Diving His Way Into College
by: Audrey Hausberger
Eight years of hard work and dedication on the diving board is paying off for senior Ben Prouty.
Prouty committed to Division I Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island for diving. Bryant’s diving program is new, but their standings and talent are nonetheless impressive. The swim and dive team as a whole are ranked third in their conference.
Prouty fell in love with diving in his hometown in Virginia at age 10 when his friend showed him how to do a flip into the pool. Prouty then joined his neighborhood pool’s summer diving team.
His passion for the sport has continued to grow throughout his four years of diving forEast Lyme High School.
“Ever since I found out that I could dive at college, I was like, I want to do that,” said Prouty.
Helping Prouty reach his goal is the boys’ and girls’ diving coach Holly Buckley. Ms. Buckley has been coaching the diving teams for 20 years and has seen major improvement in the talented diver.
“Last year and this year he has blown the ceiling off. He has tried so many new dives,” said Ms. Buckley.
It is evident that Ms. Buckley has great faith in Prouty and has a close coach and athlete relationship with him. Every time Prouty nails a new dive, he records a video to send to Ms. Buckley showing his accomplishment.
ELHS alumni diver and current Bryant diver Kevin Sullivan has also helped with Prouty’s diving career in the school. Prouty dove with Sullivan his freshman year and has looked up to him ever since. Many summers, Sullivan returns to East Lyme to practice with Prouty and looks forward to diving with him on Bryant turf.
“He’s a really good kid and a hard worker. I’m excited to be on the same team with him again,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan is sure Prouty will excel at Bryant and will fall in love with the diving program.
“Ben is a goofy kid. He will fit right in with every other goofy kid on the team,” said Sullivan.
Both Sullivan and Ms. Buckley have shared tips for Prouty for the beginning of his new diving chapter. Sullivan emphasizes that time management and academics need to be balanced with diving. Ms. Buckley encourages Prouty to go big and try out the three meter diving board.
Prouty has enjoyed the victories at ECCs including his first place finish for diving last year and the experience of diving at East Lyme. On his new journey, Prouty will take lessons he learned from his time on the school diving board and use his talent to show Bryant what he has to offer.