Six RHAM High School student athletes were honored in early December for their performances this fall. Top row from left: Anna Lavenburg, Erik Buden, and Ally Deckman; bottom row: Gianni Wursthorn, Alana Calhoun, and Luke Auteri were the half dozen Student Athletes of the Week that were recognized.
The athletic department at RHAM High School named six Athletes of the Week for the fall season. The department said that supply chair issues interrupted the arrival of new #RollRaptors sweatshirts –– given to the school’s Athletes of the Week –– and once the shirts arrived they recognized a half-dozen athletes from this past season.
Student-Athletes that are chosen for the award are selected for not only performance achievements, but also feats of leadership, consistent effort, citizenship, and academics. The athletes and the details of their accomplishments are detailed by the athletic department below:
Anna Lavenburg - Lavenburg recently wrapped up her senior season as a four-year member of the girls’ soccer program. Lavenburg consistently modeled to her teammates and coaches how to stick with something and battle adversity. During a late season conference tilt at league rival South Windsor, Lavenburg got her highlight reel moment by heading the ball in the back of the net off of a corner kick rebound. The late goal allowed the Raptors to escape Bobcat territory with a 1-1 tie, setting up the opportunity to lessen their rival's chances of making the postseason when they defeated South Windsor 2-1 at RHAM High School just five days later. Lavenburg has one of the top academic resumes at the school and she is a great role model for all student-athletes to look up to.
Erik Buden - Buden was a senior goalie for the boys’ soccer program, protecting the net as a vocal, emotional, and defensive leader for the Raptors over the last two years. Buden’s play in goal has earned him respect as one of the best goalies in the state, leading RHAM to the state playoffs each of the last two seasons. In this year’s state tourney, he stood on his head in a second round match-up at heavily-favorite and No. 2 seed Xavier where he blanked the Falcons through regulation and overtime. Buden epitomizes the term “Student-Athlete” as a truly hard worker on the field and in his school community.
Ally Deckman - Deckman is known as the CEO –– Chief Energy Officer. Deckman brought the spirit and waved the flag all season long, leading the support for all of the teams this fall. By playoff time, the referees knew who she was and made up their own rules about her and the school’s student-section. Deckman will now take that energy to the court where she is a senior guard on the basketball team.
Gianni Wursthorn – Wursthorn shined as a freshman cross-country runner, competing for the Raptors for the first time this fall. Wursthorn embodies the effort, discipline, and dedication to personal improvement it takes to be a distance runner. He consistently improved his times throughout the season to continue to set new bars for him individually and help his teammates in races, culminating in a season-best personal performance at the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) Freshman Championships race at Hall High School in October. As a first-year high school student, he's already established himself as one of our many Scholar-Athletes.
Alana Calhoun - Calhoun was a junior on the girls’ volleyball team that recent won a second straight state championship. Calhoun is a walking definition of resilience. After some early season adversity, Calhoun remained a great teammate and kept working hard to help the program win another title. She made a huge splash in the state semifinals against top-seed Seymour when she provided the Raptors a spark off the bench. Calhoun had her best performance to date, posting career-highs in all relevant categories and helping to propel her team to the state finals.
Luke Auteri - Every good team needs an unexpected player to step up in big moments during the season and that's exactly what Auteri did for the Raptors football squad late in a game on Oct 7. Playing the road at Plainville, it looked like the Blue Devils were taking a kickoff return to the house –– which would have given them the lead with under two minutes to play –– but Auteri shed his blocker at the last minute and was able to pull down the ball carrier for a game-saving tackle in the opposing red zone. RHAM’s defense held up and won the game, which ultimately was a key moment in the Raptors’ playoff push. Auteri’s continued hard work and commitment as a sophomore allowed him to become a regular in the defensive secondary for the Raptors at the end of the season. His hard work carried over to the class room this fall as he was 1 of 22 RHAM football players that earned All-Academic Honors.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin