The Hartwell Award, an annual award given to one player from each athletic team at Glastonbury High School, isn’t always given to the most productive player on the team.
It is presented to the athlete who has made the greatest contribution to their team – considering qualities of performance, leadership, sportsmanship, and dedication.
In the case of 2022 graduate Christina Guanci, she checked off all boxes.
Guanci led the Guardians lacrosse team in both goals (66) and assists (46), along with having all the characteristics that a head coach could ask for.
“Her level of intelligence has always been something that is her strength,” said GHS head coach Kris Cofiell, “She is a good athlete, there is no doubt about it, but she understands the game. Her game IQ is absolutely amazing.”
After three productive varsity seasons at GHS – one season lost due to Covid – Guanci will now take her stick skills and supreme knowledge to Union College.
“I really liked the size of the school and the distance it is away from home,” Guanci said of her decision to join the Dutchmen in Schenectady, NY.
First-year head coach Alyssa Treanor takes over the lacrosse program at Union after serving as an assistant the past five seasons.
Guanci said she had a “good feeling” about the program when deciding on her next destination and that she is eager to attack the challenge.
“Everyone at that level loves the game so much and I’m really excited learn new things and be around people that are passionate about the sport,” she added.
Guanci’s productive final high school season earned her an all-state selection in the spring, along with All-Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) honors for a second straight season.
Along with leading the team in points, she also led the Guardians in caused turnovers (21) and was second on the team in both ground ball pickups (24) and draw controls (52).
Despite missing her sophomore season because of the Covid cancellation, Guanci still managed to surpass the 100-career goal mark when she eclipsed the triple digit milestone in the team’s state tourney qualifying win over Stamford.
Cofiell said that Guanci’s hand-eye coordination and her field vision will suit her well at the next level, but it’s those instinctual intangibles that should allow her to excel.
“She is not going to be the fastest kid on the field, she is not going to be the strongest kid on the field, but I can tell you that she is going to be the smartest kid on the field,” added Cofiell. “She not only elevates her play because of her intelligence, but
she also elevates those around her. She is a great teacher, and she is unselfish. She knows she can’t do it alone and knows she needs her teammates. She is willing to put in the time and effort into teaching them.”
Guanci, who was also an all-conference field hockey player, said she will miss her teammates at GHS the most.
“I think every team in Glastonbury is close-knit. It’s like having 20 sisters; it’s nice that you always have someone there with you,” Guanci added.
Cofiell, who is also an assistant on the field hockey team, said that Guanci epitomized what the Hartwell Award stands for.
“When you put the stick in her hand, she battles. She has the heart that she has the brain that that you want,” said Cofiell. “She doesn’t seem to have any fear. Maybe she does, but she never shows it.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin