SOUTHINGTON — No question, Natalie Reeves checks all the Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete boxes.
She’s got the grades: a cumulative average of 110.91.
She’s got the athletic acumen: junior captain of Southington’s 2020 Class L and State Open championship team; senior captain and second in the all-around at the 2021 Central Connecticut Conference Championship.
And, according to her coach, she’s got the requisite character.
“Something a lot of people don’t know about Natalie is her passion for social justice and the environment,” noted Southington gymnastics coach Cassidy Chamberland. “She is always sticking up for what is right regardless of who is watching her, which has made her such a wonderful role model for the younger members on the team and all who know her.”
That circle is about to get wider. A lot wider: Reeves is heading to Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, where she’ll major in marine biology and compete in acrobatics and tumbling.
At Southington High, Reeves competed in track and cross country as well as gymnastics.
Academically, Reeves earned first honors throughout her SHS career. She was inducted into the National Honor Society and eventually became president of the Southington chapter.
Reeves is also a member of the World Language Honor Society and participates in Women in Science and Engineering.
“Natalie is a standout athlete and person,” Chamberland said. “Her success on the team is obvious, but the work she puts in behind the scenes is truly admirable both on and off the mat. She is dedicated to her academics, makes honor roll every quarter and also takes a leadership role as a woman in engineering.”
Reeves was one of four seniors
named Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes by their coaches at Southington High School for the 2021 winter season. Kelley Marshall and Rick Macioce were the selections in basketball, Brett Sheldrick the choice in swimming.
■Kelley Marshall, girls basketball: The senior center/forward returns to the Scholar-Athlete spotlight for a second straight season. While pulling down a team-high 8.2 rebounds, Marshall has also been pulling down a 104.35 academic average.
It will be strange not to see Marshall on the floor next season for the Blue Knights. She’s been a starter since her freshman season.
This winter, battling back from an injury, Marshall averaged 7.2 points and, as a senior captain, oversaw a team that went 11-3, won a share of the title in CCC Region B and reached the semifinals of the CCC’s Championship Bracket Tournament.
For a second year in a row, Marshall was named All-Conference.
“A student of the game, Kelley was like having a ‘coach on the floor’ during the last two seasons,” said head coach Howie Hewitt. “Her understanding of how the game of basketball should be played is a quality rarely observed in today’s players.”
An honor roll student throughout high school, Marshall is a member of the National Honor Society. She volunteers with Special Olympics, Southington Community Services and Peer Tutoring.
Marshall will pursue a degree in nursing in college.
“Kelley’s success in the classroom, her commitment to organizations outside of school and her basketball accomplishments epitomize the scholar-athlete award,” said Hewitt.
■Rick Macioce, boys basketball: A senior forward on coach John Cessario’s 4-6 squad, Rick Macioce earned his team’s Scholar-Athlete nomination with an academic average of 101.595.
He’s a member of the National Honor Society and participates in DECA.
Macioce averaged 5.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his final season of basketball. He scored a season-high 15 points in the CCC Bracket 3 quarterfinals against Manchester.
Next up is lacrosse, with Macioce and his teammates returning to the field after the lost spring of 2020.
“Great all-around kid and dedicated performer for our program and school for all four years of his high school tenure,” said basketball coach John Cessario.
■Brett Sheldrick, boys swimming: Coming over from his club swim program, first-year senior Brett Sheldrick made a very good Southington team even better in 2021.
The only swimmer to compete in every event this winter for the Blue Knights, Sheldrick won eight races in six different events and swam on 10 first-place relays as the Blue Knights went 6-1 in dual meets.
In the postseason, he was fourth overall in the 100 breaststroke and sixth in the 200 IM in the Central Connecticut Conference.
On the relays, swimming the breaststroke leg of the 200 medley, Sheldrick helped the Blue Knights finish third in the CCC. He also handled the leadoff leg on the 200 freestyle relay that placed seventh.
“His work ethic and desire to do what is right and what is best became immediately evident to us in the pool this year,” said coach Evan Tuttle. “Joining our program for the first time as a senior, Brett’s impact was immediate and profound. He established himself as one of the elite swimmers on the team and with the ability to excel in all events.
“He was a selfless teammate,” Tuttle added. “On multiple occasions throughout the season, when asked what he wished to swim, he would respond, ‘Whatever will help the team win.’ Through words and deeds, he has modeled what it means to be an exemplary student-athlete.”
Sheldrick will continue swimming at Division III Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., where he’ll major in computational and mathematical finance.
Sheldrick is carrying a 106.6 academic average. He’s a member of the National Honor Society, a 2019 Connecticut Scholar-Athlete, a Board of Education student representative and a member of Model United Nations.
“It has been a distinct honor to have coached and taught Mr. Sheldrick,” said Tuttle, who had him for U.S. history and AP United States government and politics. “Brett has shown that he can excel in both the academic and sports arena. His academic schedule is filled with the most advanced and rigorous courses that our curriculum calls for. Settling for the bare minimum, as many tend to do, is never a course of action that this young man pursues. He will go above and beyond to ensure that the time and energy he devotes to any and all tasks before him are done to the best of his ability.
“Brett does not pursue his studies for superficial surface details, but takes the time to search for deeper understanding, to ask questions, to be curious and to learn for the sake of learning.”