Northeast quarterback David Donahue steps into a throw during the Bulls 30-6 win over the New England Flyers at Windsor High on July 24
The Northeast Bulls, a semi-professional football team, is playing home games at Glastonbury High School this summer.
2021 is the inaugural year for the new franchise, which was formed by owners Mike Wade, Lester Maldonado, and Jose Cortes.
“We are trying to build a family environment,” said Maldonado, who is the head coach, “For a first-year team I think we’ve done better than others. People know us, they respect us, and I think when you have that people want to play for you.”
“Some are these guys are coming from college, some are still trying to play in college, so they use this film to get to the next level,” added Cortez, who is the offensive coordinator, “Coming from last team we played on, we thought it could even be better so we tried to offer a place where you don’t have to worry about anything other than playing football.”
Maldonado and Cortez both played football at Bulkeley High in Hartford before making the local semi-pro rounds, winning a pair of championships as players in the New England Football League.
The pair of former Bulldogs made the transition to owners/coaches, creating the Bulls in the East Coast Football League. The ECFL, a full contact league in its seventh season, includes teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine
With the help of Glastonbury’s Parks and Rec, the Bulls were able to schedule home games at GHS.
“You can tell that Glastonbury loves football. We played against Glastonbury in high school, and it felt like the whole town was there,” stated Maldonado, “That’s the reason when we all got together that we thought about Glastonbury High. We were hoping to get the town behind us. We can bring something much bigger than football, like community service, clinics for the kids, flag football, there’s a lot of possibilities.”
Glastonbury has proven to be perfect location for the Bulls, who dropped two road games to start the season before rebounding with back-to-back wins at GHS.
Last Saturday they picked up a third straight win, defeating the New England Flyers 30-6 in a physical game at Windsor High School. The Bulls excelled in all three phases on the game, registering their most lopsided victory of the season.
Quarterback David Donahue engineered an offense that scored on the team's opening possession when the signal caller connected with Jon Cahill from three yards out. The QB-WR tandem would hook up several times in the game, and Donahue extended several drives with his legs.
In the first half, the Bulls defense overwhelmed the Flyers, causing two turnovers and holding the home team scoreless over the first 30 minutes. Ezequil Ortiz and Tavon Royster each had interceptions, while Connor Eastman, Jayson Gardner, and Anthony Davis had sacks in the first half.
Byron Breland extended the lead on the opening kickoff of the second half when he snagged a line drive kick before breaking a pair of tackles and sprinting up the right sideline for a 57-yard touchdown.
CJ Galindez, who also forced and recovered a fumble on defense, later added a 23-yard touchdown scamper and Octavio Thomas polished off the scoring with a seven-yard TD run. The Bulls sizable offensive line took over in the second half as the Bulls dominated time of possession behind the powerful running of Amari Osbourne.
It was the type of performance that the coaching staff has been waiting to see.
Cortez credits the team’s turnaround to moral and chemistry, “After a while it almost feels like a job out here and when you lose it doesn’t make it any better, so we went back to the drawing board and tried and make adjustments and make it fun, because at the end of the day it’s football. We want a championship, but we also want the guys to enjoy the time out there and that’s the biggest thing.”
For all the players winning is important, but the opportunity to continue doing what they love in front of family and friends is the main focus.
“It’s a family atmosphere out here,” said Maldonado, “It’s nice for families to come watch their husband, brother, uncle play. That is what makes semi-pro so much fun. It’s nice for people to get out on a Saturday and enjoy some football with their family.”
Cortez added, “I told the guys the other day that this is like our sanctuary. Not just for the players and coaches, but also some of the family members. No matter what you are going through at home, you can come out and relax and not worry about anything else that is happening.”
The Bulls play the next two Saturdays at GHS, facing the Havernhill Hitmen on July 31 and the Hartford Rebels on August 7. Both games kickoff at 5:30 p.m. Tickets came be purchased at the gate for $8.00, and children 12-and-under are free.
