Making Waves at Wheaton

Following a Senior Through the College Athletics Commitment Process

On+the+Block%2C+Amanda+Roberge+%2821%29+poses+with+her+newly+won+medal+at+the+states+meet

On the Block, Amanda Roberge (’21) poses with her newly won medal at the states meet

Riley Maynard, Launchpad writer

Waking up before sunrise to swim for two hours before school might seem like a laughable commitment to some, but for senior Amanda Roberge (‘21)  it’s just part of another week. Swimming competitively for most of her life, Roberge is one of the many seniors to recently commit as a college athlete. 

Roberge recently committed as a division three swimmer to Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. As a captain of the Pinkerton Swim team and member of the Phoenix club swim team, she has been involved in swimming for about as long as she can remember. 

“I’ve been swimming nine years, I got involved on my own because my mom swam in high school. I first joined Manchester swim team until it was bought by the team I’m on now,” said Roberge. 

As far as the college commitment process, division three athletes don’t usually commit until sometime during senior year as opposed to some division one and two athletes who tend to begin their commitment process junior year. 

“I started emailing coaches senior year, I narrowed down my list and went back and forth with coaches, doing personal research on my own for a while. When I decided, I emailed the coach of the team I was interested in and he said there was a spot. It’s nothing too intense and stressful, something you can do on your own time as long as there are spots open on their roster and you’ve communicated with them well,” said Roberge when discussing her experience with the process.

Overall I think being a successful student athlete is mostly about attitude.  If someone approaches either with a positive attitude or at least one that is trying to improve then that is what will tend to happen, they will improve.  I have seen Amanda go through this process, she accepts the challenge of trying to get better.  She realizes it doesn’t always happen the way she wants it to or as quickly, she keeps at it”

— Coach Crowell

Although Roberge was not always positive she wanted to swim in college, both her club and high school coaches, as well as the community athletics would offer her going into a new school changed her mind during her junior year. 

“Swimming translates well to real life. It teaches you how to be strong minded mentally and physically. It’s challenging in a good way. It’s rewarding in that when practice is really hard and you push yourself harder than you thought you could go, you realize it was easier than you expected,” said Roberge. 

When describing a successful student athlete, swim coach Mr. Crowell discussed the importance of resilience and the determination to become better, in the context of swimming and in having Roberge as both a student and an athlete. 

“Overall I think being a successful student athlete is mostly about attitude.  If someone approaches either with a positive attitude or at least one that is trying to improve then that is what will tend to happen, they will improve.  I have seen Amanda go through this process, she accepts the challenge of trying to get better.  She realizes it doesn’t always happen the way she wants it to or as quickly, she keeps at it,” said Mr. Crowell. 

This passion for the sport demonstrated in her own sentiments regarding the personal growth it fosters and an attitude for improvement is one Roberge is excited to share with others. Close friend Sofia Camillieri (‘21) discussed how her involvement in the swim team began. 

“Amanda has been swimming her whole life. We’ve been friends since fifth grade and every year once we got into high school she said I should swim with her, that they allow beginners onto the team and we could hangout. I told her I would my freshman year but I didn’t. I said the same thing my sophomore year and I didn’t do it that year either. Junior year I did it and ended up really liking it. I did really well and had a lot of fun so I ended up doing it my senior year,” said Camillieri. 

Camillieri echoed similar feelings to Roberge’s experience when committing to Saint Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. for softball. 

“It was long and hard because of corona,” said Camillieri, “I sent a lot of emails and got a lot of emails back, the Saint Lawrence coach struck me with her kindness and enthusiasm. I got into communication with her and emailed back and forth for a long time, it gradually turned into her saying they want me there.”

At Wheaton College, Roberge is going in undecided, but hopes to explore the fields of criminal psychology following an interest from Pinkerton forensics classes, or physical therapy. 

“Make sure you choose the place that feels good for you even if it wasn’t what you had pictured your whole life, even if it’s something different than you would’ve thought. Choose the right division. Even if you’re an amazing athlete, but you feel like you wouldn’t be able to balance that in college, don’t go D1,” said Roberge when asked what advice to give to other aspiring college athletes.