Seniors take fifth year for college attention


Provided by Mike Oakleaf

Seniors Mikey Kennedy and Alex Oakleaf pose for a picture.

Rohun Voruganti, Staff Writer

Seniors Alex Oakleaf and Mikey Kennedy are among the students that got their seasons taken away, originally expecting to play at the next level.  Both basketball players, Oakleaf and Kennedy did not get their last season. Now, Kennedy has an altered football season.  The pair have been playing their respective sports since the age of five.

“I started playing ever since I can remember and just fell in love instantly,” Oakleaf said.

Both of them will be attending Bridgton Academy (BA) next fall for its post graduate program (PG) because of the cancellation of their season.

A PG student usually is a student-athlete that has decided to go into a fifth year of high school more centered around their future.  They can see counselors to help with college, get in touch with coaches from across the country, and just have more time to get used to the college experience.

“The deciding factor that brought me to this decision  {attend Bridgton Academy} would be the fact that the school committee voted 4:3 to cancel our basketball season on 12/7. The decision was so quick with not much thought put into it at all and was really heartbreaking being the only team in the DCL not participating in the 2020/2021 basketball season,” Oakleaf said

Over 1400 students are currently enrolled as PG students at boarding schools in the US, Canada, and Europe. The PGs have graduated from their local high school and go to boarding school to join the senior class and to be part of a tight group of PGs on campus. These members of the school community are able to participate in varsity athletics and extracurricular activities as well as have access to the school’s college admissions counselors.

Bridgton Academy is very unique in their PG year, they are the only school to have an exclusive program for PG’s instead of a normal extended year of high school.

“My dad had a huge influence on me because two of his former college basketball teammates went there and had great things to say about it,” Oakleaf said.

This along with many other things helped him choose the right school for him.

Other students want to take a year before heading off to college to perfect their athletic skills. From a chance to play on a top team and get noticed by college sports recruiters to strength training and agility preparation, a post-graduate year can really give students a leg up on their competition, and get a student noticed by scouts who can get them into top schools. Many elite athletes earn college scholarships, and a post-graduate year can make a student a more desirable candidate.

Oakleaf is passionate about his future.

“I’m both excited and nervous, I’m excited to try new things and can’t wait to see what’s next but I am also nervous because I have never really stayed away so far from home before,” Oakleaf said.