For more information about the Bulls or the ECFL, visit www.ecfl.us
Sam Geisler, who recently wrapped up an illustrious running career at Newington High School, will take his smooth strides to the University of Connecticut to compete at a Division I level. The 2021-graduate will join a Huskies XC/TF running team as he pursues a degree in nursing.
“What excites me about competing at Uconn is that I am now at the bottom of the pack again. I respect the grind of all athletes and I know that now that if I’m at the bottom, I’m going to have to push myself further to better myself and rise to the top,” stated Geisler, “While many may look at that as a negative, I see it as a challenge.”
Geisler leaves NHS after four impressive years, both athletically and academically. He was the President of Future Business Leaders of America, a club that was focused on empowering young business people through social connections and entrepreneurship. He also served Vice President during his junior year and helped to facilitate student activities and events.
“I’m definitely going to miss the people the most,” Geisler said of NHS, “I felt as though my team was one of the closest teams you could have, and the student body as a whole was very connected and intertwined well.”
All-conference in both cross country and track & field, Geisler set records on the trails at NHS and finished as a two-time state championship on the track. He teamed with Michael Bohlke, Luke Brown, and Reed Campbell to win both the Class L state championship and the State Open championship in the 4x800 relay. The foursome ran an 8:02.51 to capture the class title and then knocked off nearly five seconds, running a 7:57.79 to win the Open.
“The feeling after the state open was amazing, and I definitely couldn’t have done it without my team,” recalled Geisler, “This may sound hard to understand but I was almost praying that we were a little bit behind the other team, as it gave me something to push for. Going into the last 100 meters was painful, but I could see my team on the sidelines and remembered who and what I was doing this for. It was the perfect way to go out.”
Sam Geisler (far left) combined with Reed Campbell, Luke Brown, and Michael Bohlke to win the 4x800 relay in the Class Finals and State Open
GHS-grad Caitlin Gallagher will play field hockey at Bryant University. Gallagher is pictured with parents, Bridget and Chris, and sister, Casey
Glastonbury High School’s field hockey star and 2021-graduate Caitlin Gallagher will continue her athletic and academic journey at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Gallagher earned All-State recognition in each of the last two seasons, helping the field hockey team win 26 regular season games, including a 14-0 finish this fall as the Guardians polished off the perfect season with a conference championship.
She entered last season as one of the Top 25 Field Hockey Players to Watch and did not disappoint, capping off her high school career with an undefeated conference title, earning All-Conference, and being selected by GameTime as a top weekly field hockey performer in mid-October after scoring three goals and adding an assist in shutout wins over Conard and East Catholic.
“I will definitely miss the Glastonbury field hockey team next year. The coaches have been such positive role models in my life these past years and the girls have become like my second family,” stated Gallagher.
GHS field hockey coach Maureen Perkins said Gallagher is one of the hardest working players that she has ever coached, adding, “Caitlin has incredibly high standards for herself and has made herself into a terrific player. She will do whatever is needed to help the team win, including learning and playing different positions. She has a love of the game and such a positive attitude that is just amazing to be around. I am so proud of the player and person she has become over the past four years.”
Off the field, she was a four-year honor student. She was also part of Unified Theater, ACT Club, and Big Brother/Big Sister.
Gallagher will join a field hockey program at Bryant that will be ready to go after a shortened season in 2020. Her first game as a member of the Bulldogs will be a homecoming (of sorts) as Bryant travels to Connecticut to take on Quinnipiac in Hamden on August 21.
“When I did my visit at Bryant, I felt at home on the campus. The team and coaches were all very welcoming and I loved everything about the program right off the bat,” stated Gallagher, who is leaning towards a business-related major, “I am excited for new opportunities playing at such a high level and being able to continue being a part of a team.”
East Hampton girls’ track and field captured the program’s first state championship on June 3, edging powerhouse Bloomfield (99.10-97.60) in dramatic fashion to win the Class S title at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
Trailing late in the meet, the Bellringers needed to win the 4x400 relay and have Old Saybrook finish second to leapfrog powerhouse Bloomfield.
