Wednesday was a busy day for college decisions as several area athletes put pen to paper to firm up where they will compete for the next four years.
Southington’s Jack DePaolo-Boisvert headed a powerful class of 12 student-athletes at Cheshire Academy that signed to play at Division I programs.
Over at Lyman Hall, three Trojans committed to play Division II athletics: softball player Maddie Shura (Concordia), swimmer Nicole Cislo (Southern Connecticut) and lacrosse player Bridget Reddington (Keiser University).
Cislo plans to study nursing at Southern. She went on a visit with the Owls this weekend and, for her, Wednesday was easy decision.
“I wanted to commit as soon as possible,” said Cislo, whose strongest event is the breaststroke. “I fit in right away and I just felt that I belonged there.”
Shura is a pitcher and middle infielder for the Trojan softball team. She’s heading to Concordia in Bronxville, N.Y.
“It’s surreal that I’m going to be playing college softball,” Shura said. “I’m super-excited. I’ve worked my entire life for this. It’s a dream come true that I get to continue to play the sport that I love. I fell in love with the school and I can’t wait to play there.”
Shura, whose sister Morgan plays at Division III Albertus Magnus, said she expects a strong senior year this spring.
Reddington is heading to the Sunshine State after initially not wanting to stray that far from home. Kaiser is located in West Palm Beach.
“It’s only a three-hour flight away and I don’t like the cold that much,” Reddington said. “I’m just really excited to make everything official.”
Reddington is a four-year starter for Lyman Hall lacrosse and a stalwart on the attack. She typically doesn’t score a lot of goals, but her assists pile up.
“I love this sport. It just makes me happy,” Reddington said with a smile.
Back at Cheshire Academy, DePaolo-Boisvert inked with Division I Albany after a strong summer for the Hamden-based CT Bombers, coached by Bob Turcio and Greg Simler. The season included a trip to the Connie Mack World Series held in New Mexico. In that event, DePaolo-Boisvert logged 25 innings on the mound and allowed just two runs, earning Division I looks after four years at Xavier. He’s currently putting in a post-grad year at Cheshire Academy.
DePaolo-Boisvert continues a strong college legacy. His parents were both Division I athletes. Val DePaolo was a standout basketball player at Southington High before moving on Boston University. Michelle Boisvert played softball and basketball at Providence. She’s also been on the staff of the Southington High softball staff for the last four years.
Jack’s older brother, Joe, played Division III football at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
“I’m just proud of him,” Val DePaolo said. “He worked so hard for this and had some obstacles to overcome, like becoming a pitcher instead of an everyday player. Both Michelle and I were Division I athletes and we know how fun it could be, but we tried to keep things realistic. He just had a great summer and kind of came into this own.”
“As a parent, you are just so proud,” Boisvert said. “It makes you feel good. Hard work does pay off. I’m a big proponent of that and, eventually, talent comes through.”
Jack DePaolo-Boisvert, who will study criminal justice, is a right-hander with a heater that sits in the high 80s and with a nasty slider as his out-pitch. DePaolo-Boisvert also drew interest from Hartford and University of Rhode Island among other schools.
DePaolo-Boisvert started playing when he was 4.
“I progressed into Little League where I developed a love for the sport and George Cardozo,” DePaolo-Boisvert said. “He mentored me. It was a great experience having him as a coach. Played for three years at Xavier .I missed my sophomore year because I hurt my back and that led to this post-grad year.”
DePaolo-Boisvert pitched for Xavier as a junior and senior. Last spring, he made 16 appearances out of the bullpen as well as two starts. Then he found his groove with the CT Bombers.
“Bob Turcio and Greg Simler never let me give up or settle,” DePaolo-Boisvert said. “They always made me strive for more. This summer, I was one of the aces. It was the best summer that I’ve had and it was a great experience and that really helped me.”
DePaolo-Boisvert was one of eight baseball players at CA who signed on Wednesday. The others were J.D. Funk of Rochester, N.H. (Tennessee Tech), Gavin Sullivan of Swampscott, Mass. (Stetson), Liam Sullivan of Hopedale, Mass. (Holy Cross), Vinny Kasholo of Lakewood Ranch, Fla. (West Point), Jack Bebbington of Monroe (Marist), Drew Nemirow of West Hartford (Stony Brook) and Danny Smucker of Waltham, Mass., (St. Anselm).
Cheshire Academy tennis player Arnas Sabonis of Lithuania will attend Fairfield University. The Cats also featured three female Division I signees, the most in school history during a signing session. Those athletes are swimmer Mia Leko North Branford and the Cheshire Sea Dogs (Dartmouth), lacorosse player Rachel Abraham of Oakville (Longwood University) and track athlete Lexi Holmes of Hamden (Penn State).