- July 5, 2022
Four Flagler Palm Coast seniors recently signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college.
Dalton Schell will wrestle and play baseball at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. Emma Swearingen will play soccer at Florida Tech in Melbourne. Cristina Calidonio will play lacrosse at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. And Marcella Warner will play tennis at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, New Jersey.
Quincy, Florida Tech and Newberry are all NCAA Division II schools. The College of New Jersey is a Division III school.
When Jimmy Eggemeyer, Quincy’s director of wrestling, offered Schell a wrestling scholarship, Schell reached out to baseball coach Matt Schissel before scheduling a visit.
“I asked if it would be possible to play two sports for them,” Schell said.
He got the answer he wanted. Baseball has always been his favorite sport, and he didn’t want to give it up.
“I felt anywhere I go, I’d be able to compete (in both sports),” he said.
Schell said he’s come a long way as a wrestler since his freshman season. This year, he placed eighth at state at 195 pounds.
Swearingen, whose goal is to become a pilot, chose Florida Tech for its aviation program and because the soccer coaches kept in contact with her.
They remained patient after she broke her collar bone during her senior season, she said.
“I missed a three-day showcase in January,” she said. “But I did a visit and practiced with the team, and they saw one of my club games. The coaches are very nice, very welcoming.”
Swearingen, who plays multiple positions, scored nine goals in 12 games for the Bulldogs this season.
She will graduate with her International Baccalaureate diploma. She said she has wanted to be a pilot since she was selected to participate in Embry-Riddle’s Women in Aviation Day when she was in sixth grade.
“They had flight simulators there, and I’ve wanted to be a pilot ever since,” she said.
Calidonio said she didn’t know she wanted to play college lacrosse until the end of her junior year.
“It was too late to join a travel team, and I did not have much film, so my friend and I found a club team in Jacksonville that played in the fall and traveled to showcases,” she said. “We played in Orlando, Maryland, Dallas and New Jersey. I felt like I learned a completely new game.”
As a senior, the midfielder led the Bulldogs with 38 goals, 7 assists, 56 ground balls, 20 caused turnovers and 43 draw controls.
“She’s a great athlete, and she has just gotten better every year,” FPC girls lacrosse coach Katie Kastner said. “To have girls go and sign on the next level is huge for us. I’m super proud of her, and I can’t wait to go watch her play at Newberry.”
Calidonio committed to Newberry in February.
She comes from an athletic family. Her older sister, Gabby, is a soccer goalie at Franklin Pierce University. Her brother, Brandon, is on FPC’s lacrosse and wrestling teams, and her younger sister, Alexa, is on FPC’s lacrosse and weightlifting teams. Cristina also played volleyball for the Bulldogs.
Warner said she was looking for a non-scholarship Division III athletic program to focus more on academics.
“They have a really good finance program, which is what I’m looking to do,” she said.
Warner was the Bulldogs’ No. 1 singles and doubles player as a sophomore and junior. She skipped high school tennis her senior year to concentrate on improving her forehand and other parts of her game.
“After I committed in late November, I wanted to work on some things,” she said. “I wanted to fix my forehand now, and I got a lot better. It comes from doing the same motion over and over again. I wish I could have played my senior year, but I think it was a good move.”