SCHOLAR-ATHLETES: Cheshire’s Lindner didn’t break the mold, he created one

SCHOLAR-ATHLETES: Cheshire’s Lindner didn’t break the mold, he created one

CHESHIRE — Mark Lindner came up with a unique project last year in becoming an Eagle Scout.

Using hides, the Cheshire teen made houses for animals at the Connecticut Humane Society.

This wasn’t just some one-off project. The hide houses are reusable, and Lindner made 30 of them.

What’s more, the houses are so useful the Humane Society recently contacted Lindner for his prototype so they can be made at all chapter locations.

This dovetails nicely with Lindner’s career aspirations. The co-founder of Cheshire High School’s Young Entrepreneurs Club, Lindner is heading to UConn, where he’ll study business.

Lindner is on course to graduate Cheshire High this spring with a 3.8 GPA that’s made him Southern Connecticut Conference’s All-Academic for all four years of his scholsastic hockey career with the Rams.

The High Honors student didn’t start playing hockey until age 13 — a relatively late start in that sport — but he progressed steadily throughout his time with the Rams, even as he lost a season to injury.

“Mark is a pleasure to coach; he is a hard-working kid who always shows up with a positive attitude,” remarked Cheshire hockey coach Anthony Giusto. “After being forced to miss the entire 2019-2020 season due to an injury suffered in the preseason, he rehabbed and has been an integral part of our team this year.

“The most telling thing about Mark is last season, after suffering a season-ending injury, he still showed up every single day to practice and games to support his teammates,” Giusto added.

Lindner is a member of DECA. A musician, he plays guitar and piano.

Lindner was one of seven Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes selected by their coaches at Cheshire High School for the 2021 winter season.

■Kaylee Clark, girls basketball: A program veteran and starting guard, senior Kayle Clark is carring a GPA of 3.9.

She averaged 6.4 points a game this past season, hitting for a season-high 19 points in the SCC Division II semifinals against eventual champion Sacred Heart Academy.

“Kaylee has been a pleasure to coach and get to know as a person,” said first-year Cheshire head coach Angelica Ariola. “She is a true leader and it is noticeable while in school, on the court or within her personal life.

“Kaylee is an active participator while in school. She is known by her teachers as a student who is accepting of constructive criticism and feedback.”

■Conner DeLaubell, boys basketball: The numbers tell it. Senior captain Conner DeLaubell led the Rams in the classroom with a 4.320 GPA and was its second-leading scorer between the lines, averaging 10.8 points a game.

The forward’s season high was 19 against Hamden on Feb. 24. It was the start of a run in which DeLaubell scored in double figures in six straight games.

“Conner is a hard-working, dedicated student-athlete who leads by example,” said basketball coach Dan Lee.

■Julia DePalma, girls skiing: This young lady hits the slopes and books with authority.

The senior captain was Cheshire’s top performer in every race this winter. With a GPA of 4.184, DePalma earned a spot on the SCC All-Academic Team.

DePalma also played soccer and was inducted into the National Honor Society. She’s heading to the University of Maryland.

“A pleasure to coach, very enthusiastic about everything she is involved in,” remarked Cheshire ski coach Duane Bass. “I wish her the best for luck in the future.”

■Harrison Hua, boys swimming: Is it safe to say Harrison Hua has swimming down to a science?

Certainly. The senior placed third in the SCC in the 100-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 200 individual medley. He swam a leg on the SCC-champion 400 freestyle relay.

What Hua really has down to a science is, well, science.

The  AP Scholar with Honors is captain of the Science Bowl squad and President of the Science National Honor Society.

Hua is also a member of the National English Honor Society, the Greater New Haven Math League and the Latin Club.

He carries a weighted GPA of 4.853.

“Harry is an all-around scholar and athlete,” said Cheshire swim coach Dan Modzelewski. “He was a big part in this year’s team’s success. He is always willing to go the extra mile for himself and his teammates. He is always the first one in the pool and the last one out, which shows in his work ethic and success.

“I’m excited for what the future has in store for him, which will be nothing short of great things.”

■Patrick O’Connor, boys indoor track: A year-round runner, Patrick O’Connor is a Cheshire senior captain for all seasons — cross country, indoor track and the upcoming spring campaign.

He’s also a senior senator for Cheshire’s Class of 2021, a writer for Rampage, a Link Crew leader, an officer in the school’s Best Buddies program and a lector at his church.

Then there are the 173 hours of coummunity service he’s logged to date.

So O’Connor’s face is out there. Other times, it is not: O’Connor is the guy in the Cheshire Rams mascot suit.

By making Distinguished Honors in the first two quarters of the current year, O’Connor has his GPA at 4.0.

“Patrick is a standout athlete, student and role model for his fellow teammates,” said indoor track coach Pam Gunneson. “From his hard work on the track, whether at practice or during a meet, his excellent grade point average, or his willingness to help out his team, teammates, or the coaching staff in any way, he is to be commended. Patrick  has had a positive impact on each of the athletes on the team.

O’Connor is heading to St. Joseph College, where he’ll pursue a degree in education and run cross country. He aims to become a special education teacher.

“I am looking forward to seeing him perform at the next level,” said Gunneson. “It has truly been a pleasure to coach Patrick and he will be greatly missed.”

■Lorenzo Pepe, boys skiing: Senior captain Lorenzo Pepe went out in style, qualifying for the state competition for the first time this winter.

“The most improved skier of the season,” reports coach Duane Bass.

Academically, Pepe has been the picture of consistency. The High Honors student holds a 3.945 GPA that’s made him SCC All-Academic.

He’s also a fair hand at art. Some of Pepe’s drawings have made it into state art shows.

Pepe will be attending Springfield College.

“A pleasure to coach,” said Coach Bass. “I wish him the best of luck in the future.”

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