Sign right here
With about a half dozen signatures, Gigi Eliopoulos put to an end the stress of the last 18 months.
Eliopoulos, a senior at Hollis Brookline High School, and classmate Cam LaFleur sat in the school library Monday morning in front of 50 or so classmates, family members, school administrators, coaches and the rest of their support groups to each sign a National Letter of Intent – Eliopoulos to play lacrosse at Assumption College, LaFleur for baseball at Merrimack College.
Both did so with smiles on their faces, and afterward expressed the relief they now felt.
“I’m really happy that’s it done,” Eliopoulos said. “It’s been a year and a half and it’s been stressful. A lot of people think we didn’t have to go through the college process, but we’ve been going through it since sophomore year, so I’m really relieved to have it done.”
As he signed his letter, LaFleur looked out at the crowd that had surrounded the small corner of the library, watching the cameras’ flash and seeing his classmates trying to look over bookshelves to watch him. Someone remarked they looked just like movie stars.
“It was really cool,” LaFleur said. “I’ve got to thank everyone because they’ve supported me through all this. I’m lucky to have a great school and a lot of good people around me. I had a lot of choices and I thank my family for helping me through this.”
Northeastern University and Assumption were also in the mix, but in the end, LaFleur felt comfortable with Merrimack.
“I love the school, I love the campus and I love the people there,” said LaFleur, who is a pitcher and center fielder for HB. “It just visited a few days ago and it’s a great atmosphere. I think I can fit in great there.”
For Eliopoulos, who also plays field hockey, the decision came down to two similar schools, Assumption and Saint Anslem College.
“I like the feel of the school and the coach is just one of the nicest coaches I’ve ever met,” she said. “I felt instantly welcomed when I went there. It was just a great school.”
While she started playing lacrosse in the Hollis Rec program, Eliopoulos felt her game really improved after playing for Granite State Elite and working with the trainers at Top Fitness. That experience helped her chose to continue lacrosse over field hockey.
“They really helped me reach the next level,” she said. “I’ve been playing lacrosse since third grade. I’ve been playing on a club team, Granite State Elite, so I always knew that’s what I wanted to do. I loved field hockey, but it was kind of more a conditioning sport. I always felt drawn to lacrosse.”
Both agreed that they’ll welcome a spring season in which the eyes on them will only be watching, and not recruiting.
“All these games, it was like we were at tournaments to get looked at, so there were all these coaches on the sidelines,” Eliopoulos said. “It was a little stressful. Now I can just focus on the game and not worry about seeing coaches.”
LaFleur is excited for one last hoorah with his teammates.
“I’m focused on having a great senior year of baseball,” he said. “Hopefully we can do some big things this year. I’m expecting a lot out of the guys.”