WALLINGFORD — This fall’s slate of Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes at Sheehan High School is pretty hard to top. It features three of the top four students in the Class of 2019.
Girls soccer player Rayna Esch leads the way. She’s got the inside track to Valedictorian with a 4.28 grade-point average.
Then there’s Sydney Carim. The cross country runner is maintaining a No. 3 pace with a 4.1 GPA.
Soccer player Mark Amodio is right on her heels, also with a 4.1 average.
Both Amodio and Carim were named Sheehan’s overall SCC Scholar-Athletes for the 2018 fall season. Combined with Esch, they are three of eight Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes selected by their coaches at Sheehan.
All eight will be invited to the Record-Journal’s “Best of the Bunch” awards brunch at the Aqua Turf Club in June.
■Mark Amodio, boys soccer: Don’t be surprised if this is the first of a R-J Scholar-Athlete triple crown this year for Mark Amodio. He plays basketball and tennis as well as soccer, and he’s been a multiple All-SCC Academic selection in all three.
He’s already been an R-J Scholar-Athlete as an underclassman in basketball and tennis.
Now a senior, Amodio is team captain in all three sports.
The High Honors student is vice president of the Student Council and a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club and yearbook staff. He’s earned an AP Scholar award.
“Mark has been a very important part of our program for four years. His positive attitude and leadership ability landed him a captain’s role his senior year,” said coach Luis Rodriguez. “He has always kept his academics at a high standard, leading by example and helping our team in every way possible.
“He was an integral part of our success, scoring the winning goal on two separate occasions,” Rodriguez added. “I am so proud of him and I wish him the best in all of his endeavors.”
■Derrick Arnold, boys cross country: Sheehan’s No. 1 runner for much of the year, Arnold earned a spot on the inaugural All-Record-Journal Cross Country Team by placing second in the Neubauer Invitational and running Wallingford’s fastest time at the SCC Championship meet at East Shore Park (18:00).
His personal 5K best — so far; he’s still just a junior — is 17:43.
“Derrick truly demonstrates the most passion for the sport on the team,” remarked coach Frank Mohr. “He is a hard-working, goal-setting individual who takes the time to analyze after each meet what he did or could do better. I am looking forward to seeing him take it to the next level his senior year.”
Arnold earned Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete recognition with a GPA of 4.037 that ranks him No. 10 in the Class of 2020.
Vice president of the French Club, Arnold has won the Excellence in French 4 award.
■Sydney Carim, girls cross country: Sydney Carim was Sheehan’s No. 3 girls runner on the cross country course this fall and, with her 4.1 GPA, No. 3 in the senior class.
She’s president of the National Honor Society and has earned an AP Scholar award.
Carim also coaches running in the Race4Chase kids’ triathlon program.
“An outstanding leader and captain, Sydney’s passion and dedication to the sport along with her determination to become better translated into a wonderful season representing Sheehan,” said coach Frank Mohr. “Consistently scoring valuable points and achieving a personal best in this year’s state Class M meet, she also excels in the classroom, ranking third out of 197. More important to me, she ranks No. 1 as a person.”
■Hannah Dale, girls swimming: Sheehan’s senior swimmer stands No. 9 in the Class of 2019 with a 3.99 GPA.
She’s been named All-SCC Academic three times. A year-round swimmer with the Cheshire Sea Dogs, Dale has also qualified for the state postseason class meets three times, competing in this season’s Class S meet in the individual 200 and 500-yard freestyles and with the 200 and 400 free relays.
“Hannah is a natural-born leader who always leads from example,” noted Sheehan coach Dan Wostbrock. “Hannah is the hardest-working swimmer on the team, always puts in extra time before or after practice.
“Often we would do challenges in practice and, if a swimmer makes a certain time, the team would be able to leave practice five minutes early, no matter how challenging,” Wostbrock elaborated. “Hannah would always volunteer and, to the team’s benefit, would always be able to accomplish the goals.”
Dale’s college plans are lofty: Medical school, with a major in neuroscience.
For now, the National Honor Society student competes with the Math Team, serves on the Leadership Committee and is a peer advocate.
■Rayna Esch, girls soccer: Rayna Esch played varsity soccer for four seasons with the Titans and earned All-SCC Academic status in all four.
Her 4.28 GPA made her a National Honor Society shoo-in.
A multi-position player in soccer, Esch finished her career with seven goals and 13 assists. She was also a senior captain.
“Rayna and her accomplishments in the classroom and on the field have been exceptional,” said coach Rob Huelsman. “She would play any position and impact the outcome of each game. Her work ethic and the personal goals she has set for herself will guide her to only do more great things at school and in life.”
■Marissa Galicia, field hockey: A three-sport athlete who runs indoor track in the winter and plays lacrosse in the spring, Galicia scored three goals for the Sheehan field hockey team this fall.
She’s busy off the field. A junior class officer, Galicia is also president of the Student Council and a member of the Debate Club, Interact Club and Spanish Club. She’s also participates in SADD and CREW.
With a 3.9 GPA, Galicia is waiting to see if she’ll be accepted into the National Honor Society.
“She is willing to take on anything and everything in the classroom, on the field and in life,” said field hockey coach Taryn Petrillo. “Marissa accepts all challenges and is able to still give each one her all. Marissa is a role model in all that she does.”
■Joseph Lowell, football: As a senior lineman, Joe Lowell was part of an offense that averaged better than 406 yards and 42 points a game in going 10-2 and reaching the Class M state semifinals.
While Lowell was a reserve player, he was versatile and knew the playbook inside and out.
“His intellect allowed him to play every position along the offensive and defensive lines,” head coach John Ferrazzi said. “He knew our schemes so well that he often taught and mentored our younger linemen.”
In the classroom, Lowell’s intellect has translated into a 3.98 GPA and a 1290 score on the SAT. He’s taken five Adavanced Placement courses and earned a Rensselaer Medal for excellence in math and science.
“Joe has been a model student-athlete since the day he entered the doors of Sheehan High School,” Ferrazzi said. “Academics have always been important to him and it is evident from his course load and grades throughout his high school career.
“Joe is highly respected among his peers, teammates, and faculty at Sheehan due to his outstanding work ethic and character.”
■Meghan Murphy, volleyball: The Titans’ defensive specialist is carrying a 3.9 GPA born of High Honors every semester throughout her four years at Sheehan. She’s been inducted into the National Honor Society.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Meghan for four years and she’s an extremely hard worker on and off the court,” remarked coach Victoria Sperrazza. “She has always put her studies first and is a natural leader. Not only is she a good student-athlete, she’s just an all-around great person. She has always retained a positive attitude regardless of whether she has seen court time or not and worked her hardest each season.”