In a quaint ceremony, Okkodo High School Bulldogs' Seiana Nedlic on Friday committed to playing rugby for the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers women's rugby team.
The Mount, an NCAA Division I powerhouse in Emmitsburg, Md., competes in the Northeast Conference. Seiana Nedlic is the fourth women’s rugby player from Guam to be added to the MSM roster.
Seiana Nedlic, while at The Mount, will join Lavona Rae Aromin, a graduate of the Academy of Our Lady of Guam Cougars, Jalana Garcia, a former member of the George Washington High School Geckos, and Victoria “Mara” Tamayo, a fellow OHS Bulldog.
Seiana Nedlic is also Guam’s second athlete from the class of 2020 to make it to D1. Last week, Father Duenas Memorial School Friars’ Kyle Halehale agreed to play soccer for Central Connecticut State University.
“I am most looking forward to representing the island of Guam,” Seiana Nedlic said. “it’s a good feeling that I am probably the first Kosraean to do this at a collegiate level Division I rugby.
“It’s a good feeling, honestly.”
Seiana Nedlic said making it to the highest level in collegiate sports has been challenging, and she couldn’t have achieved her goal without fierce determination, a strong support crew and a remarkable coach.
“It took a lot of sacrifices throughout high school,” she said. “I experienced many different coaches, but the coach that impacted me the most was, my coach, Max (Veimau). He is the reason why I love the sport and he molded me as a player. …
“He’s a hardworking coach. He teaches you about dedication (and) determination. He doesn’t give up on his players. … He’s a fatherly figure to each of the players.”
Seiana Nedlic, looking forward to reconnecting with the trio of Guam rugby players, is thankful they are there to help ease the transition from the comforts of island life to the great unknown.
“It’s reassuring to me knowing that there may be a cultural shock when I reach there,” Seiana Nedlic said. “But, as soon as I’m with them, it will help me a lot to know they are from Guam, and they know the feeling of … the homesick feeling.”
Seiana Nedlic said that she is especially looking forward to reconnecting with Tamayo. The two, having shared the Bulldogs rugby pitch, forged a strong friendship.
“I am really close to Mara,” Seiana Nedlic said.
"She is the reason I learned about getting drafted to play for the Mountaineers.
“Mara, she called me in the middle of December to tell me, ‘You should look at your phone right now. Look, look, you’re on the board right now for recruitment.’” Seiana Nedlic recalled. “I’m excited because I really am close to this girl.”
Seiana Nedlic, a shining beacon of hope for Guam’s athletes and the entire Micronesian community, hopes to inspire the next generation of athletes.
“I would like to make a big shoutout to all the young athletes who are wanting to play at the collegiate level, to don’t give up,” she said. “Always follow your dreams. … You want to represent your island.”
Regina Nedlic, Seiana Nedlic’s mother, is proud of her daughter and what she represents.
“For Seiana, I am proud of her, but the story I want her to share is that a lot of kids are scared, or they don’t know what to do, or they feel like they can’t do it, … especially Micronesian children," Regina Nedlic said. …
“Micronesian kids are super talented, but they hesitate. … For my kids, I pushed them to look beyond that, work hard, and ask a lot of questions.”
Seiana Nedlic, a multisport athlete who also excelled in basketball, thanked her coaches for believing in her and making her a great athlete.
“I want to thank my coaches, coach (Arleen) Mad, coach (Michael) Cabral, coach Roxhanne (Mad), and, most especially, coach Max Veimau.
She also thanked coaches Desmond Mendell III and Mel Treltas.
Seiana Nedlic, with a loving family, thanked her strongest support crew.
“I would like to thank my family and my friends, my brothers (Arthur Jr. and Enriquo), and sister (Anisha), my dad (Arthur Nedlic Sr.), my mom (Regina Nedlic), most especially, my Grandma Lucy (Taitano), and my Aunty Mae (Duerte),” she said. “They are the reason why I am doing this.
"I want to make my family proud, and, most especially, myself proud.”