All the pieces fell into place as East Hampton’s foursome of Jessica Starr, Kaylee Gravel, Kyla Norton, and Danielle Adams dominated the relay race, winning by nearly five seconds, and Old Saybrook came in second, followed by Bloomfield.
East Hampton’s late heroics ended Bloomfield’s incredible streak of 12 consecutive Class S titles, dating back to 2008.
“Right before the 4x4, the announcer said what the scores were and our coach came up to us and told us that we could win the whole thing,” recalled Starr, “We started off super strong and then we were cheering on Old Saybrook. Everything happened so fast, we knew we won the 4x4 and then we found out for sure we ran the whole race. We were all jumping up and down, it was a great feeling.”
It was the cherry on top on an incredible meet for East Hampton and a record-breaking day for Starr, who broke the Class S state record in the 300-meter hurdles, besting a mark that had been held since 2016.
“I actually had no clue that I was that close to the meet record. Coming into the race, I just wanted to focus on my own race. I was just trying to PR. I couldn’t control if I came in first or second, I just want to keep dropping my time like I had been doing all season,” recalled Starr, who was told after crossing the finish line that she broke the record.
Starr followed up her record-breaking feat by again topping her own personal record the next week in the State Open, running a time of 44.35.
Her times qualified the junior for a trip to The Outdoor Nationals at the University of Oregon.
After discussing it with her parents, Starr decided to take the trip west to experience the best-of-the-best in high school track & field.
“It made me fall in love with track even more,” Starr said of the experience, “Going to New Britain Stadium, I was always getting so nervous before I ran. I knew going to this and taking this opportunity would not only allow me to get noticed by college coaches, but it would also allow me to assess my nerves at that level. I was able to go into the race and feel the nerves that I should have, but also know in that back of my mind that this is going to help and next year it will make those races feel like just another race.”
It was Starr’s first time on the West Coast and she was in awe as soon as she landed.
“It was insane. The first day we got into Eugene we went to the campus, and we were walking around Hayward Stadium. It was beautiful. Knowing that the NCAA and Olympic trials were held there made it a great experience because I was running where the best athletes in the world had just ran,” recalled Starr, “As a whole, it was such an amazing opportunity. It made me feel a lot more motivated and feel like this is where I should be.”
Along with being a new experience, it was also a new challenge for Starr. She trained all year to run the 300 meters, yet at Nationals they run 400 meters.
Prior to Oregon she had never run the 400m hurdles competitively and had less than two weeks of preparation with her high school coach, William Wilkie, and Frank Quido from Break Out Athlete in North Branford.
“It was definitely a different race,” described Starr, who is used to taking on new challenges.
She grew up doing gymnastics until the eighth grade before switching to running and track in high school. The work ethic she acquired in gymnastic, combined with a major growth spurt has allowed her to thrive on the track, particularly the hurdles.
“I was always a motivated kid and I always had to be motivated for gymnastics, that really pushed me into who I am today,” said Starr, who would train over 25 hours per week in gymnastics, “I can go to the track and stay there for an extra hour because I know I need more work. I’ll do extra and I think that all comes from gymnastics.”
Starr was part of an amazing group of hurdlers at East Hampton. Even more amazing is that East Hampton lost their hurdling coach prior to the season.
“We had to learn how to improve our steps and our technique. It really came down to the three of us coaching each other,” recalled Starr.
The hard work paid off as the Bellringers finished 1-2-3 in the 100m hurdles at the Class S meet. Brylee Montanari finished first, Starr second, and Hannah Barrientos third.
In other events, Gravel won the 800-meter run and Adams finished second in both the 800m and 1600m.
In the field, Jordan Murphy placed second in the high jump, while Amber Murphy (pole vault) and Cassandra Zimmerman (triple jump) placed third.
All told, the Bellringers had four first-place finishes, three second-place finishes, and four third-place finishes to wrap up a well-rounded state championship.
