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RECORD-JOURNAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETES: From A to Z, these Blue Knights made the grade

RECORD-JOURNAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETES: From A to Z, these Blue Knights made the grade

SOUTHINGTON — Given how often things are done in alphabetical order, we figure recent Southington High graduate Colby Zegzdryn spent much of his school career bringing up the back of the line.

So, for one of the last things associated with his high school career — Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes, 2019 spring edition — we’re moving Colby Zegzdryn to the front.

And why not? The Z-Man earned plenty of A’s over the past four years.

Zegzdryn graduated with a 103.67 academic average. He was also a member of the Southington golf team that 11-3-1 this season and advanced to the CIAC Division I Tournament. 

The Blue Knights were a force, averaging a team score of 155. Zegzdryn’s season-low round was a 35.

Zegzdryn earned membership in the National Honor Society, participated in Unified Basketball and is now on his way to UConn to major in Accounting. He was one of 11 Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes selected by their coaches at Southington High School for the 2019 spring season.

Natalia Adamczyk, girls track: A four-year cornerstone of Southington’s distance running corps, Natalia Adamczyk now strides off to Southern Connecticut State to major in Nursing and continue running.

She graduated with a 100.327 average and was a member of the World Language National Honor Society for Spanish.

Adamczyk was named All-Conference three times in cross country, starting as a sophomore. She won this year’s Most Inspirational Award in indoor track and was a senior captain for the outdoor season.

Adamczyk qualified for the state meets in the 3200 meters in both indoor and outdoor track. She’s already tried her hand at coaching, working with the CT Storm youth track and field club.

“An incredibly dedicated athlete,” said coach Dan Dachelet. “Nat has been a joy to coach over the last four years. She is a gutsy racer and will continue to develop as a distance runner in college.  She has always set a great example for younger athletes on showing them what they need to do in order to achieve.”

Matt Balaoing, boys tennis: A four-year member of varsity, Southington’s senior No. 1 singles player went 10-4 this spring despite battling with a shoulder injury that, at times, had him serving underhanded.

Balaoing went 1-1 in the Class LL tournament and wrapped up the year at 11-5. He came away the Boys Tennis Player of the Year Award at the 2019 Record-Journal “Best of the Bunch” awards brunch.

Balaoing was also named to the inaugural All-Record-Journal Team and was a three-time All-Conference player.

Academically, the National Honor Society member graduated with a 103.5 average. He was a member of the Chess Club, Spanish Club and Sports Leadership Council and participated in Relay for Life.

Balaoing has done some coaching in tennis. He’s also worked as a YMCA after-school counselor.

Balaoing is now off to UConn where, heading in, he’ll major in Biology.

Seth Bogoslofski, boys lacrosse: Southington lacrosse coach Ron Chase calls Seth Bogoslofski the “heart and soul” of the Blue Knights.

The second-year captain had nine goals and 23 assists this season. That, however, was just the start of it.

“His leadership and work ethic on and off the field is what the definition of a student-athlete should be,” Chase said. “The work he puts in during the offseason and during the season, the organization of team activities, the community service and the love for this lacrosse program cannot be explained.  

“He is the ultimate team player, making sacrifices all year to better himself and the program. He considers the team his family and he always treats his teammates as his brothers. He is constantly motivating his teammates to play at their very best and is always there to support them when they are in need.”

Bogoslofski and the Blue Knights went 10-6 in the regular season, beat Stamford 7-6 in overtime in a Class L tournament play-in game before falling to New Canaan in the first round.   

Bogoslofski graduated with a 101.31 academic average. He earned the Dick Seeger Memorial Gridiron Club Scholarship, the Margaret L. McGlone & Robert “Zeke” Zbikowski Memorial Scholarship and the Polish Falcons Nest #307 Scholarship.

Jason Brault, boys lacrosse: This senior’s 100.662 academic average definitely opened eyes. He was named an Academic All-American by the National High School Coaches Association in wrestling and he received the Glen Solomon Wrestling Scholarship.

In that sport, Brault placed third in Class LL and advanced to the State Open.

In lacrosse, Brault was a four-year midfielder with the ability to play on both offense and defense. He was particularly deft in transition offense.

“He is one of the hardest workers on and off of the field,” remarked lacrosse coach Ron Chase. “He is extremely coachable, well-liked among his teammates and always has a positive attitude regardless of the result of the game.”

Brault had two goals and assist this year as the Blue Knights went 10-6 and advanced to the Class L state tournament.

