GREENE – The COVID-19 pandemic has made a mess out of the 2020 high school sports season (among other things), but a highlight came Friday, Dec. 11, when Greene senior field hockey standout Leah Decker signed her National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Albany in 2021. Decker signed her NLI in front of family, coaches, past, present and future teammates and friends in the Greene High/Middle School auditorium.
Decker is a four-year member of the varsity program and has earned All-State, Section IV and Scholar-Athlete honors. On top of that, she is accomplished in the classroom and is a member of the National Honor Society, The National Society of High School Scholars, and has been nominated for the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientist Award of Excellence. She also won the school’s Faculty Award for Science and was voted Student Council vice president by her fellow students.
“Leah has been a wonderful part of the Greene field hockey family for many years and her hard work and dedication to the program and her academics is why we are all here today,” Greene coach Christine Battaglini said. “She is the definition of what a true student-athlete should be.”
Decker, who has not decided on a major, was grateful to everyone who attended and to everyone who had a part in her success, both on the field and in the classroom.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support,” she said.
Decker also races in the dirt track modified division at local tracks, more than holding her own against competition (mostly male) that are two and three-times older than she.
“I believe it takes a fearless, strong-willed, dedicated individual to excel in the sport, and Leah is just that and more,” Battaglini added.
Decker is joining a Great Danes field hockey team that finished the 2019 season with an 11-8 mark for coach Phil Sykes. Their 2020 fall season was also shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, but hopes are that they will be able to resume games in the spring.