Shepherd Hill celebrates Bateman and Mullen college signings
Emery Mullen and Grace Bateman are bound for Vassar and Holy Cross, respectively, to continue their athletic and academic careers, after graduation from Shepherd Hill.
By CHRISTOPHER TREMBLAY, Staff Sports Writer
Recently Shepherd Hill Regional High School seniors Grace Bateman and Emery Mullen were onstage in front of family and friends as they signed letters of commitment to continue their academic and athletic careers on the next level following their graduation.
Bateman will be attending NCAA Division 1 and member of the Patriot League College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, where she will run women’s cross country as well as track, while Mullen will take her basketball talents to Vassar College, a NCAA Division 3 school and member of the Liberty League, in Dutchess County, New York.
“First and foremost, congratulations to Grace and Emery on this impressive achievement. Putting athletics aside for a moment, both institutions these young women are committing to are not only two of the oldest and most revered colleges but are consistently ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation,” Shepherd Hill Athletic Director James Scanlon said. “The lists of notable alumni who have graduated from Holy Cross and Vassar are truly remarkable and there is no doubt that both of these student athletes have earned their place among those who seek the highest and most rigorous of standards.”
Both the Crusaders and Brewers are programs that continuously find themselves amongst the top of their respective leagues athletically while striving for academics.
Bateman, who had played soccer and basketball, began her running career in middle school. Having found that her favorite part of her other two sports was running, she decided to give cross country a try back then and found that it was something that she really enjoyed doing.
“I really liked the running aspect of soccer and basketball, so I thought that I’d give cross country a try,” she said. “Being that I love running I stuck with it and eventually got into track as well. The sport is where I’ve made some of my best friends.”
During the indoor season Bateman has posted a best 3:06 in the 1000 meter where she qualified for the State Tournament and finished in third place. In the spring she runs the 800 meter with a personal best time of 2:26 and although she loves running, never in her wildest dreams did she believe that running would create a path for her into college.
“I knew that I wanted to run in college; that was a goal of mine. Never did I think that running would get me into college,” Bateman said. “I had no idea where I was going to go to what division it would be I just wanted the opportunity. It’s still a shock to me that someone would give me a scholarship.”
In addition to scoping out Holy Cross, Bateman had also been offered an opportunity to run at Stonehill College in Easton. When all was said and done it was the academics as well as the challenge that played a big part in her decision to attend Holy Cross.
Mullen, who is going to Vassar to play basketball had also contemplated running in college as well.
“Although I was recruited for basketball I thought about running too, but unfortunately tore my ACL near the end of the season,” she said. “I’ll be having surgery in mid-April and the rehab is nine months so I’ll probably miss some of the pre-season but should be ready to go for the opener.”
Basketball has always been a part of Mullen’s life; her mother was her coach growing up and her father and brother both played the sport. Mullen earned a position on the Rams varsity squad her freshman season. On the track she ran middle distances for Shepherd Hill, while also throwing the javelin, an event she was just a few feet short of the school record and was looking to surpass this spring.
In addition to Vassar contacting her, Mullen was talking to Division 3 Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY and Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA.
“Mercyhurst was where I was leaning toward as I was hoping to play basketball as well as run track. Vassar was on the backburner as I really didn’t think it was on the table being so highly competitive,” Mullen said. “Vassar was my reach school, but when everything started to come into place it was a rather easy pick. It gives me a good opportunity career wise, and the basketball team is building, so it’s a good time [for] me as an incoming point guard.”
Scanlon also told the crowd in attendance that he had the privilege of getting to know these two student-athlete leaders over the past few years.
“Grace’s quiet but confident leadership and Emery’s inclusive, endearing personality have left an indelible mark on me,” the AD said. “And I know that it is what will make them both tremendous assets to their future teams.”