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RECORD-JOURNAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETES: At LH, Farkas served it right to the finish

WALLINGFORD — There was absolutely no case of senioritis for Savannah Farkas.

The senior finished up her career at Lyman Hall High School taking seven classes — three of them at the Advanced Placement level — while playing singles for the Trojans.

She graduated with a 3.77 grade-point average and, come the end of summer, will head to Beverly, Mass. to major in Early Childhood Education at Endicott College.

Farkas earned an Honors English Award last spring. She was a member of Students Against Drunk Driving, the yearbook staff and the WOB Mob, the school spirit club.

When she wasn’t whooping it up with the WOB Mob, Farkas was representing the Trojans in the arena. She played four years of field hockey as well as tennis. She suited up on the Powder Puff football team last November.

During her LH career, Farkas also served on the Student Council, tutored and helped with freshman orientation.

“Savannah is the epitome of a leader,” noted LH tennis coach Samantha Provenzano. “She unconditionally supports her teammates in any way she can. The other girls on the team feel comfortable seeking out Savannah if they need assistance in any way, which speaks to the respect they have for her.

“Her positive outlook, both on and off the court, sets an example for those around her.”

Farkas was one of nine Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes selected by their coaches at Lyman Hall for the 2019 season.

Collin DeBaise, boys tennis: This departing senior played both singles and doubles for coach Dan Battipaglia during his four years at Lyman Hall.

Collin DeBaise was also an All-SCC Academic student. He graduated with a 3.81 GPA and will major in Chemical Engineering in college. 

While at LH, DeBaise earned academic awards for Excellence in Algebra 1 and Excellence in Geometry. He also holds a seal of Biliteracy in Spanish.

“Collin was a pleasure to have in class and on the team,” Battipaglia remarked. “He was a supportive doubles partner and demonstrated excellent sportsmanship all four years. He maintained an A or B+ average across numerous AP and honors courses. He will be missed.”

Carly Jacobs, girls track: A leading soccer player in the fall, and then a leading runner both indoors and out, Carly Jacobs was one of Lyman Hall’s top athletes during her time on Pond Hill Road.

A top scholar-athlete, too. The Varsity Scholar held a 3.96 GPA, was a member of the National Honor Society and earned Awards of Excellence in AP Economics, Algebra II and French 3,4, and 5.

On the soccer field, Jacobs was a two-time All-SCC Second Team and All-Record-Journal selection. This past year, as a senior captain, she was named team MVP.

Jacobs was also captain of the track teams. She set the indoor team’s 600-meter record at 1:46.03 and was part of the record-setting 4x400 relay (4:29.62)

“Carly is a great example of a student-athlete,” said outdoor track coach Ed Neilander. “She works hard in practice and in the classroom. She is a top student and one of the best runners in the league.”

Jacobs also served as president of Lyman Hall’s S.A.D.D. chapter. She was class secretary in the Student Council and participated in Best Buddies.

The next port of call for Jacobs is Eastern Connecticut State University.

Eric Lipka, boys track: It naturally follows that Eric Lipka is heading off to Georgetown University to major in Government. During his Lyman Hall tenure, Lipka was president of the Class of 2019.

He was also vice president of the student body and a member of the Wallingford Public School’s District Leadership Team.

A member of the National Honor Society, Lipka was a College Board AP Scholar with Honor as a junior and received a Student Leadership Award from the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education.

He graduated No. 11 in his class with a 4.07 GPA.

Athletically, Lipka was a year-round distance runner for the Trojans, competing in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. He was a member of the 4x800 relay team that placed third this winter in the SCC and advanced to the Class M state meet. Lipka also ran on this spring’s Class MM-qualifying 4x400 relay. 

“Eric is a rare individual,” remarked track coach Ed Neilander. “Through hard work and dedication, he has become the epitome of a scholar-athlete. He is a leader on the track, classroom and the community.”

Sydney Nilsen, softball: This senior outfielder was the picture of consistency on offense and defense this spring as the Trojans went 11-11 and advanced to the second round of the Class L state tournament.

Sydney Nilsen batted .466, got on base at a .512 clip and slugged .630. She stole 11 bases and score 20 runs. 

In the field, Nilsen made just one error.

At the end of the line, Nilsen was named All-SCC and All-Record-Journal. She’ll continue her playing career at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

Nilsen graduated with a 3.89 GPA. She volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and now works for the organization. She also coaches in Girls Little League Softball of Wallingford.

Furkan Parcal, boys lacrosse: A Scholar-Athlete selection for football in the fall, Furkan Parcal is back in the spring as both a Scholar-Athlete and All-Record-Journal selection in lacrosse.

Parcal, an All-SCC Academic also recognized by the Casey-O’Brien/New Haven County chapter of the National Football Foundation, graduated with a 3.61 GPA and will soon be off to UConn.

In football, Parcal was Lyman Hall’s leading player on defense with a team-high 91 tackles at linebacker. He also had 262 all-purpose yards as a running back.

He was a solid defender and midfielder in lacrosse, recording 41 ground balls, two goals and three assists.

Rachael Ruggiero, girls lacrosse: Lyman Hall’s two-sport standout in cross country and lacrosse graduated No. 24 in the Class of 2019 with a 3.9 GPA. She’ll major in Environmental Sciences in college.

Ruggiero made High Honor Roll throughout her Lyman Hall career. She was a two-time Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete and team captain in lacrosse, a two-time team MVP and senior captain in cross country.

“Rachael is a dedicated student-athlete who has left her mark on Lyman Hall girls lacrosse,” said that team’s coach, David Palmer. “She is a hard-working student who not only balances athletics and school, she also has a part-time job.”

Brennan Toussaint, baseball: As a veteran senior, Brennan Toussaint was asked to do a lot this spring — pitch, play infield, play outfield, bat leadoff.

In other words, pretty much everything but catch.

“Brennan was asked to fill many roles and accepted his role without question,” said first-year coach Billy Rich. “Brennan learned to play several positions well, showing his determination and motivation to succeed both on the baseball field and in the classroom.”

After helping the Trojans go 9-11 and qualify for the Class L state tournament, Toussaint is now heading to UConn to major in Mechanical Engineering. He graduated Lyman Hall with a 4.0 GPA. A Varsity Scholar, Toussaint earned nine letters in his running cross country and indoor track and playing baseball. He won a George Eastman Award for young leadership.

Owen Twohill, golf: Only a junior, Owen Twohill is among the most veteran and accomplished golfers for Lyman Hall.

He was a captain this spring and the leading scorer on the team with a plus-rating of 8.31 and a stroke average of 43.25. He earned three medals.

A future engineering major, Twohill goes into his senior year at LH with a 4.023 GPA. He’s been inducted into the National Honor Society and is a “Trojan Tutor.”

Twohill is also a member of the Student Council and Key Club. He is a Peer Advocate and participates in Best Buddies and the Unified Sports program.

“Owen has been a  starter on the golf team since his freshman year, he has always conducted himself with integrity and exceptional character both on the golf course and within the Lyman Hall school community,” remarked golf coach Michael Blake. “Owen is what you want as a captain: someone who strives to improve and someone who serves as a role model for the younger members of the team.

“Owen tirelessly works on his game year round,” Blake added. “It's not unusual to see him work on his swing right after a match in order to improve his game. Under his leadership we have qualified for states the past two years.”

Odds are good Twohill and the Trojans will make it three in a row. Stay tuned.


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