Starr said, “We knew coming into this year that we had a great group of girls that had lots of potential, but we had no clue that we could win it all. We have always been super close friends throughout the years, so in practice it is never about competition. We all want to make sure that everyone has the best race that they can.”
Starr, who is part of Student Council and Interact Club, will return for her senior season as East Hampton attempts to repeat as class champions.
But for now, she is relishing being part of the program’s historic title.
“This is the closest group of girls that I have ever been on a team with before. Being at such a small school we all know everything about each other. It creates great relationship, we see each other in the hall every day, we have lunch together, we have study halls together. We have relationships on the track and hang out outside of practice, which helped create such a great bond. I think that is what made the state title win so much better.”
Following her record-breaking 300 hurdles, East Hampton junior Jessica Starr qualified for The Outdoor Nationals in Oregon
Both the boys and girls swimming & diving teams at Wethersfield High School were named to the 2020-2021 NISCA (National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association) Scholar Team.
The girls team earned silver level honors with a team GPA of 3.634 and the boys team earned bronze level honors with a team GPA of 3.495.
The WHS teams were the only CIAC teams from the entire state of Connecticut to achieve this award at any level. This is the second year in a row the teams have been honored with this award, as well as the second year in a row of being the only CIAC teams to get this award.
Newington- Shaun Callahan, Alex Cappellucci, Connor Daly, Zach Nakonechny
Rocky Hill- Tyler Carlstrom, Dennis Machial, Zach Mascaro
Wethersfield- Matt Fletcher, Savier Paige, Matt Patkoske
Middletown- Ryan Michaud
Cromwell- Tino Gagliardi, Zach Zajack
Wethersfield - Sarah Morrissey, Sophia Nower
Newington- Madison Massaro-Cook, Glorianne Pinote, Tori Tolisano
Rocky Hill- Ryan Brady
Wethersfield- Will Bankowski, Michael Bielak, Cooper Moreau, Rory Stickley
Middletown- Liam Ardito, Gabriel Boily, Ben Sipples
Newington- Daniel Barron, Sam Davies, Trevor Riley, Tiago Santos, Mike Zapatka
Cromwell- Matt Pepe
Middletown- Abigail Johnson, Aliyannah Makein, Talia Ventrelli
Wethersfield- Jaime Condon, Riley Ford, Sierra Judson, Logan Lisella
Rocky Hill- Madeline Gurrera, Molly Lang, Emma O’Connell
Newington- Morgan Hellman, Hailey Gaydos, Mackenzie Hillman
Cromwell- Carly Reilly, Lily David, Erin Sokolowski, Grace Michaud
Boys Outdoor Track
Rocky Hill- Braden Bayek, Jack Thurz, Max DiMatteo
Wethersfield- Connor Pratt, Holden Speed, Jayson Burchell, Jeremy Gilbert, Kaleb Garcia, Liam Stec, Luis Montalvo, Mike Bobin, Owen Gagne, Ryan Gagne, Tiago Huynh, Torrence Smith, Zachary Zurzola
Newington- Eli Roberts, Luke Brown, Michael Bohlke, Reed Campbell, Samuel Geisler
Middletown- Sean Ahern, Trevor Drescher, Zachary Hartell, Justin Karpel, Brennan Lazich, Eric Meyer, Anthony Pappa, Liam Tharin, Sean Young
Cromwell- Mark Rodriguez, Ethan Wilson, Zachary Randazzo
Girls Outdoor Track
Newington- Alexandra Daha, Alyse Karaian, Emma Dos Santos, Katie Bohlke
Rocky Hill- Maren Valente, Maria Corcoran, Marina Perry
Wethersfield- Adriana Mantilla, Alison Wagner, Caroline Peak, Gabriella Cicero, Gabrielle Villagra, Hailey Sousa, Kathleen Sullivan, Madison Righi, Victoria Villagra
Middletown- Abigail Conquest, Nyasha Dailey, Alyssa Lecky, Arden Phoenix
Newington- Briana Gadarowski, Jaelyn Gonzalez, Elisa Taylor
Rocky Hill- Christina DeNovellis, Nicole DesRoches, Jazzy Edmunds, Shauna Kehoe
Wethersfield- Mackenzi Banet, Molly Bowers, Erica Christie, Bella Tomaino
Middletown- Cheyenne Fuoco
