STRATFORD—Ask most Stratford High athletes what they like about being a Red Devil and they’ll tell you it’s a family atmosphere amongst the athletic department and all the teams.
Now, two of the school’s finest student-athletes from the Class of 2019 are heading to a higher level where they found another type of family feeling.
Braydon Seaburg, who will play baseball at Division 1 Quinnipiac, and Julia Torreso, a girls basketball player bound for Manhattanville College, were honored during a “signing ceremony” in front of friends and family inside the SHS Library after school on Tuesday afternoon.
“Watching these two, the last few years, both have worked really hard,” Stratford athletic director Tony DeAngelo said. “They’ve played multiple sports here and they’ve done very well. Both are good students, both are great kids and very important to our senior class.”
Both also talked about the comfort level they felt at their new schools following the ceremony.
“Everything from the coaches to the school was perfect for me,” said Seaburg, an outfielder for the Red Devils. “Throughout the whole process, I was talking to a lot of schools, but once I visited them it was let’s see who can beat them and nobody could. It was the family atmosphere the coaches and players bring to everything.”
Torreso found that same kind of comfort during her overnight recruiting trip to her school.
“When I took a tour and went on my overnight, the girls were really supportive and friendly and made it feel like home,” Torreso said. “They made me feel really comfortable, like I was already going to school there.”
Neither Seaburg nor Torreso know what they want to do with the rest of their live yet, but at least they know they are landing in a place where they are comfortably going to be able to start their journey.
For Seaburg, that means a Division 1 school, as well.
“Personally, I just wanted to play at the highest level I could,” he said. “It wasn’t about Division I at all.”
Seaburg will play for Quinnipiac coach John Delaney, the school’s fifth-year head coach who was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s Coah of the Year last season.
Stratford baseball coach Mick Buckmir said Seaburg being a Division 1 baseball player was just part of his story.
“I just want to say the baseball program is very, very proud of this kid,” Buckmir said. “He’s a Division 1 baseball player, no doubt about it. But he’s a Division 1 kid. He’s one of the best.”
Torreso will join a Manhattanville program that is led by Kate Vlahakis, who is in her seventh season as head coach and is the second winningest coach in the school’s history. The Valiants are 14-4 this season.
Torreso was also a part of Stratford’s successful volleyball program over the past two seasons and her coach Lisa Buccieri said it was no surprise the senior succeeded on multiple courts.
“She’s worked hard,” Buccieri said. “I know she’ll do very well in college.”
Another ceremony honoring more athletes who are expected to play in college will be held in the spring, according to DeAngelo.