By Andy Warrener
The Laker/Lutz News Correspondent
It was a memorable morning at Freedom High May 3 when a school-record six student-athletes signed to play their sport in college.
It wasn’t just the number that surprised principal David Sheppard, but the diversity of the signees.
“We want to get the message out that no matter what sport they do, athletes at Freedom have a chance to be successful beyond high school,” Sheppard said.
The signees are Kyle and Eric Schindler (baseball), Michael Sacco (soccer), Nicole Seybold (cheerleading) and Devin Turner and Jon Economou (football).
The Schindler twins helped guide Patriots baseball to its most successful season this year, including the first winning season (15-10) and first playoff berth. They will continue their careers at St. Pete College.
Sacco also made major contributions to Freedom sports this year. He recovered from an ACL tear in time to help the Patriots go 12-6-1 and make the postseason. He now moves on to Eckerd College, where he will likely play midfield or defense. He was impressed with the college’s facilities.
“You can tell they’ve put a lot of money into their new fields, plus there’s a lot of other signees that should give us a good chance to compete in the NCAA tournament,” Sacco said.
Seybold will attend the University of Oregon. Seybold will always remember helping Freedom reach new heights as a senior when the program won a county and regional championship for the first time.
Turner and Economou will add an entirely new chapter to their playing careers together after playing for the New Tampa Wildcats in middle school. They will both compete at Becker College in Boston.
“It feels good knowing there’s someone on your team that you are familiar with,” Economou said.