Cromwell- Lily Kenney, Jamie Anderson, Madison Tessmer, Grace McFarlin, Malena Signorello
Newington- Tim Davis, Marc Pantano, Matt Utter, Nikhil Vishwanath
Rocky Hill- Aryan Singh, Ramsundhar Venkadesan
Wethersfield- James Bellas, Joseph Bellas, Christian Bonvisuto, Vihaan Gandhi, Marko Karpyuk, Chance Krawzcyk
Middletown- Jonathan Baldwin, Nathan Robillard
Cromwell- Aakash Dave
Newington - Emilia Dugas, Rachel Errickson, Michelle Novikova, Anusha Singh
Rocky Hill - Hannah Conneely, Alyssa Gau, Jen Kimball, Katie Oostendorp, Suhani Sheth
Wethersfield - Bella Bonvisuto, Morgan Cathcart, Andrea Morano, Olivia Thompson
Middletown - Julia Campbell, Rilynn Tanasi
Cromwell- Amira Abdelghany, Gabriella Voccio
Newington- Jacob Baclawski, Eni Lici
Wethersfield- Dylan Knapp
Glastonbury's Karen Petrik (far right) will captain the PR3 Mixed 4+ rowing team in Japan. Joining Petrik will be (l-r) John Tanguay, Charley Nordin, Dani Hansen, and Allie Reilly
Karen Petrik, a 2015 graduate of Glastonbury High School, will soon be heading to Tokyo, Japan to guide the PR3 Mixed 4+ rowing team in the Paralympics Games.
“It’s definitely surreal,” Petrik said of the experience, “I never would have imagined that I would be here. Even after high school I was debating on rowing in college, so I never thought I would get to the level I am now.”
Petrik will be doing what she knows best in Japan, captaining the team as the coxswain. A coxswain is the person in charge of the boat, acting as a coach on the water that executes the race plan while navigating and steering the boat.
It is a position that the 23-year-old has been mastering for nearly a decade.
“My freshman year in high school I wanted to do a sport and one of my good friends introduced me to the sport and thought I’d be good at it,” Petrik said of joining the rowing team at GHS, “I tried out for the team and made the team and ever since then I picked it up and really enjoyed. Some coxswains start out as rowers, but I’ve been one since day one.”
She thrived in high school, becoming a captain of the GHS crew team and improving her skills through additional training.
Her childhood idol, Mary Whipple, was the coxswain for a pair of gold medal teams in 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Whipple would later run clinics that Petrik would attend.
“I remember going to one of her workshops as a high schooler and looking up to her. I thought this is something I would love to do one day but I never thought I would be here today. She would do workshops on how to be a better coxswain and I would take notes. I learned as much I could from her.”
As her time at GHS was coming to an end, Petrik was unsure if she would continue competing at the next level.
“My senior year of high school I had great, supportive teammates and an awesome coach. They would push me and told me that I was at the level that colleges want,” remembered Petrik, “At first I was a little apprehensive, but they gave me that confidence and I started looking around to colleges and I would send my coxswain recordings to colleges. It took off from there”
Her next stop was the University of Rhode Island, a Division I program in a major conference. URI is where her passion for the sport intensified as she helped lead Rowdy Rowing to three Atlantic-10 conference titles.
“College is where I really learned to be a good coxswain. I was lucky, I had awesome coaches in college. One of my coaches was a coxswain and the other coach went to the Olympics,” she said, “It was so helpful for me. I grew some much and I’m such a different athlete because of college.”
With the help of her college coaches, Shelagh Donohoe and Jessica Lizzi, her rowing journey continued post-URI as she was selected to the US National team, which would go on to win silver at the World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria.
