TLI, Impact, Huskies), especially Hillary Faas, Rory Ogden, Brian DiPiazza and Ryan Ruddy. You all have helped me not only in the physical part of the game, but my mental game as well. Thank you to my teammates for being some of my best friends. I wish you all the best with your own softball dreams! Lastly, thank you to my family for everything you guys have done for me. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without your support and dedication. Since day one you have always believed in me and pushed me to be my very best. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for you guys. I love you, forever.”

students signing letters of intent