Five seniors are recognized in five different varsity sports.
On April 14, in front of friends, family and faculty, five Trinity student athletes made their college decision official by signing their letters of intent to play intercollegiate athletics.
- Matthew McRaney ’21 (baseball) — Patrick Henry CC
- MacKenzie Eggers ’21 (softball) — Randolph College
- Sara Placide ’21 (soccer) — Catholic University
- Tiffani Bartee ’21 (basketball) — Connecticut College
- Daniel Eliasek ’21 (football) — Randolph Macon College
Tim Merry, head baseball coach, began by expressing his appreciation for Matthew McRaney’s character and ability to be coached. “I can honestly say that only two years is not enough of you,” said Merry. “The impact that you’ve been able to make in two years is really phenomenal.” After transferring to Trinity in 2019, McRaney missed what would've been his first year on the Trinity baseball team due to COVID-19. Coach Merry touched on how quickly he became adapted and showed his maturity during such a tough time. “Matthew really fit in with the culture of the school and really became a leader on our team,” said Merry.
Christy Darlington, softball program head, highlighted that in her 15 years of coaching softball at Trinity, MacKenzie Eggers was the program’s first official college signee. “I’ve watched her grow, not only as an athlete but as a student, as a teammate, and as our captain,” said Darlington. “I can confidently say that she’s grown into a strong young independent woman.” Eggers’ hardwork and dedication to her craft on the field became contagious throughout the Trinity softball program. “She was always the kid at the end of practice asking to hit one more” said Darlington. “We know she’s dedicated and we also know that she’s extremely tough”
Head girls soccer coach, Rick Hamlin, held back tears at points as he talked about how much Sara Placide has impacted not only the program but his life personally.Hamlin described Sara's journey through the program and how she made her mark. “Sara has worked so hard every offseason,” said Hamlin. “It’s great to actually see the hard work rewarded.” Coach Hamlin then highlighted Placide’s amazing attributes as a player and how skillful and advanced she is with the ball at her feet. “It’s easy to run really fast without the ball,” said Hamlin. “Sara is even faster with the ball at her feet and glides by opponents.” Hamlin closed by thanking the Placide family for everything they’ve done for the program. “It’s been a long process to get to this day and this is a very important one,” said Hamlin. “I’m really happy and very proud of Sara.”
Adam Lonon, head girls basketball coach, started off by sharing his relationship with Tiffani Bartee and her family prior to Trinity. “I began training Tiffani when she was in middle school,” said Lonon. “It’s been a crazy evolution watching her game over the years.” Tiffani Bartee, like McRaney, transferred to Trinity in Fall 2019 and missed the last part of the 2020 season and all of the 2021 season due to COVID-19. Coach Lonon recalled how adversity struck early on in the 2019 season but commended her determination which allowed her to find herself quickly. “Tiffani helped with the leadership on that team after never being a Trinity Titan,” said Lonon. “And that’s one of the things I’ll truly miss.” Lonon praised Bartee’s encouraging, bubbly attitude that could be felt throughout the program. “She just did what I asked and kept it rolling.” Coach Lonon is confident that Bartee will bring that same attitude and determination with her to the next level.
Sam Mickens, head football coach, had nothing but great things to say about Daniel Eliasek. He sincerely thanked Eliasek along with the senior football players in attendance for leaving the program better than they found it. Coach Mickens then began to talk about the strides Eliasek made physically to prepare himself for the next level. “He really dedicated himself in a different way to transform his body,” said Mickens. Lastly, Mickens spoke highly of Eliasek’s character and the type of person he was in the football program and in the Trinity community. “He was always there, countless times, to help a younger player out,” said Mickens. “Daniel stood for all of the values and tenants that the football program and school stands for.”
These seniors join 14 others that have committed this year to play NCAA athletics and represent Trinity while competing at the intercollegiate level — with a commitment to hard work, discipline, character and respect for community.