“Austria is something that I will never forget. It was the first time I had done anything like that,” recalled Petrik, “Just to be on that stage and feel the pressure that you are representing the country is a really unique feeling. That was special and it’s something I’ll always remember.”
The games in Austria were the perfect preparation for the Paralympic games starting in late August. She will be coxing a standard rowing boat made up of two male and two female rowers, each with some form of impairment. By Paralympic rule, the coxswain does not need to have a disability.
Joining her in this latest adventure are some familiar faces. Coach Donohoe is coaching the team and former URI teammate Allie Reilly is one of the rowers.
“Allie is one of my best friends, we support each other. She motivated me to try and told me how incredible of an experience it could be,” said Petrik, who mentored Reilly at URI, “Coach [Donohoe] and I have a great working relationship, she taught me everything that I know.”
The URI-trio is joined by rowers Charley Nordin, John Tanguay, and Dani Hansen, completing the five-person boat that will represent the United States next month. Petrik and the four rowers are currently training in Boston, making up for lost time.
“A lot of the other teams have the advantage of training together year-round, but we all train separately during the year and in the summer is when we come together and train together,” added Petrik, “We practice twice a day. We do about a two-hour session on the water in the morning and then two days a week we lift in the afternoon for a couple of hours and the remaining days of the week we do another water practice in the afternoon. It’s typically two session a day.”
She added, “We’ve been gaining speed and getting faster each and every day. It’s really starting to come together and we’re really excited where we are. We’re starting to mesh as a boat and we’re starting to click, and our excitement feeds off that.”
Following the games in Japan, Petrik will return to her hometown. She is an elementary teacher who taught at Nayaug Elementary last year and will be starting a new position as a 4th grade teacher at Hopewell School this fall
“Our town is so great. I love meeting all the staff at the schools, they are all so wonderful. I’m even working with teachers that I had in school, so it’s really come full circle.” said Petrik, “I wouldn’t be here without my coaches in high school, and my family and my friends from high school.”
Before starting her new teaching position, Petrik has some business to attend to on the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo.
“I think we have high standards and high goals for each other. We want to win gold, that’s the ultimate goal,” said Petrik, “We have a month to go I think right now we’re in a good place to where we want to be. All of us are very competitive and we don’t settle. We’re constantly pushing and pushing to try and get faster. The next month is going to be critical for getting as much speed as we can in the time we have.”
Follow Petrik and the team as they go for gold at the Paralympics, scheduled for August 24 – September 5. The rowing events are set to take place on August 27 and 28.
Rocky Hill's Hannah Conneely (left) will play soccer at St. Michael's College. Conneely is pictured with soccer teammate and friend, Mia Valente
Hannah Conneely, a 2021 graduate at Rocky Hill High School, will play soccer and advance her education at St. Michael’s College in Vermont.
“One of the big selling points of Saint Michaels is the location,” stated Conneely, “Colchester, Vermont is gorgeous all year round. It is also so close to Burlington and Lake Champlain, which is a beautiful area filled with activity. Another factor that made me choose Saint Michaels is the academics. They had the major I wanted, which is Health Science, and it is a great program.”
Conneely was involved in sports year-round at RHHS, playing soccer, basketball, and tennis. She earned All-Conference in soccer and tennis, and was the energy that guided Terriers basketball in the winter.
Basketball head coach James McKinnon said the combination of extraordinary stamina and even-keeled demeanor made Conneely a valued player, “I would play her 31 minutes of out a possible 32 and she would be just as fast and quick in the 4th quarter as she would be in the 1st quarter. She never got too high or too low, and her composure was consistent. I could always count on Hannah to maintain her poise in the most pressure-filled moments.”
Outside of sports, she was a member of student council and an avid volunteer, donating her time at HARC, helping and completing activities with people who have intellectual disabilities, along with helping feed the homeless. She would also volunteer at the Hartford Marathon.
