In introducing you to Micheal Cruz, the talented outfielder at The MacDuffie School in Massachusetts, it is best to use his words when docmenting his journey from a young man in Puerto Rico to a college athlete at American International College this upcoming fall.
“The greatest challenge I have overcome was leaving my family/friends behind in Puerto Rico when I was 12 years old after my parent’s separation. I had to start a new life in the United States and also learn a new language. Throughout this journey, we also faced homelessness. We were moving from shelter to shelter and sometimes stayed in relative’s house. I had to switch schools multiple times and I also had to take a year off from baseball. After a couple years in the United States, I learned English and started excelling in my academics and on the baseball diamond. With hard work and dedication, I earned full scholarships to attend prep schools and eventually earned a scholarship to play at the Division 2 level,” Cruz shared.
“A person that inspires me is my mother Idaira Capeles,” Cruz continued, “I’ve seen this woman encounter so many hardships in life such as dealing with her disability (fibromyalgia) and homelessness. Throughout all these struggles, my mother has never given up on me or my little brother. She has taught me to always stay solid through any adversity and to always dream big. She is the main reason why I strive everyday to play at the next level.”
The courageous and determined athlete also gives immense credit to the selflessness and guidance of head baseball coach Neil Domer-Shank.
American Literature students Matt from Palmer, John from South Hadley, and Hector from Denmark share their storybook at the Belchertown Public Library. Entitled, “Henry Saves the Day and So
Do You,” it was inspired by their reading of H. D. Thoreau Walden.
Juniors Beyza Tumturk and Phoebe Shelburne share their children’s book at the Belchertown Library’s Storytime. Inspired by their reading of Frederick Douglass, their book illustrated the value of literacy for the oppressed, especially girls.
Juniors Nicolas Wang and Fred Poom from China share their children’s book at Belchertown Library’s Storytime. Inspired by their study of Thoreau, it recounts the benefits of recycling through its hero, Bob, the aluminum can.
The MacDuffie eSports teams finished their regular season last night, with Alpha reclaiming its first-place standing while the Delta team moved to fourth place. Finals will begin in the new year, a best of three format among the top 32 teams in Massachusetts between Jan 8 through 31. The final and championship games will be streamed and available for viewing on Twitch. MacDuffie is expected to be among the top finishers.
The MacDuffie School library was brimming with pride Friday evening as a crowd of parents, coaches and students gathered to witness The MacDuffie’s Student-Athlete National Letter of Intent Signing Ceremony.
Following brief words by Head of School Steve Griffin and Director of Athletics Meirion George during which they outlined the four student-athletes outstanding physical achievements, as well as expressed thanks to parents, coaches, teammates, and the MacDuffie community for their tireless support, coaches had an opportunity to speak and the signing began.
Ania Ludkiewicz, a senior from Granby, Mass, signed her letter of intent to Sacred Heart University, surrounded by family, teammates, and Coach Meirion George. She will join their soccer program as a freshman next fall.
James Bouknight, a senior from Brooklyn, N.Y. signed his National Letter of Intent to the University of Connecticut where he will join the basketball program this fall. He was one of two MacDuffie basketball players to sign their letter of intent that evening, the other, Ismael Massoud, a senior from New York, N.Y. will join Wake Forest University’s basketball team this fall. They were joined by teammates and Coach Del Rosario in celebration.
Michael Cruz, a senior from Chicopee, Mass. signed a letter of intent to AIC where he will enter their baseball program as a freshman next fall. He signed his letter surrounded by family, a crowd of teammates and Coach Neil Domer-Shank.