Brighton athletes take on college

Brighton’s very own students achieve their lifetime dream by continuing sports in college


Senior lacrosse player Bradley Luketic in a line-up at one of his high school lacrosse games. Luketic, number 15, plays goalie and committed at Albion College for lacrosse.

Katie Tarnacki, Staff Writer

Brighton High School’s senior class is sending many students to college to continue their athletic careers. Friends and family support the athletes by joining them in their signing process and standing by the entire time. So far a total of eight football players, one boy’s lacrosse player and one girl’s basketball player have committed. 

Senior Bradley Luketic verbally committed to Albion College for lacrosse to continue his athletic and academic career. Luketic said he had gotten offered an academic scholarship so that he could go and play lacrosse there. “I played for the Albion coach over the summer, and my brother goes to Albion,” Luketic said. He is still undecided for his major although he’s thinking about something in business. Luketic said he is most excited to “be off, on my own for the first time.” He believes anyone is able to achieve this like he did by putting in hard work and dedication. Similar to Luketic, Senior Sophie Dziekan explained how she had to put in hard work as well to be able to achieve what she did. 

Dziekan committed to Bowling Green State University to continue her basketball career. She also got offered a scholarship to come and play for their school, and like Luketic, is still undecided in her major. Dziekan said she “loves the town, coaches, and it’s close to home so my family can see my games.” She is beyond excited to make more friends and be able to continue her athletic career playing the sport she loves at a school she loves. Being close to home seems to be a very deciding factor when choosing a college to attend. 

Colby Newburg
At Brighton High School’s National Signing Day event on Feb. 5, 2020, Senior Colby Newburg signed with Saginaw Valley State University to continue his football career. Newburg will play as a quarterback at the school.

Senior quarterback Colby Newburg committed to Saginaw Valley State University for football because “it’s close to home, the coaching staff is really young and energetic, and the team is very welcoming.” Newburg is excited to announce that he plans on continuing in his father’s footsteps by majoring in accounting and working in the FBI. Newburg also got a scholarship from the for athletics and academics. The most exciting part he looks forward to is getting to meet the other guys in his recruiting class and getting to work with them. Newburg said  “throwing with the guys from last year and getting help from a family friend who is a great QB coach” was a huge part of being able to reach his lifetime goal of playing football in college. 

Zach Pardonnet
Senior Zach Pardonnet signed with Hillsdale College to continue his athletic and academic career playing football at one of the best academic schools in the country. Pardonnet is supported by his two coaches, Brian Lemons (right) and Aaron Haynak (left).

Another Senior football player who recently committed is Zach Pardonnet. Pardonnet signed with Hillsdale College to continue his football career. He said, “after my injury, a lot of the schools I was in contact with lost interest. Luckily Hillsdale wasn’t one of them because I think I could fit into the team really well and it’s one of the best academic schools in the country.” He was offered a full-ride for athletics and an academic scholarship on top of his full ride. Pardonnet said he has decided to either major in special education or physical therapy. Like Luketic, Pardonnet is excited for the freedom college offers and being able to meet his lifelong best friends. Pardonnet said his older brother was a huge influence on him. By following his lead and learning from him as well as being surrounded by tons of other supportive people, he was luckily able to achieve his goal. 

Brighton High School is well-known for sending scholar athletes on to college to continue their dream by playing the sport they love. Brighton has had several different sports teams make it to the State Championship this year alone, including football and cross country. Athletes at Brighton are very talented and deserve to be able to achieve their goals and play in college. 

Athletes Who Have Committed:

Jack Cataldo ~ Football ~ Alma College 

Cole Riddle ~ Football ~ Central Michigan University 

Colby Newburg ~ Football ~ Saginaw Valley State University 

Zach Pardonnet ~ Football ~ Hillsdale College 

Nathan Kwapisz ~ Football ~ Northern Michigan University 

Nate Hoffman ~ Football ~ Air Force Academy 

Ruben Salinas ~ Football ~ Grand Valley State University 

Luke Stanton ~ Football ~ Grand Valley State University 

Kaylee Beekel ~ Soccer ~ Spring Arbor University 

Sophie Dziekan ~ Basketball ~ Bowling Green University

Bradley Luketic ~ Lacrosse ~ Albion College 

Greyson Stevens ~ Wrestling ~ Northern Illinois University 

Josh Adam ~ Soccer ~ Michigan State University 

Zach Stewart ~ Cross Country ~ University of Michigan 

Jack Spamer ~ Cross Country ~ University of Michigan 

Celia Cullen ~ Volleyball ~ Michigan State University 

Dane Donabedian ~ Wrestling ~ Davenport University 

Paige Falk ~ Lacrosse ~ Findlay University 

Mia Hansen ~ Soccer ~ Grand Valley State University 

Brendan Harrity ~ Baseball ~ Western Michigan University 

Solana Hickinson ~ Volleyball ~ Grand Valley State University 

Eddie Homrock ~ Wrestling ~ Michigan State University 

Cat Kopchia ~ Lacrosse ~ University of Detroit Mercy 

Alexa Lamoreaux ~ Softball ~ Adrian College 

Brooke Pietila ~ Soccer ~ Northern Michigan University 

Owen Robinson ~ Baseball ~ Olivet Nazarene University 

Lindsay Witte ~ Swim ~ Michigan State University 

Alyssa Yaggie ~ Golf ~ Northern Michigan University 

(Many more to come this year)