LAKEWOOD RANCH — While growing up in Ohio, Lakewood Ranch senior Tyler Schroer was introduced to the game of lacrosse.
But it wasn’t until Schroer moved to Florida five years ago that he finally decided to pick up a lacrosse stick. Schroer began playing in the seventh grade and soon joined the Lakewood Ranch Lightning Lacrosse Club.
But it wasn’t until the end of his junior year that the Lightning attackman decided he wanted to play at the next level. Schroer spent the summer playing with Team Florida’s U19 team in hopes of not only improving his game but also drawing the attention of collegiate coaches.
“It was at the end of my junior year going into that summer that I decided I was going to play for the summer leagues,” Schroer said. “I decided to go all out and get the (attention) of the best school I could.”
On Nov. 17, Schroer’s hard work paid off when he signed a national letter-of-intent to play lacrosse for the University of Detroit, becoming the first Lakewood Ranch Lightning Lacrosse player to sign a Division I scholarship.
“I like the fact that I have that title,” Schroer said. “It was pretty exciting signing and knowing that I’ll be going there in less than a year.”
Schroer chose Detroit for its cold weather, its campus and the fact that it’s a Division I program.
“The school is well on its way to becoming an elite Division I program,” Schroer said. “Hopefully, it can turn over a new leaf, and (we can) become good and end up in the tournament. I would love to be in that final tournament in Baltimore — that would be sweet.”
Schroer, who plans to study business or marketing, will now prepare for his final season with Lakewood Ranch Lightning Lacrosse. Last season, Schroer helped lead Lakewood to an undefeated season and a division championship.
This winter, Schroer, who is already the club’s all-time leading scorer with 229 points, which includes goals and assists, has his sights set on another division championship.
“I definitely want to get my points up and make that a bar for others,” Schroer said. “I want for our team to win another championship, but I don’t know yet how we’re looking because we lost a lot of people. But winning out through the season is a pretty big goal.”
Growing up, Ashley Reid played just about every sport imaginable, but it wasn’t until she was watching the 2004 Summer Olympics that she decided to give swimming a try.
Now six years later, Reid is one of Lakewood’s most decorated swimmers, having set four school records while at Lakewood.
Most recently, Reid helped lead the Lakewood girls swim team to a third-place finish at the Class 2A State Swimming and Diving Championships where she finished second in the 200-yard individual medley and fifth in the 100 backstroke. Reid also swam a leg on the 200 medley relay team (fourth) and the 400 freestyle relay team (third).
And on Nov. 19, Reid made her intentions of swimming at the next level known when she signed a national letter-of-intent to swim for North Carolina State University.
“It’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Reid said. “I know where I’m going to college. It’s official, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.”
Reid chose the Wolfpack over the University of South Carolina, Florida State, East Carolina, Georgia Southern and Ohio University.
“I was really excited about the medical programs they offer for student-athletes,” said Reid, who has aspirations of becoming a pharmacist. “I really liked and got along well with the swim team when I took an official visit; and I just really liked the vibe of the campus.”
Reid will now spend the rest of her senior year swimming with St. Petersburg Aquatics in preparation for next year.
“My goals are to, of course, better all of my times and to make it to NCAA’s, at the least, my freshmen year,” Reid said. “I’m just looking forward to just the whole new atmosphere and competition that college swimming has to offer.”
Braden River High senior Kristin Swindell has been working toward this moment since she first picked up a golf club and began playing competitively.
From that moment on, Swindell knew she wanted to play collegiate golf. The only question left to answer was where she was going to play. And on Nov. 17, Swindell made her decision final when she signed a national letter-of-intent to play for Florida Gulf Coast University.
“I’m relieved, but I’m really excited though,” Swindell said. “This is amazing.”
Swindell chose Florida Gulf Coast over Mercer, Western Carolina, Florida State and Stetson because of its Professional Golf Management Program.
“I want to make it to the (LPGA) Tour, but it’s my backup plan,” Swindell said. “The school’s brand new and the girls are amazing. It’s the right school for me.”
Swindell closed out her final season at Braden River earlier this fall with a trip to the state tournament as an individual. She shot a 79-77 to finish 13th at the Class 2A finals.
Swindell now will spend the remainder of her senior year playing in some golf tournaments, including one in Brooksville in January.
“High school golf is a lot shorter and to some people it’s not taken seriously — of course to me it was — and college golf is a whole new aspect,” Swindell said. “In college golf, you can pretty much count on your whole team. … There aren’t many tournaments where you’re just an individual.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].