Thornton Academy's Alex Hart signs her National Letter of Intent to play basketball at D1 Bryant University.

Thornton Academy’s Alex Hart signs her National Letter of Intent to play basketball at D1 Bryant University.

SACO — Thornton Academy seniors Brogan Searle-Belanger and Alex Hart signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday morning in the Linnell Gymnasium Lobby at TA in front of friends, family and coaches.

Searle-Belanger will be playing baseball for the Black Bears of the University of Maine Orono in the spring of 2019. Searle-Belanger is a standout pitcher and infielder for the Golden Trojans, and expects to be a full-time third baseman at UMaine.

Searle-Belanger, who is also one of the key members of the TA soccer team, looks forward to advancing his baseball career, especially in the state of Maine.

Thornton Academy's Brogan Searle-Belanger signs his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at D1 University of Maine Orono.

Thornton Academy’s Brogan Searle-Belanger signs his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at D1 University of Maine Orono.

“Playing college baseball has always been a dream of mine and to be representing my home state is pretty special, I’m excited to go to UMaine,” said Searle-Belanger.

UMaine has become home for many TA alumni, including Evan Balzano, who was a friend and teammate of Searle-Belanger’s on the baseball team. Searle-Belanger looks forward to reconnecting with some familiar faces, and has already spent time on the UMaine campus.

“I actually just had my official visit up there and I stayed with Evan Balzano so I think I will connect with the team a little bit better,” said Searle Belanger.

Hart, who is the starting point guard for the Trojans as well as a state champion sprinter in track, fell in love with Bryant from the first time she visited a few months ago.

“At Bryant, when I first stepped on the campus I fell in love with the connection that I had with the college. The team is a young team on the come up so it’ll be fun,” said Hart.

Hart has become one of the best two-way players in the state during her time at TA, and was named to the All-Defensive team last season. Hart hopes to use this upcoming season as a way to polish her skills, and add to her game prior to taking the next step.

“I think I could fix my shooting more, driving to the paint and attacking. Having the confidence in scoring a lot more than I have in the past,” said Hart. “The speed is going to be faster so staying in that shape, coming in ready and prepared which I already think I am.”

She will miss playing for the maroon and gold, and expects a challenge in the college game.

“I’ll miss how easy (high school) is basketball-wise. I’ll have to work way harder and put in more hours so that’ll be different,” said Hart.

Both Searle-Belanger and Hart look forward to their final seasons, and felt it was the right decision to sign early in the process instead of later.

“It’s a lot less stress on me for multiple reasons, now I’ll get to relax during my senior year,” said Searle-Belanger.

“It takes the stress off, so now in basketball season I won’t have to worry about where I have to go so I can just have fun and relax while I’m playing,” added Hart.

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.


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