MERIDEN — Wilcox Tech softball coach Bruce Haney says Kassandra Tack is one of those players who flies under the radar.
“She doesn’t look for recognition, doesn’t question playing time or position choice, and never has anything negative to say,” Haney remarked.
Call it karma: Recognition has come looking for Kassandra Tack.
The senior utility player who helped Wilcox softball win its third straight conference championship this spring earned her team’s Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete designation with a 99.335 academic average that ranked her No. 14 in the Class of 2018.
The Honor Roll student was involved in Student Council and Yearbook.
“Kassandra is a tremendous student who is currently taking college credit classes and does extremely well in her trade,” Haney said. “On the softball field, Kassandra has played first, outfield and catcher, and has played well at each of those positions.
“Kassy is a lead-by-example type individual who lets her demeanor and play do the talking,” Haney added. “Kassy is always willing to lend a hand to other teammates and does whatever it takes for the team to succeed. Kassandra’s future is endless and I’m honored to have been able to coach/teach her these past few years.”
Tack was one of five Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes selected by their coaches at Wilcox Technical High School for the 2018 spring season. All five are invited to the Record-Journal’s “Best of the Bunch” awards brunch, which will be held at the Aqua Turf Club this coming Sunday, June 24.
Hector Cardona, boys tennis: While he may have played just one year of tennis, the Indians are loath to see Hector Cardona go.
“Hector came to us as a first-year senior and has been an enjoyable addition to the team,” elaborated coach Sue Planinshek. “I have seen him grow and progress as a player to become the most consistent athlete on the team. He is courteous and kind, and has a positive outlook coupled with natural leadership skills. His dedication to the team has been valuable to the team and to me. He contributed to a fun and very successful season and I will miss him.”
After helping Wilcox win the CTC conference championship in boys tennis, Cardona graduated with a 103.565 academic average.
A member of the National Honor Society and Student Council, Cardona was also a Peer Leader and Senior Mentor. He was a Skills Officer in 2017 and 2018.
Mathieu Hebert, golf: After patiently rising through the ranks in his four years in the Wilcox golf program, Mathieu Hebert broke through to varsity this spring as a senior.
For his perseverance on the golf course and commitment to Wilcox Tech’s work-based learning program, Hebert earned coach Steve Wodarski’s Coach’s Award.
“Mathieu played a key role in the success of this year’s golf team,” said Wodarski, whose squad went 18-4-1. “The team utilized six players and Mathieu quickly learned how to balance work, school and golf. This was not an easy task given the bad weather this spring forcing the team to play 3-4 matches each week. Mathieu rose to the occasion while maintaining his 90-plus GPA.”
For the record, that academic average was 91.43. Hebert now heads to Central Connecticut State University to study business.
Tanner Rhodes, baseball: Tanner Rhodes had a solid senior season for Wilcox Tech. In his third year as a starter and first season as a team captain, Rhodes batted .348.
It was his moves on defense, though, that aided the Indians most. Previously a first baseman, Rhodes made a quantuum leap for any infielder and moved out to center field.
There, he helped the Tribe put together a 14-6 regular season. Wilcox went on to reach the CTC Tournament final and qualify for the Class L state tournament.
“He really shined defensively,” said baseball coach Dave Cronin. “He was able to move from first to center when it became needed and did so without a problem. A great team player and leader.”
Rhodes graduated with an 86.54 academic average.
Catherine Silberman, girls tennis: After graduating No. 25 in Wilcox Tech’s Class of 2018 with an academic average of 95.90, Catherine Silberman is now off to pursue a career in graphic design.
That will be her major at Central Connecticut State University. It’s also a field in which she was highly successful in SkillsUSA, winning championships in graphic communications in 2017 and 2018 and advancing to the national finals.
Silberman was inducted into the National Honor Society in 2018. She was a Senior Mentor and a member of the Key Club.
A two-year tennis player, Silberman received the Coach’s Award as a junior, She played primarily at No. 4 singles and also saw time at No. 1 doubles.
“Catherine is the epitome of perseverance and work ethic,” remarked coach Rob Janiga. “Her intense desire to improve has enabled her to compete at a sport she loves at a level that mirrors the effort she has put forth. Catherine is a wonderful individual and teammate.”