Conneely resume in Rocky Hill is full of activity and memories. She played soccer and basketball since childhood and picked up tennis as a freshman at RHHS. She called the decision to play tennis “the best I’ve made.”
RHHS tennis coach Mike Dudis said this of Conneely, who was the Terriers #3 single player this spring, “Tennis is a vibe for Hannah. She went 15-4 and was unbelievable for us this year.”
“I loved everything about high school, I almost wish I had another year. I’ll miss everything about it, but what made it so good was the friendships that were formed within the different sports teams I played. This made me become friends with a whole variety of people which was awesome,” stated Connelly, “I’ll miss the teachers, they’ve had such a big impact on me and they deserve so much credit. High school really goes by way too fast, but I know I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.
She’ll join a Purple Knights team in Vermont led by longtime head coach Wendy Elles.
“What excites me about competing in college is that it’s almost like a whole new game. The competition is going to be a lot more intense and the training for this level is also intense, so I’m ready for this drastic difference,” added Conneely.
Conneely’s soccer coach at RHHS, Annmarie Catania, believes she has the tools to succeed at the next level
“Hannah is a driven player who leaves it all on the field. Her demeanor is comforting to her teammates, she leads by example, and makes no excuses for anything less than the best,” said Catania, “Hannah is rare because she is able to see her weaknesses and admit them and work on them. I have no doubt she will excel in college and have a positive impact on the program.”
Wethersfield's Kate Anzidei will play field hockey at Wheaton College. Pictured with parents, Marcus and Carrie, and sister, Emma
WHS 2021 graduate Kate Anzidei will continue to play field hockey and further her academics at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.
Anzidei was named All-State in the fall of 2019, helping guide the Eagles to 15-1 regular season, and then earned her second straight All-Conference selection after captaining a team that competed valiantly through an unprecedented season this fall.
She ended her high school field hockey career with a pair of powerful showings against Hall and Northwest Catholic in the "tournament experience" this fall, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist.
Off the field she was a consistent All-Academic selection, also serving as the Vice President of the Young Dems Club and was in National Honor Society, along with honor societies in French, Social Studies, and Art.
“What I will miss most about WHS is getting to see all of my friends. I will also miss the teachers who taught my favorite classes,” stated Anzidei.
She was involved in field hockey all year, volunteering her time with Wethersfield Sticks, the local youth feeder program, and playing for HCT Club Field Hockey.
WHS head coach Colleen Budaj said, “Kate is a hard worker. When each of her high school seasons ended, she rolled right into the club team workouts, practices, and games. The time that she put in in the off-season really showed each time she came back to her high school seasons. This work ethic will take her far in her college career. I am sure that one of the first of many things that her new coaches at Wheaton will admire about her is that strong work ethic.”
At Wheaton, she’ll join a field hockey team that will be ready for game action following the cancellation of 2020. The Lyons of Wheaton will be entering their second official season under Brooke Marshall.
“I chose Wheaton because it was the best of both worlds,” said Anzidei, who is considering a major in visual arts with a minor in business or history, “I knew that I would receive a diverse and well-rounded education and get to play a sport I love. I am excited to continue to grow as an athlete and get to play at a higher level.”
2021 GHS graduate Eliza Ciarcia will continue her academic and athletic journey at the University of Central Florida.
Ciarcia, who excelled as on the GHS Crew Team, will row for the Knights in the Sunshine State as she pursues a degree.
“I chose UCF because the coaching staff is so amazing, motivating and extremely helpful, and the campus is extraordinary,” said Ciarcia, who is leaning toward majoring in Criminal Sciences, “I’m so excited to compete at the division 1 level because I really want to push my limits athletically and hopefully win a championship one day.”
During her four years at GHS, Ciarcia participated in basketball for two years and was also a member of Interact Club.
“My favorite memories were definitely getting moved up to varsity my freshman year and team bonding yoga,” Ciarcia said of her time rowing at the high school, “What I will most about GHS is being in classes with my childhood friends and the athletic events.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin