College Bound CHS Student Athletes
Recent CHS graduates and student athletes Anthony Caracoglia (left), Ryan Corcoran (center), Nick Polizonis (right), and others will continue competing the next level
Despite the unconventional end to the recent school year, several 2020-graduates signed virtual college commitments this spring/summer and will soon be heading off to universities, colleges, and programs around the country to continue their academic and athletic aspirations.
Below are some of the Cromwell High School student athletes that will pursue their sporting passions beyond high school.
Anthony Caracoglia became a dynamo on the soccer fields for the Panthers, excelling all four years and cementing his legacy this past fall by earning All-State honors. The senior scored 32 goals, including 10 in the Class S tournament. His memorable tourney included a game-winning goal in the first round, a four-goal explosion in the second round, a hat trick in the quarterfinals, and two more in the quarterfinals.
Caracoglia also participated in track and field, specializing in the long jump, and played ultimate frisbee. When he wasn’t competing, he was an honor roll student in the classroom, part of Yearbook Club, and the leader of the CHS Mob (the loud and proud student’s cheering section).
He will now attend the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, majoring in computer science, and will play soccer for a Blue Jays team that is coming off a successful 12-win season, which included the program’s first ever GNAC semifinal appearance.
“The reason I chose to continue my soccer career and play at the University of Saint Joseph is because of how local and reasonable the school is. Its small campus makes a very close connection between students and professors and when it came to choosing a school to play for, Coach [Paul] Wright made it clear that he wanted me to play under him the most.”
Nick Polizonis shined in various roles for Cromwell baseball team---pitching, catching, and playing several positions in the field during his career. He led the Panthers in runs scored and was second on the team in hits as a junior in 2019 and, prior to the cancellation, was expected to have another major role from the mound and plate this spring.
Polizonis was also a precision-shooting, versatile wing player for the basketball team, averaging six points and four rebounds this past winter, and was a sophomore contributor on the 2017/2018 team that won the state championship. He was also part of National Honor Society at CHS.
His next stop is Southern Maine University where he will major in accounting and play for a Huskies team led by longtime coach Ed Flaherty, who has been coaching at the school for over 30 years and has amassed over 1,000 career wins.
“I chose Southern Maine because once I stepped on campus it felt like everything stopped and it felt like home to me. Not only am I going to be able to get a great education, but I will be given the opportunity to compete at a high level of collegiate baseball,” Polizonis stated, “I am excited to challenge myself on and off the field and also improve myself not only on the baseball field, but as a person.”
Ryan Corcoran is an elite angler that won the 2019 state high school bass fishing championship with the help of partner Mason DeCarlo of Rocky Hill, allowing the duo to compete on a national stage. He was also one of two high schoolers in Connecticut to be named by B.A.S.S. to the national 2020 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team.
The honor roll student is headed to Alabama to join the Bass Fishing Club at Auburn University. AU has been one of the top ranked bass fishing schools in the nation for over a decade and is coming off a Major League Fishing Championship in 2019.
“I chose Auburn because I believe it will give me the best opportunity to improve as both a student and an angler,” Corcoran stated, “I’m excited to fish at the college level because it allows me to travel all over the United States and meet hundreds of new college students who also love to fish. War Eagle!”
Justin Stergos was selected as the Division III Defenseman of the Year and received All-State honors for his work on the Newington/Cromwell co-op hockey team this past winter. He was also a captain for the Cromwell/Portland football team, making a name as a dependable running back on offense and a sure tackler on defense.
Stergos is headed north to further his hockey career and play for the New Hampshire Avalanche.
“My decision to join the New Hampshire Avalanche was one my family and I have been looking forward to ever since I started playing hockey when I was three. I know I want to be able to play college hockey and signing with the Avalanche is a good pathway for me to take not only because they have the most college commits in New England but because they push their players every day to become better hockey players and a better individual,” stated Stergos, “What excites me the most about playing at the next level is going against guys that are older than me and have been playing junior hockey much longer. Going against them every day and competing with them on and off the ice will improve my hockey play. It’ll also give me a chance to prove not only to myself but to college coaches that I can play even higher at the next level, bringing my grit and hard work with me along the way.”
Kaitlin Lewkowicz was a three-sport star at CHS---captaining volleyball, running indoor track, and thriving on the lacrosse fields. Last fall she was the setter the Panthers volleyball team that won 17 games, including a state tourney match, and she finished with a team-high 423 assists to go along with 127 digs, 68 aces, and 60 kills. She was also part of several of the school’s top relay teams on the track and was expecting to be a leader at lacrosse prior to the cancellation.
The good news is that Lewkowicz lacrosse journey will continue at Eastern Connecticut State University, where she will join a competitive Warriors team led by hall of famer Dee Stephen, who recently took over as the program’s head coach.
Jordan Pare shined on the soccer fields throughout her entire time at CHS, including earning first-team All-Shoreline conference in the fall. She also was a state champion in indoor track as part of the 1600 Medley Sprint relay team that won the 2019 Class S title.
Pare, who was a perennial honor roll student, will be playing soccer for Western New England University, joining a talent Golden Bears team that won six of their final nine regular season games a season ago.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin