Sam Bergman is one of Huntington High School’s most intense athletes and he’s a great student, too. He’s looking to keep his momentum going in the classroom and on the football field after he graduates in June and has decided that SUNY Brockport is the place to do it.
“I chose Brockport because of its great academics and football team,” Mr. Bergman said. “In addition I selected it due to its location near two cities: Buffalo and Rochester. With a rich social life and great placement in medical schools and a variety of research opportunities nearby it was a good fit for me.
Mr. Bergman considered Wagner College, University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester and University of Delaware before deciding that SUNY Brockport was a perfect match for his interests and future goals. The Golden Eagles’ football team is ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division III.
The Huntington senior played on the Blue Devil JV football team in eighth and ninth grade and has been a mainstay on the varsity squad for the past three years. He’s been on the winter track and field team since eighth grade, specializing in the throwing events. The teenager played JV lacrosse as a freshman and has been the starting varsity goalie in each of the past three seasons.
Vice president of Huntington High School’s National Honor Society chapter, Mr. Bergman is also a member of the Math, English, Science and Social Studies honors societies. He’s currently enrolled in Bible Literature, Humanities, AP Government with integrated Regents Economics, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics and Senior Band.
“Right now, I hope to pursue studies in pathology and pharmaceutical sciences,” Mr. Bergman said. “I like to study the causes and effects of diseases and search for cures and/or treatments to help better the lives of people affected. Essentially, I would love to work in a lab holding some of the world’s most dangerous diseases in my hands while examining them under a microscope. It’s similar to the scene in the movie Contagion where there are people in a sterilized lab holding a deadly disease while dressed in hazmat suits.”
Mr. Bergman credits all of his teachers, advisors and coaches from kindergarten through his senior year for “helping define who I am today and who I aspire to be tomorrow,” he said.
“However there’s one teacher who I could give the most credit and appreciation to for making me who I am today: Mark Helstrom,” Mr. Bergman said. “Mr. Helstrom was my sixth grade ‘red team’ science teacher and he is the sole reason for my love of mathematics and the sciences. From learning how to spell and define the word ‘tangent’ to listening to stories of him in earthquakes while at the World Series in California or being scared to death by his siblings in an abandoned house during Halloween, there was no shortage of excitement and intrigue when going to his seventh period class every day. Oddly enough, I was excited to come to class every day and disappointed when a substitute teacher would be sitting in his chair. Mr. Helstrom has truly inspired me to be who I am today.”
The senior said he also holds football coaches Steve Muller and Todd Jamison “near and dear” to him. “Waking up to Coach J and Coach Muller shouting with intensity every morning at 6:45 a.m. for the last two to three weeks of the summer vacation to start two-a-day practices sure made me hate the mornings,” Mr. Bergman said. “However, when I look back on my five years playing high school football, I wouldn’t trade the experience or the coaches for anything. Coach Jamison and Coach Muller have taught me composure, determination, strong work ethics, respect and so much more. Because of those two men; and many more who are part of the Huntington football coaching staff, I am the person that I am today. I could go on and write paragraphs about so many other people who have made an impact on me while at Huntington. These people include Coach [Joe] Poller, Coach [Ed] Santos, Coach [Ron] Wilson, Coach [Jim] McCabe, Mrs. [Lauren] Desiderio, Mr. [Ed] Florea, Mr. [Joe] Cohen, Mr. [Robert] Gilmor and so many more.”
Mr. Bergman has been a leader among his classmates and teammates. “There’s no one point in my time at Huntington High School that I can highlight,” he said. “These four years of my life have been a highlight altogether.”
SUNY Brockport’s campus consists of 264 acres. Enrollment totals 7,100 undergraduates and another 1,100 graduate students. There are 50 undergraduate majors offered. The Golden Eagles football team compiled a 13-1 record last fall and was awarded the 2017 Division III Lambert Cup by the Metropolitan New York Football Writers Assn. as the top tea in the East region.
“It’s a melancholic feeling I have towards leaving Huntington High School,” Mr. Bergman said. “I loved every aspect of these four years from sports to academics to even band. I will never forget walking through the halls and seeing all my friends, teachers and coaches. It’s a sad thought that my time here is nearing an end, but I will take with me all that I have learned at Huntington and apply it to every aspect of my life all throughout. I will remember the homework and studying I did on weeknights and the hangouts and fun times I had with friends on the weekends. I will never forget the years I’ve had at Huntington.”