FCIAC Exemplary Scholar-Athletes, Fall, 2023

Kyle Arante, Bridgeport Central

Kyle is a dedicated student who consistently earns First Honors and has achieved a 3.5 GPA being enrolled in six AP classes and college courses along with a multitude of honors classes.

He has been a fixture on the varsity soccer team since his freshman year.

Kyle is a member of the Central High Chess Club. He took the initiative to establish the Central High eSports Club, serving as its president and overseeing three competitive teams for different games, contributing to the club’s impressive growth to become one of the largest at Central.

Kyle plans on studying computer science at UConn.

Kayla Tomaski, Danbury

Kayla is a Distinguished Honor Student in the top five in her class with a GPA of 4.7344 taking primarily AP classes, and she also has the prestigious honor of being president of Danbury High’s National Honor Society.

She is the education and activities chair of her HOSA chapter and a member of the National Math Honor Society along with being a member of the Healthcare and BioScience Academy at her school.

Kayla is a senior captain for the field hockey team in her fourth year as a starter and a team leader during the following seasons for Danbury’s ski team and girls’ lacrosse team. She’s the fastest racer for the girls’ ski team and last spring in her first year of playing lacrosse she made the varsity team.

She is a member of Class Act, where she helps encourage sportsmanship in Danbury High School’s athletic program, lead captain meetings, and gives proper respect and appreciation to the officials during games and matches.

Manny Catarino, Danbury

In addition to being among the best soccer players in the state, Manny is a High Honor Roll student who has achieved a 4.26 GPA while taking all honors classes.

The three-year varsity player has been a team captain during his junior and senior years, and he was a very good player as an underclassman. Catarino was selected to the 2021 FCIAC All-West Team as a sophomore, and last year he was selected to the 2022 All-FCIAC First Team and 2022 Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association Class LL All-State Team. There were 24 players on that Class LL all-state team, 21 of them seniors, and Catarino was one of just three juniors on the team.

Elizabeth Gonnella, Darien

Elizabeth has earned a GPA of 4.15 while taking primarily AP and honors courses throughout high school.

She is a three-season varsity athlete, running cross country in the fall and indoor track in the winter, in addition to playing lacrosse in the spring.

Elizabeth has run cross country for all four years and last year during the 2022 fall season she was awarded the “Most Improved” runner award as a junior. She is an indoor track senior captain and qualified for the 2022-23 FCIAC Championships in 1,000-meter race, as well as the 2022-23 Class LL indoor track and field state championship meet.

In addition to playing for Sound Lacrosse and various select teams, Elizabeth has played lacrosse for four years at DHS, winning both FCIAC and State titles to cap an undefeated season in 2023.

Elizabeth is a member of National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, French National Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. She was also named a 2023 Commended Scholar by the National Merit Scholarship Organization. Additionally, Elizabeth is vice president of the DHS Tudor Singers and a New Wave Mentor, as well as an active volunteer for Feeding 500.

Elizabeth is verbally committed to play lacrosse at Princeton University.

Connor Lane, Darien

Connor, who is a four-year football player and lacrosse player, has maintained a 4.22 weighted GPA while taking primarily AP and honors classes.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Connor was the recipient of the Western Civilization and Trinity College Alumni Book Awards for his work in the classroom. Additionally, he attended the West Point Summer Leadership Experience where he received the Leadership and Ethics award.

The Darien Times selected Connor as its Player of the Game at the beginning of this fall season for his touchdown reception on fourth down which lifted the Blue Wave to a 21-14 home victory over Brien McMahon on Sept. 15.

Connor plays the trumpet in the Honors Wind Ensemble at Darien High School and is certified by the state as an EMT for Darien’s volunteer EMS service, Post 53.

Kate Martin, Fairfield Ludlowe

This senior team captain and four-year member of Ludlowe’s girls’ varsity soccer team is a High Honors scholar who has achieved a 4.5 weighted GPA and 4.15 unweighted GPA taking multiple AP and honors level classes.

