Choose the school, not the program is a piece of advice that comes up a fair amount when student athletes are picking schools.
At Albemarle’s signing day Wednesday, where the schools selected were top notch institutions like Stanford, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and VMI it’s clear that that advice or some version of it got through to the latest group of Patriots to select their college destinations.
Kelsey Myers will head to Stanford to play women’s lacrosse, Daniel Starr made things official with Virginia Tech’s men’s soccer program, Tim Lindenbaum joins VMI’s lacrosse program and Bri Knight will row for Ohio State.
In fact, for one of them — Myers — it was about getting the program to look at her once she’d figured out she wanted to be at Stanford.
“I wanted a school like UVa but I didn’t want to be at home,” Myers said. “I wanted great athletics and great academics so Stanford was the perfect blend. Getting Stanford to look at me, to want me and to offer me was the hardest part. When they told me they wanted me to come it was a no-brainer.”
Myers, a first team All-State selection in Class 5 and first team All-Region 5D, heads to a program that won the first Pac 12 championship this spring and qualified for the NCAA tournament. Myers, who has also starred during field hockey season for the Patriots while earning Jefferson District player of the year honors, is thrilled to join a program on the rise, even if it is across the country from the place she’s called home since birth.
“Everyone always asks me what it’s like to go across the country but when you’re there it just feels like home,” Myers said. “I justify it by saying it’s like I’m going to New York. It’s a six-hour drive except it’s on a plane.”
Daniel Starr holds a similar local loyalty, having started playing soccer locally with SOCA’s Hotshots program at three years old, but he won’t go nearly as far as Myers, heading south to Virginia Tech.
“It was a challenging decision because you’re spending the next four years of your life there,” Starr said. “But I felt like it was the right decision because I went on a visit, I liked the team, the coaches and the environment.”
Starr scored 33 goals a year ago and led the Patriots to a Class 5A state championship while earning the Class 5A state player of the year award. He’ll rejoin former teammate Brendan Moyers, who Starr won a title with as a freshman at Albemarle.
“It feels more comforting (having Moyers there),” Starr said.
Bri Knight, meanwhile, heads to Ohio State where she’ll row for the Buckeyes. Knight was the doubles crew bronze medalist at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America along with Emmie Wuensch in the spring. Now she’ll join a top level rowing program that includes international standouts as well as producing a pair of All-Americans last season.
Knight isn’t the first area rower to join the Buckeyes’ program, as Carolyn Schneller went to Columbus back in 2012 from Western Albemarle. Knight is tall, which is a key initial advantage in rowing and she was happy to enjoy that advantage from the start.
“People ask me if I play volleyball or basketball but I’ve never really been good at ball sports,” Knight said. “To be able to go into a sport and automatically have an advantage was really nice and there’s just something about crew that’s different from other sport.”
Lindenbaum heads to VMI after emerging as one the area’s top longstick midfielders. He’s been part of a rebuilding stint at Albemarle and he’s been a major bright spot during that stretch as a lockdown defender who picked up 42 ground balls last year, handled the win on faceoffs and covered the opposition’s top midfield threat.
“Albemarle has helped me a lot — Coach (Dave) King I have nothing but respect for him, he always pushes me to be the best person I can be,” Lindenbaum said. “He’s been a really good role model.”
Picking VMI and it’s unique culture came naturally to the Albemarle senior as he comes from a military family.
“My dad had a lot to do with it — he was in the Navy for 23 years so I was raised a military kid,” Lindenbaum said. “I’m ready for it.”