PERU — On Thursday, St. Bede senior athlete Lydia Stariha signed her letter of intent to play softball and basketball at Grinnell College. She was joined by her parents and coaches Tom McGunnigal and Bill Prokup.
On choosing to become a Grinnell Pioneer, Stariha said, “I started looking at Division 3 schools because I knew that I wanted to continue playing. And then obviously I started looking at their chemistry program because, though I’d love to, I can’t play basketball forever. They have a really top notch (chemistry) program there.”
It will be a plus to get to play both sports, Stariha said.
“I am really happy that they work so well together that I can continue doing both because I really love basketball and softball. It’s great to be able to balance both,” said Stariha, who plans to study environmental chemistry.
“I’m really looking forward to stepping up my game to another level. And I’m really excited to get the whole new experience. All of college is going to be so exciting. “
“It’ll be sad to see Lydia go, but Grinnell is going to be getting a good ball player,” Prokup said. “She’s a good student, a good kid, and a good player in both basketball and softball. But, you get into Grinnell because of your academics. That’s why we’re here at St. Bede.”
Prokup also said it was good to see Stariha get a chance to get a good education while being able to continue playing sports.
“All of the Starihas are leaders. They give 100 percent. They work hard. They listen. What else can you ask from a kid?” Prokup said.
While she expects to continue to play guard in basketball, she’s ready for any position in softball.
“Throughout my high school career, I’ve played a bunch of different positions. Obviously, I’d love to continue catching, but I can play third place or anywhere,” Stariha said.
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