Rylee Leonard ’16 had some doubts about going to boarding school for a post-graduate year. That is, until her mother offered a few key words of encouragement.
“When everyone told me a PG year would be useless, she assured me that it was ultimately my decision to do what I felt was best,” Ms. Leonard wrote in an email. “She proved to me that everything will work out in the end.”
On Saturday, during a special ceremony in Birch Dining Hall, Ms. Leonard’s decision to spend a year at Williston Northampton School appeard to pay off in spades. Joined by two future lacrosse teammates, who were making commitments of their own, Ms. Leonard signed a national letter of intent to the University of New Hampshire.
“We are really excited for her,” said Mrs. Leonard as her daughter put ink to paper. [UNH] “is a wonderful opportunity, and I cannot wait for her to get there and start her collegiate career.”
Ms. Leonard said the “close-knit family environment” of the Division 1 UNH Wildcats was appealing, as was the prospect of entering a competitive program.
“I am excited to be a part of a team full of hardworking girls with tons of experience,” she wrote in an email before the ceremony. “I am looking forward to playing with and observing the best players to learn from them.”
As a post-graduate, Ms. Leonard has not had a chance to play lacrosse with the Williston team yet. But with Girls Lacrosse Head Coach Jen Fulcher also serving as her soccer coach this fall, Ms. Leonard said had already learned a few key catchphrases.
“As insane as she sounds when she shouts at me ‘You’re not tired!’ from across the field, she is 100 percent right and pushes me to give everything I have,” Ms. Leonard wrote.
Coach Fulcher described Ms. Leonard as “fast, explosive, agile, a tough competitor,” and a “natural athlete” with “great vision.”
At the ceremony, the Leonards gave Coach Fulcher much of the credit, noting that the coach was “absolutely awesome.”
“Jen Fulcher gets all the credit,” Mrs. Leonard said and noted that she was looking forward to seeing the lacrosse team in action this spring.
“Lots more to come this year,” agreed Mr. Leonard.