CAMBRIDGE — Four Cambridge-South Dorchester High athletes will be taking their talents to the next level, having recently inked National Letters of Intent to play college sports.
The soft-spoken Tranell Clanton, a 6-foot-5 tight end who also plays center for the Viking boys’ basketball team, will be heading to Frostburg State University, located a little over three hours west of Cambridge, where he’ll be playing football.
The switch from Friday to Saturday games will be a big one, Tranell said.
“It’s going to be different because the times are different, the environment is different,” Clanton said. “I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss my teammates a lot. ... But I’m looking forward to the future. I’m excited.”
“I like hitting people,” said Clanton, who’s been a staple on the defensive line, too, “but I like blocking people too, so it’ll be fun.”
A business major, Clanton lives in Cambridge with his mom, Yolanda.
John Kelly, a competitive relay swimmer in no fewer than four categories, will take to the pool for Washington College, located in Chestertown, in Kent County.
Washington is the first college to receive its charter after America declared its independence, doing so in 1782.
A resident of the Neck District, John lives off Chapel Creek, and says his choice of double major, environmental science and biology, was “at least 95 percent” due to his upbringing around coastal waterways.
“”I’d say my decision was at least 95 because of the water,” Kelly said. “I live right on the water, and ... I just want to conserve it for future generations. I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t there.”
John’s parents are Andrea Dayton and Chuck Kelly; he has a younger sister, Abigail, who’s currently a sophomore.
“The course offerings were important,” John said of Washington, “and they have a really good reputation in finding jobs with the major that I have, since it’s so important to the local areas around the college.”
John swims “everything except the breaststroke,” he said, specializing in the freestyle and back, at distances of 100 to 500 meters.
Haley Pietras, a swimmer like John Kelly, is going a bit farther south, to Barton College, located in Wilson, N.C.
A National Honor Society member, she plans to major in biology.
“I’m possibly going pre-med, or maybe something pharmaceutical,” Haley, the daughter of Pete and Stacie Pietras, said. “
Haley said she liked “the location, the size,,” and the offer of a partial scholarship to help offset her costs. Carrying a 3.87 GPA, she plans to swim in multiple freestyle and backstroke events for the Bulldogs.
Haley says she’ll miss “the people, the friendships and stuff like that” from the C-SD area, but has found a similar community at Barton. “I’ll know a lot of the other students and my classmates there because of the campus being smaller,” she said.
Haley has two younger brothers, Derek, who’s 14, and 11-year-old Gavin.
Connor McCroy, a two-time state champ in the 4-by-800-meter relay race, will be heading to the University of Lynchburg, a private college in the town of the same name about an hour west of Richmond, Va.
A member of the National Honor Society and the National German Honor Society, Connor carries a 4.33 weighted grade-point average; he plans to major in exercise physiology.
In addition to running relays for indoor and outdoor track, Connor is a cross-country enthusiast, and has already gotten a little bit of running time at his future school. “I had an overnight stay with the Lynchburg cross-country teams and the run was five miles, straight up a mountain. It took me 42 1/2 minutes.”
The pace, he said, will become even quicker as he works through the summer running plan he’s already begun. Connor, who’s run or will run “anywhere from 800 to 10,000 meters,” lives in Church Creek with his parents, Joel and Carmen. “Hopefully I can extend what speed I have to a longer distance.”
Connor liked the campus and close-knit community at Lynchburg in particular, saying it’s “really well-organized; all the classes are in one circle so it’s really easy to make your way around, and everybody knows everybody.”