Chantelle Gimenez, girls tennis: With the graduation of this young lady, an era has ended. Chantelle Gimenez was the last of five Gimenez sisters to pass through Southington High.

All five played tennis, with Chantelle finishing as a senior captain and going 14-6 primarily playing No. 3 singles.

Gimenez opened her career at No. 3 doubles as a sophomore and moved up to No. 1 doubles and enjoyed an All-Conference season as a junior before making the move to singles.

“She carved out her own unique contributions to the team,” said coach Robin Thompson. “Her continued drive and dedication to improve her skills and value to the team have been evident since joining our team as a freshman.

“She never looks for her own personal notoriety; she puts the needs of the team first. This was one of the primary reasons she was sleected to be team captain this year. Chantelle’s insights to her younger teammates have helped them improve their own performances. She will be greatly missed.”

Like her older sisters, Gimenez is going to BYU. She graduated No. 6 in Southington’s Class of 2019 with a 111.6 average

Active in the Mormon faith, Gimenez has been a State Youth Council representative, Young Women president, youth camp leader and youth conference attendee in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

She was also the church’s Spanish Congregation music coordinator. Gimenez was a member of the All-State and Southern Regional choirs.

Gimenez was also a member of the National Honor and World Language Honor societies. She logged the highest Pre-Calculus average in 2018 and was co-president of the Aspiring Medical Professionals Club.

Adam Hunter, boys volleyball: This senior was a pivotal player on two Southington title teams this year.

The 6-foot-3 Hunter averaged seven points and five rebounds for the basketball team that claimed the CCC West-Colonial Division crown, then piled up 228 kills and 159 digs for the boys volleyball team that captured the CCC Tournament championship.

With a 103.5 academic average, Hunter was R-J Scholar-Athlete of both teams. He was All-Conference in volleyball and also named to the inaugural All-Record-Journal Boys Volleyball Team.

Karolina Kurzatkowska, girls lacrosse: One of Southington’s senior co-captains, Karolina Kurzatkowska played defense and also scored five goals to help the Blue Knights reach the Class L state tournament.

She graduated in the top 15 percent of her class with a 103.7 academic average and will major in Mechanical Engineering in college.

Don’t be surprised if she goes global in her career. Fluent in Polish and Spanish as well as English, Kurzatkowska was a member of the Spanish Honor Society and recently passed the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages.

Along with playing lacrosse, Kurzatkowska ran indoor track and suited up in Powder Puff football.

“Karolina is one of the hardest-working players in the lacrosse program,” remarked coach Jillian Pomposi. “She is extremely committed to making herself and her teammates better players. One of the fastest girls on our team this year, we will miss having her next year both on and off the field.”

Chrissy Marotto, softball: Chrissy Marotto and her fellow Southington softball seniors went out as state champions, beating Norwich Free Academy 7-6 in the Class LL final.

The All-State shortstop was named Most Valuable Player of that title game and later shared the Record-Journal Softball Player of the Year award with teammate Abby Lamson.

Marotto batted .493 during the regular season and scored a team-high 30 runs while rapping out a team-high 34 hits. She went over 100 hits for her career.

Marotto graduated with a 101.1 average. She’ll continue playing at Endicott College.

Casey Selinske, boys outdoor track: This senior went out a state pole vault champion when he cleared 13 feet in the CIAC Class LL meet this spring.

That performance, combined with a third-place state finish during the winter season, made Casey Selinske All-Conference and All-Record-Journal in both the indoor and outdoor campaigns.

Selinske hit some solid academic heights, too, graduating with a 102.1 academic average.

Also busy off the track, Selinske served as vice president of the Class of 2019 throughout his Southington High career. He chaired the National Honor Society’s American Red Cross blood drive and volunteered at a local food pantry.

Selinske has coached kids — not only in track and field, but boxing. He was a three-time Southington High “Make My Day” award recipient. He received the Andrew Della Bitta Memorial Scholarship and a scholarship through the Burger King Scholars Program. 

Tyler Strong, baseball: Senior Tyler Strong makes one last appearance in the Scholar-Athlete spotlight. He was selected for cross country and returns in baseball with a 109.4 average that ranked him No. 9 in Southington’s Class of 2019.

Strong is heading to UConn to major in Mechanical Engineering. He’s contemplating playing for the school’s club baseball team.

“With the determination, character and abilities that Tyler has demonstrated throughout his high school career at SHS, I am confident that he will have a very rewarding and successful college experience,” said baseball coach Charlie Lembo. “It has been my pleasure to have Tyler participate in the Blue Knights baseball program the past four years.”