The Examiner

P’ville Swimmer Signs Letter of Intent With Binghamton

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Pleasantville High School senior Ruan Zorgman with his mother and Athletic Director John Bauerlein.

It took some pushing and prodding, but Ruan Zorgman finally allowed the Pleasantville High School Athletic Department to recognize his accomplishment of earning a swimming scholarship to SUNY Binghamton next year.

Zorgman, a senior swimmer for the Thundercats, a high school swim team comprised of several northern Westchester schools and includes Pleasantville, signed a letter of intent to swim at the Division I college recently.

The soft-spoken Zorgman usually lets his performance in the pool do the talking for him and a scholarship to swim for the Bearcats certainly speaks volumes. Posing for pictures with his mother and Athletic Director John Bauerlein, Zorgman’s decision was officially announced last Monday afternoon at the high school.

During his recruiting visit, Zorgman met Binghamton swim team members who made him feel at home. He said it’s the best place for him after exploring a variety of colleges.

“Binghamton’s a good school, they offered what I wanted,” Zorgman said on his decision. “And I felt like I fit into the team very well.”

Once Zorgman finally signed his name on the letter of intent, he acknowledged a “sigh of relief.” His college search is done while many of his peers are still waiting to hear from schools.

Anthony Pizzolla, head coach of the Thundercats, said Binghamton is getting a strong recruit in Zorgman. He’s reached the state finals the past two years and has been considered one of the top swimmers in Section 1 during that time. He has been on the team since eighth grade.

Pizzolla calls Zorgman the “perfect swimmer” for any coach and has never had a “stitch of trouble” since he started coaching him.

At the state meet, Zorgman and another swimmer were tied for eighth place. While meet officials were urging to hold the swim-off the same day, Pizzolla wanted to see if they could reschedule it for the following day.

But the even-keeled Zorgman didn’t have a problem jumping in the pool one more time after a day of competition, even if other swimmers would have complained.

“He’s an asset to any team. Any coach would be very happy to have him. Not only for the sport but for his academics,” Pizzolla said. “He just goes in, he doesn’t make a big deal about anything and does what he has to do and that’s what I like about him.”

Zorgman started to excel when he was seven years old. Along with swimming, Zorgman also enjoyed baseball, lacrosse, soccer and football.

But once he reached high school, he realized devoting time to other sports was too much. His best shot at dominating a sport would be swimming and he started to focus on the pool. Since then, it’s been the center of his life.

“Everything revolves around swimming,” Zorgman said.

Pizzolla said the times Zorgman posted throughout his career indicates that he made the right decision. His humble attitude and calm demeanor also helped him get voted a team captain by his fellow swimmers.

“The schools choose their own captains and he was chosen and I think he should have (been),” Pizzolla said. “And if they didn’t we were going to override it, and of course, I would have chosen him as a captain.”

Now Zorgman has the rest of his senior year to focus on swimming, along with his studies. But there’s always pressure at each meet.

“I’m looking to improve every (stroke) I have. I know I can,” Zorgman said. “I’ve been training a lot harder this year than any other year so I’m looking forward to it.”











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