Pine Crest Student Athletes Take Their Dreams to the Next Level


Pine Crest has many student-athletes that are current juniors and seniors who have committed to play their sport in college. In a group of many, Paw Print has decided to focus in on some of the student-athletes from Pine Crests’s lacrosse and swimming teams who have committed. Both teams have had very successful seasons in the past few years, and many athletes from both teams are taking their skills to the next level, continuing to pursue their sport at a collegiate level.

Ella Bishara ‘22 dominates the field as a top-right-elbow attacker for the girls lacrosse team. Bishara played for the Redhawks local team and picked it up from her sister. This past September, Colgate University of Hamilton in New York called Bishara to offer her the opportunity to continue her athletic career with their school. After falling in love with their academics and campus atmosphere, Bishara gladly committed to Colgate University.

During her Pine Crest career, Bishara explained her favorite memory, beating Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando by one point after narrowly losing to them the year before:

She said, “The game was so intense and it was an overnight trip. The whole entire team was so happy. It was awesome.”’

Bishara described that during her final few seasons, she hopes to experiment with playing more midfield.

“I am known for sprinting, and I really want to accomplish trying to do more like midfield and working on both ends of the field. This year can be the year that we go really far because we have Taylor [McClain] who is also committed to Bucknell and really good seniors and a ton of juniors.”’

The Pine Crest Swim Team made waves last year when they won states for the first time in over thirty years. Paw Print spoke with some of the committed swimmers to discuss their favorite memories

Senior Joshua Hanks ’21 learned how to swim for safety, but never stopped after he fell in love with the sport.

About his favorite events to swim, Hanks said, “The fifty free because it is like a sprint event, so it is just really fun. Breaststroke is my favorite stroke.’’

Hanks is committed to swim at Georgia Tech next fall, and he discussed his excitement for this next step in his life.

He said, “I’m looking forward to getting to experience college life and to be independent and experience life for myself and to support myself without my parents.”’

Hanks hopes to end his high school career on a high note by getting the state-record in the hundred-meter breaststroke during Pine Crest’s short season this fall.

Another senior on the swim-team, Haley Cisewski, committed to Loyola University Maryland. Cisewski picked up swimming from her step-sister and still goes to her for advice. Cisewski identified Katie Ledecky as a role-model in her sport on the topic of gender equality.

She said, “I think Katie Ledecky is doing great things in the swimming industry where it is very male-dominated where it’s like you always hear about Michael Phelps and whatnot, but you never hear about the girls, and so I think it is really cool that she is building her point of view and kind of making it more of a guys and girls sport.”’

Cisewski swims the 200 and 500 freestyle events and is trying to get more into butterfly. Cisewski explained why she chose Loyola University Maryland.

She said, “I was talking to a couple of schools, and my parents wanted me to wait to commit, but when you know, you know. There is that feeling where you are so excited about the school, you love the team, all of that. It was everything combined, but what really did it for me was that they have a great film program that I want to go to and then their team was absolutely amazing and I loved the coaching staff.”

A captain of the swim team, Cisewski always aspired to become a captain and loves to mentor the young swimmers. This season, which includes champion-season, she is looking forward to seeing how Pine Crest performs and hopes to make the best of their season despite this difficult time.

All student-athletes must learn how to balance their sport with schoolwork. Hanks recommends time management and avoiding procrastination when work needs to be done. Bishara knows that sacrifices need to be made, such as missing homecoming last year because she had a tournament. Many times, she’s had to decline hanging out with friends because she had homework and practice the next day. While the sacrifices required to be a successful student-athlete may be large, the payoff of being able to have the opportunity to participate at the next level is worth it for these athletes.

We are so proud of the student-athletes who have committed to play their sport in college. Go Panthers!