December 9, 2019

College National Letter of Intent and Signing Day

"Unequivocally Poissant is the best defensive catcher in the state of Rhode Island. He is right here at EPHS." AD Gregg Amore

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Three EPHS Students Sign Letters of Intent

East Providence High School participated in the annual NCAA National Letter of Intent and Signing Day today at the high school. "We are proud today to celebrate the college signing of three of our student-athletes and to recognize all that they have done to get this far," said Athletic Director Gregg Amore. "Not only do these students have to compete athletically but also in the classroom. If you look around the room today, you will see family members, coaches, teachers and fellow students who have been a part of your success," Amore told the three recipients. "You have a whole community here to support you."

Seniors Mia Jackson will be going to Stonehill College as a soccer player, Cole Poissant will attend Franklin Pierce for baseball and Yanis Benaduda will attend Providence College for swimming. "We're incredibly proud of all our athletes for persevering in the classroom and on the fields and in the gyms and we look forward to other signings later in the school year," said Amore.

"We have a lot to be proud of at East Providence High School and these students represent some of our best. Yanis Benaduda is the latest in a line of tremendous swimmers at EPHS. We've had Olympians, Division I athletes, many who have gone on from high school to excel. The stark improvement of our swim team started with the arrival of Yanis here at the high school. Not only has he performed individually but he has carried the team to success," added Amore. "Not only that he's a good kid," Amore said to chuckles in the crowd.

"I don't think anyone embodies Townie Pride like Mia Jackson. She is a three sport athlete who operates with enthusiasm beyond enthusiasm every moment of every day," said Amore. "If you watch Mia compete you will learn the meaning of compete. Mia leaves it out there all day, every day."

"The first time I met Cole Poissant was when he was in middle school. We talked baseball. I heard he was a good baseball player. As I started to watch Cole play, I can say unequivocally that he is the best defensive catcher in the state of Rhode Island. He's been contributing to this team since the moment he walked into EPHS. He's the best and he is right here at our high school," said Amore to applause from those in the room.

Principal Shani Wallace also addressed the group. "I want to thank the three of you for being part of a senior class that has made my last four years here very enjoyable. This group really embodies Townie Pride in a big way. Your school is very proud of you. I'm also proud that these colleges have chosen you three to attend their prestigious schools. I also say thank you to your families for letting us share this experience with you and I wish you all the best," added the principal.

Soccer coach Angelo Pizzi also attended the signing event. The girls soccer team recently made an impressive run through the state playoffs and fell short of a championship. "Mia Jackson is a three time all-division selection and was our goalkeeper during the 2016 state championship team. She was a key then and is a key player now. In 2017 she was an all-division goalkeeper for our undefeated season. She has led us to three titles and exciting playoff appearances. "Mia is the mom on the field. She controls the action the tempo and even has calmed me down when I would yell and get nervous. Mia was a coach on the field," said Coach Pizzi. "Her ability to discern what is happening on the field and direct the action was incredible."

Townie head baseball coach Bobby Rodericks was on hand to speak about his baseball catcher Cole Poissant. Rodericks who teaches at Martin Middle School said that he first met Poissant when the latter was in third of fourth grade. "We connected right away as I was a catcher myself and watching Cole develop as a catcher, I've seen him develop greatly every year. He (Cole) made the middle school team as a starter in the 6th grade. I've had my eye on him for a long time and when he came to the high school, it was the first time in my career that I've seen a player - especially a catcher - start as a 9th grader. You are one of the rare four year starters at the varsity level," said Rodericks. "What impresses me the most about Cole is that as his high school years are waning down, his grades are continuing to improve. As much as I love what he does on the field, I am more impressed with his performance in the classroom."

Guidance counselor and assistant athletic director Rob Traverse also addressed the students. "Two of these student-athletes are in the top ten percent of their class. All three are doing very well academically. This epitomizes Townie Pride. You make us proud to be Townies. Your teachers can not be prouder of how you have performed these last four years.

Cole Poissant has not only been a four year starter in baseball at the difficult position of catcher but has been a fierce competitor on the field. "I had two or three other Division I colleges interested and a few in Division II but I liked Franklin Pierce," said Poissant. "I enjoyed the tour of the school. The campus is beautiful and it is what I wanted in a school. My parents agree also. The baseball fields are awesome, their coaches liked me and I can't wait to get started," he added. "I think sports helped me as a student. I play basketball also and it helped keep me in shape for baseball. Sports in general helps students do well in class," said Poissant.

Mia Jackson has decided on Stonehill College. "I had a couple of schools in mind but Stonehill offered what I was looking for academically," said Jackson. "Their teachers program is excellent and they have a great soccer program. Stonehill offers a good challenge to me academically and athletically." Jackson was asked about attending public or non-public school in preparation for college. "I definitely support public schools but I think both public or private offer good opportunities. I think as long as you have the right mind set and have goals in sight and you work hard, you can do well. Family support is also very important. No matter where you're at, you'll make it if you work hard and have the support system," Jackson said.

Yanis Benaduda will be attending Providence College. "I had some other choices, Bryant, Springfield and a few more. PC just had everything I wanted. Campus, coaches, it felt like a place I can spend my next four years," said Benaduda. "PC is strong in swimming and academics and I'm looking forward to it. Sports in general has kept me busy and disciplined and has definitely helped me to do well with my academics. Sports also helps to manage your time and I thank all my teachers and coaches at EPHS."

All three students have received some level of financial support and signed letters of intent to attend the colleges involved today. "People need to understand that most student-athletes will not get major financial scholarships to attend colleges and universities. Thousands of students across the country will sign letters of intent today and we have three of the best right here at East Providence High School. We anticipate more will sign in the coming months during the next phase of college acceptance notices. We are all so proud of these students and of our school," said Athletic Director Gregg Amore.

Today is the first National Letter of Intent Signing Day. This is the period of time in which athletes who have verbal offers from college coaches will make their athletic scholarships official by signing their National Letter of Intent.

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