Boys Cross Country- Sean Ahern (Middletown): Despite a shortened season, Ahern added to his list of accomplishments this fall and broke a personal-record this spring by running a 15:41 5K. The senior earned another All-State selection and will now take his long-distance running abilities to the University of Connecticut to compete as a Huskie and major in exercise science to eventually become a physical therapist. Ahern said of his decision to chose UConn, “Thankful to God, my family, friends, teammates, coaches, and most importantly my parents. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for all of them. Can’t wait for the next four!”
Girls Cross Country- Maren Valente (Rocky Hill): Valente ran a team-best 21:06 and earned All-State, captaining a Terriers team that finished 6-0 this fall. The graduating senior, who was also a Scholar-Athlete selection this year, will soon jet off to the University of Miami, majoring in Economic on a pre-law track.
Field Hockey- Julia Peacock (Wethersfield): Peacock was a rock-solid goalie for an Eagles, registering a 93% save percentage and shutting out six opponents this fall. The junior, who earned All-State CCC, will be back in goal next season for head coach Colleen Budaj, who said “[Julia] is a great teammate. She is kind-hearted and does whatever the team needs her to do. She is not worried about her stats; she is more concerned about the team's success.”
Boys Soccer- Anis Nurkic (Wethersfield): Nurkic earned All-State recognition after providing the offensive firepower for an Eagles team that finished undefeated and won a conference title. In the conference championship game, a 4-2 win over Newington, the senior striker scored two goals and he continued his soccer success this summer, winning his third straight Sports World Men’s Indoor League title in June. He will attend Central Connecticut State University and major in Criminology.
Girls Soccer- Sierra Judson (Wethersfield): Judson received All-State recognition and captained an Eagles team that finished undefeated in the regular season. The senior was also named All-Academic for a fourth straight year and was a team leader for the lacrosse team as well. Her next stop is Merrimack College where she will play soccer for the Warriors and major in Health and Science.
Girls Swimming & Diving- Olivia Thompson (Wethersfield): Thompson was consistently elite in the pool, earning All-CCC honors in all four years and receiving All-Academic recognition. This winter, the senior was part of an amazing Eagles squad that broke seven pool records and finished undefeated. She leaves WHS as part of freshman/pool/varsity records in the Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay. The 2021 graduate will now swim for the Fairfield University.
Girls Volleyball- Madison Massaro-Cook (Newington): A four-year varsity player, Massaro-Cook set a new standard for the Newington volleyball program and earned All-State this past fall after leading the team in kills for a third straight season. The graduating senior, who was also an all-conference golfer at NHS, will now play volleyball at Central Connecticut State University as she studies Bimolecular Sciences.
Cheerleading- Lauren Wolak (Cromwell): Wolak earned All-State for a second straight season, leading a Cromwell cheer squad that battled through the restriction of the past year. The senor is now off to cheer at Western New England as she majors in Actuarial Science and is enrolled in the school’s 5-year MBA program.
Boys Basketball- James Grodzicki (Cromwell): Grodzicki earned both All-State and All-Shoreline Conference after averaging a double-double as an inside-out power forward/center for the Panthers. The graduating senior was an all-conference goalie for the school’s soccer team and was named Academic All-State. The 2021-grad will attend Quinnipiac next fall.
Girls Basketball- Lilly Ferguson (Newington): Ferguson arrived in the area and dominated the local basketball scene, earning All-State after averaging 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals a game as Newington went undefeated and won a conference title. The junior has already committed to play basketball at the University of Massachusetts.
Gymnastics- Meghan Appel (Wethersfield): Appel was the captain and only senior on a competitive Eagles team that navigated through a restrictive winter season and won conference. She also was a pole vaulter in track and field, as well as DECA Marketing and National Honor Society at WHS. She will now study marketing at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business.
Ice Hockey- Kilian Ranger (Cromwell): Ranger led Newington-Cromwell co-op in goals and points as the team won a conference title. The senior was unstoppable in a wild conference tournament, capping off his high school career with a two goal, two assist masterpiece in a 5-0 victory over Tri-Town in the championship game. The All-State senior is now headed to the University of Connecticut.
Boys Swimming & Diving- Brian Puglielli (Wethersfield): Puglielli has excelled as one of the state’s best divers over the past four years, being named All-State for the last two. He was also the secretary of the Class of 2021 at WHS.
Baseball- Tino Gagliardi (Cromwell): Gagliardi led by his actions on and off the field, cementing himself as the undisputed captain at Cromwell. The reliable first baseman led the team in a variety of stats; including hits, doubles, RBIs, and home runs. He will continue his baseball career at Curry College, majoring in finance.
Boys Golf- Jack Wise (Cromwell): Wise saved his best stuff for last, shooting an eagle on the final hole of the Division III championship to finished tied atop the leaderboard. The clutch sophomore has two years left to add to his championship collection.
Girls Golf – Glorianne Pinote (Newington): Pinote tied for fifth at Division II finals as Newington finished fourth overall as a team. The freshman phenom is just getting started and will be a force to be reckoned with on the links over the next three years.
Girls Lacrosse- Emma O’Connell (Rocky Hill): O’Connell earned All-State, helping lead the Terriers through the challenges of this spring. The junior, who also plays club lacrosse, is the 2022 Class President at RHHS and volunteers her time with youth lacrosse clubs.
Boys Lacrosse- Mike Zapatka (Newington): Zapatka was a goal-scoring machine for Newington, leading the team with 60 goals and 78 points overall. The 2021-grad will continue to play soccer at Rivier College, majoring in Sports Management.
Boys Track & Field- Trevor Drescher (Middletown): Drescher won the Class L state championship in the javelin and placed third overall in the discus. The senior went on to finish third overall in the javelin at the State Open. He will attend Bucknell Unviersity starting next fall.
Girls Track & Field- Marina Perry (Rocky Hill): Perry won Class M state championship in discus and finished third in shotput. The junior also placed third overall in the discus at the State Open. Outside of track & field, she has a passion for dancing and is a member of the Connecticut Tap Collaborative, focusing on tap dance.
Softball- Jazzy Edmunds (Rocky Hill): Edmunds earned All-State following a spectacular year from the plate. The junior hit .471, with an OBP of .550, and led the team in hits (32), runs (30), home runs (6), and stolen bases (13). Head coach Tyler Catlin praised her performance, adding that she was a “pro” in the outfield.
Boys Tennis- Matthew Utter (Newington): Utter made All-State following a sensational senior season. The recent graduate was a consistent tennis force at NHS, making multiple All-Conference teams.
Girls Tennis- Suhani Sheth (Rocky Hill): Sheth finished undefeated in regular season (18-0) and made All-State, winning a State Open match as well. The junior will be back as the #1 singles player for the Terriers next spring.
Boys Volleyball- Jacob Baclawski (Newington): Baclawski was selected All-State after a leading the team in kills (288) and aces (77). The graduating senior departs after playing a key role on the program’s 2019 state championship team and captaining the Nor’easters to a state championship appearance this past spring.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin