R-J SCHOLAR-ATHLETES: Sheehan was fueled by healthy dose of Willpower

R-J SCHOLAR-ATHLETES: Sheehan was fueled by healthy dose of Willpower

WALLINGFORD — Graduating Sheehan senior Will Terzi is heading to Colby College in Waterville, Maine to major in Psychology with an emphasis on Neuroscience.

On the off chance he doesn’t already know it, Terzi is a case study in the antithesis of Senioritis.

Going full bore in his final year of high school, Terzi took five Advanced Placement courses while serving as captain of the football and lacrosse teams.

It’s paid off with a grade-point average that, pending this week’s final exams, is pushing 4.0.

Terzi also earned academic awards in science and social studies, and garnered Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete designation in both of his sports.

After helping the Titans return to the football playoffs for the first time since 1995, Terzi was named All-SCC Tier III and All-Record-Journal. The National Honor Society inductee was further recognized for his academic and athletic accomplishments by the New Haven County Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Terzi played right tackle on offense, helping protect his quarterback and younger brother Wes, and he was a linebacker on defense. His 129 tackles led the Record-Journal coverage area.

Terzi will play on Team Connecticut in the Governors’ Cup All-Star game next Saturday, June 30 against Rhode Island. He’ll continue playing football at Colby.

Terzi was one of nine Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes selected by their coaches at Sheehan High School for the 2018 spring season. All nine are invited to the Record-Journal’s “Best of the Bunch” awards brunch, which will be held at the Aqua Turf Club this Sunday, June 24.

Srivani Agnihotram, girls tennis: Srivani Agnihotram is one of the more unique nominees we’ve come across in the long history of the Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete series.

The junior played No. 2 singles for Sheehan this spring and, as a third-year varsity player, was already a team captain.

She’s got a 4.0759 grade-point average, and that ranks her No. 3 in Sheehan’s Class of 2019.

Impressive, but not unprecedented. Here’s where it gets really cool.

A future medical professional — neurology or pathology will be her course of study beyond high school — Agnihotram sings Carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music that sprung from ancient Hindu tradition.

She’s also an active member at her Temple, including as a student-teacher for first-graders.

At Sheehan, Agnihotram is co-president of the Math Club and a member of the Art Club. She’s a member of the National Honor Society and serves on the Scholarship Committee.

Agnihotram has completed 400 hours of community service and is a three-time winner of the President’s Youth and Social Service Award.

Mark Amodio, boys tennis: Mark Amodio signs off on his junior year ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2019 with a 4.0846 GPA, a tick above Srivani Agnihotram.

This is Amodio’s second Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete selection of the year, coming on the heels of one in basketball.

Amodio has that topped in the All-SCC-Academic department. He’s got five of those — three in basketball and two in tennis.

A member of the Spanish Club and Student Council, Amodio also plays soccer. Come the fall, he’ll be a senior captain.

“Mark is an asset to his teammates on and off the court. He has an exemplary work ethic in the classroom that carried over to the courts,” said coach Jamie Canny. “As a junior co-captain, Mark displayed a tremendous amount of leadership and maturity. He has proven himself to be reliable and trustworthy. I am greatly looking forward to another year of his leadership.”

Patrick Christensen, baseball: Here’s an all-around top-of-the-order guy.

Batting leadoff for the Titans this spring, Pat Christensen hit for a .379 average and slugged at a .466 clip. He also led the way academically with a 3.90 GPA, which ranked him No. 13 in the senior class.

The outfielder was named All-SCC Hammonasset and All-SCC Academic. 

This was Christensen’s second R-J Scholar-Athlete nod of the year. He was previously selected in soccer, which he played for three seasons.

In baseball, Christensen was a four-year veteran. He also participated in Sheehan’s Student Government for all four years.

Said coach Matt Altieri, “Pat is a great leader and exemplifies all that is great about Sheehan Baseball.”

Stephen Fengler, boys track: This senior distance runner signed off as the Sheehan record-holder in both the indoor and outdoor 3200 meters. A multiple R-J and CIAC Scholar-Athlete, he also signed off with a 3.94 GPA that ranked him No. 11 in the Class of 2018.

The school records Fengler broke had stood for awhile. The outdoor mark in the 3,200 dated back to 1978. It’s now 9:48.18. That’s the time Fengler logged in finishing seventh at the Class M state meet.

Fengler’s indoor 3,200 record is 9:58.49. He placed second in Class M with that time.

Fengler also ran the 1,600, qualifying for the spring State Open in that event with a personal-best of 4:32.92, which placed him fifth in Class M.

“Stephen has had an outstanding season,” said coach Charles Farley. “He has elevated his work habits, his race planning and, more importantly, his execution of that plan.

“Stephen has great work habits and spends mentoring time with our young runners and has helped them to begin to develop as well. This outdoor season has seen the blooming of the best distance runner that Sheehan has had in years.”

Outside of track, Fengler was a member of the marching, concert and jazz bands. He participated in the French Club and Zion Lutheran Church Youth Group. He’s attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

Samantha Iannone, softball: Sam Iannone is heading to the Nursing program at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. As a volunteer at Yale New Haven Hospital last summer and most likely again this summer, she’s already got some experience under her belt.

Iannone also previously volunteered at the Masonic Child Development Center and has participated in the Arthritis Walk every year since 2007.

While at Sheehan, Iannone was a cornerstone of the volleyball and softball programs. This spring, in her second season as captain and third baseman, she helped lead the Titans to the Class M state tournament quarterfinals.

Iannone was All-SCC Academic and a Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete in both sports. With a 3.83 GPA, the National Honor Society member graduated No. 18 in Sheehan’s Class of 2018.

“Sam is a hard-working young lady who strives to be the best she can in everything she does. She is always looking for ways to improve and support her team,” said softball coach Sarah Wyant. “She has been a great captain to the Sheehan softball program for two years and highly deserves this recognition.”

Madison Neilander, girls lacrosse: In need of a selfless someone to pitch in and lend a hand? Give Madison Neilander a call.

This senior has received volunteer service awards from both the State of Connecticut and Town of Wallingford. The Wallingford recognition was for “Exemplary Volunteer Service.” For the past three years, Neilander has also been a Peer Advocate.

Athletically, Neilander served as captain of the Powder Puff team as well as the girls lacrosse team. She scooped up 24 ground balls and caused 18 turnovers during the regular season, helping the Titans advance to the postseason at 10-6. She was selected to the All-SCC Second Team

As for the classroom, Neilander put up a 3.9 GPA. She’s heading to Albertus Magnus College in the fall as an Education major.

“Maddie’s academic and athletic high school career has been one she can be very proud of,” said coach Charissa Zbikowski. “She has mastered the balance of excelling on the lacrosse field while still maintaining good grades in the classroom. She is a model to others and her work ethic, combined with her dedication, competitive nature, athleticism, and passion for the game is commendable.”

Julian Nirmal, golf: Sheehan golf coach Kevin Ainsworth speaks highly of the leadership qualities Julian Nirmal brought to a young squad this spring.

Nothing unusual there. That’s what you want from your team captain, which Nirmal is.

What’s unique is that Nirmal is only a sophomore. The second-year varsity player medaled three times this season and shot a team-best 85 in the Division III state tournament, which the Titans reached for a seventh straight year.

“He has been a great co-captain to have in a rebuilding year for us in following up our most successful season,” Ainsworth said. “He leads by example. He was such a good example for all the new players we had to add to the team and did a great job leading them all season.”

Nirmal is a member of Sheehan’s Student Council and Marching Band. He volunteered to serve on the superintendent's District Leadership Team. His GPA stands at 4.014.

Christine Thorp, girls track: As a senior captain and distance runner specializing in the 800 meters, Christine Thorp helped the Lady Titans land their first-ever SCC East Sectional championship and later place second at the Class MM state meet.

She also earned her fourth straight Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete recognition with a 4.07 GPA that ranked her No. 4 in the Class of 2018. She was a CIAC Scholar-Athlete and a member of the National Honor and Tri-M Honors societies.

Thorp’s extracurricular resume included the Future Educators Club, stage crew for the spring musical and French Club, where she was vice president.

Thorp played soccer in the fall, then ran track in the winter and spring. Charles Farley, Sheehan’s long-standing track coach, spoke highly of her leadership.

“Christine is an excellent competitor; she has been an outstanding captain,” Farley said. “She has accepted her athletic role, which has changed this year. Her response has been a model for all of our athletes to follow. Her leadership has risen to a level such that she is one of the best captains that we have had.” 

Thorp has enrolled in the Honors Program at Sacred Heart University. Said Farley, “With her work ethic and desire to succeed, Christine will succeed there as well.”


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