On Wednesday, the Providence Country Day School community joined together to honor three exceptional student athletes at a special signing ceremony where Benjamin Kailher '19, Andrew Ruggiero '19, and Martin Silverman '19 each officially signed their National Letters of Intent (NLI) for athletic scholarships. The three students will continue their athletic careers at Pennsylvania State University, the University of Maine, and Post University.
Traditionally held in November and February, the National Signing Day event allows talented high school athletes to formally commit in writing to a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) team. Across the country, fewer than two percent of high school student athletes are offered an athletic scholarship with a National Letter of Intent. In PCD history, more than a dozen student athletes have signed an NLI and continued to play on competitive collegiate teams such as Boston College, Wake Forest University, and the University of Rhode Island.
"All of us at PCD are extremely proud of their leadership and hard work," says Marquis Harper, athletic director. "The signing day is a big moment for a young athlete and they all deserve to be applauded. Each of these students have worked tirelessly on the field and in the classroom. We have no doubt that they'll each be a valuable addition to their teams at the next level."
Ben Kailher, Pennsylvania State University
In 2015, Benjamin Kailher of Rumford, joined the PCD Varsity Baseball team and has delivered year after year with his drive, focus and skill. With batting a .351 average, the short stop/second baseman has helped lead the team to the New England Small Prep School's Tournament the past three years. As a closer, Kailher has pitched more than 66 innings with 88 strikeouts, and an ERA of 1.62 in his three seasons at the school. Though a key player at PCD, Kailher's talent has been recognized nationally by Rawlings PerfectGame.org and the Prep Baseball Report which cite him as one of the top high school prospects in the country. He's also been named to the "Top Underclass High School Baseball Athletes" list in 2017 and 2018. Kailher will study and compete at Pennsylvania State University beginning next fall.
Andrew Ruggiero, University of Maine
Though only one year on the PCD Varsity Baseball team, Andrew Ruggiero of Swansea has been a powerful addition since joining in 2017. As a starting pitcher, he's pitched 52 innings with 80 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.96. At bat, Ruggiero had a .385 average. The standout player has been followed by top scouts and regarded as a leading prospect throughout his high school career. His coaches and fellow players describe Ruggiero as a player with unmatched athleticism, a relentless commitment and a true heart for the game. He will study and compete at the University of Maine beginning next fall.
Martin Silverman, Post University
Though nationally and regionally ranked as one of the top lacrosse goalies in saves for three consecutive seasons, Martin Silverman of Greenville continues his preseason practice and workout almost daily. PCD Boys Lacrosse Coach Peter Kelleher says its Silverman's relentless work ethic, leadership on the team, and dedication to the sport that make him the most deserving player of the athletic scholarship with Post University. The 2019 season will mark his fourth year on the PCD/St. Raphael co-op Varsity Lacrosse team, which Kelleher says has grown in strides with Silverman's contributions as team captain. Last spring, the team finished an 11-2 record and clinched the Division III Central Championship title. Not once, but twice, Silverman has been awarded All-Division honors and a US Lacrosse High School All-American. Most recently, he was named MVP at the United States Marine Corps Lacrosse Leadership Academy. With a save percentage of 67, Kelleher says Silverman's position as "the rock" on the team will be hard to replace but knows he'll excel at the college level. Silverman will study and compete at Post University beginning next fall.