Kate led the Falcons in goals scored last year as a junior and was selected to the 2022 All-FCIAC Girls Soccer First Team and the 2022 Connecticut Girls Soccer Coaches Association Class LL All-State team, one year after she led Ludlowe in assists as a sophomore and made the All-FCIAC Second Team. She placed seventh in the 400-meter run (1:00:57) at the 2023 CIAC Girls Outdoor Track and Field Championships this past spring.

Kate is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), and Spanish Honor Society, and a recipient of the RIT Women in STEM Book Award. Kate is also a member of Full Court Peace and Junior State of America clubs. She volunteers with Scholars and Athletes Serving Others, Food Rescue U.S., and by tutoring peers after school, and was a Ludlowe Leader and Special Education PE volunteer.

Kate excels as a photographer, having had her photos exhibited in the Sacred Heart University Art Show, and was a winner of the 2023 “We the Place” competition hosted by the School of Visual Arts.

She plans to play soccer in college and major in a STEM-related field.

Colton Baker, Fairfield Ludlowe

Colton has taken four AP classes and mostly honors classes throughout his high school career and has achieved a weighted GPA of 4.39 on a 4.0 scale.

This three-season distance runner has run for the boys’ varsity cross country team since his sophomore year, he’s a team captain during this senior year, and he’ll also be a three-year member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams during the upcoming winter and spring seasons.

Colton was accepted to the National Honor Society during his senior year and last year he received the Suffolk Junior Book Award. He has been a part of the engineering club for all four years, and he became an officer as a senior. He is also a staff member of the Prospect (FLHS newspaper) since his junior year.

Colton has also volunteered over 30 hours at the Pequot Library.

Molly Coyne, Fairfield Warde

Molly is a High Honor Roll student who has earned an unweighted GPA of 3.73 while taking all honors and AP classes and she is part of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and Italian Honor Society.

This versatile multi-sport athlete is co-captain of the girls’ soccer team, a member the ski team, and the outdoor track and field team.

Molly has volunteered for services such as Appalachian Service Project, Key Club, and is part of Best Buddies’ Club.

She plans on playing for the women’s soccer team at Carnegie Mellon next fall.

Phoebe Marsick, Fairfield Warde

Phoebe is a High Honors Scholar who has earned a 4.5 GPA while taking AP and honors classes.

She is one of the captains of the girls’ varsity soccer team, a four-year varsity starting player, and has been selected to the All-FCIAC Girls Soccer First Team during both her sophomore and junior years.

Phoebe was also awarded Spring 2023 All-FCIAC Girls Outdoor Track and Field. Last year she was a member of the sprint medley relay and 4×100 relay teams which set school records.

Phoebe is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the English, Spanish, and Math Honor Societies. She has a Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish.

She is a co-leader of both the Unity Coalition and Warde Voices for Equity. Phoebe also volunteers at Nourish Bridgeport and on local campaigns.

Phoebe will be playing soccer next year for the Tufts Women’s Soccer Team.

Esme Daplyn, Greenwich

Esme, one of the best distance runners in the state the last few years, is a National Honor Society member who also belongs to Greenwich’s Spanish, Social Studies, and Math honor societies.

She has achieved a 5.1 weighted GPA and won the AP Scholar Award, and AP Scholar Award with Distinction the past two years. She is a recipient of the Harvard College Junior Book Award, Social Science Historical Research Award (2021, 2022), and several more academic achievement awards.

Esme is a volunteer Sunday School teacher at Stanwich Congregational Church, and she founded the Heart and Sole Club, which raised money for UNICEF Ukraine through fundraising runs.

She has run all three seasons since her freshman year on the varsity cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams and has been a team captain for all three of those teams. Esme is an All-American and has been selected to many All-New England and all-state teams. On Halloween afternoon this fall, Esme won the 5-kilometer race by 12 seconds with a time of 18:53 to help lead Greenwich to the state Class LL team championship and six days later she placed 10th (19:06) on the same Wickham Park course at the State Open to help the Cardinals add on that team title for a Triple Crown year as they had first won the FCIAC championship.

Esme has committed to Dartmouth College to run for its Division I cross country and track and field teams.

Owen Duda, Greenwich

This senior co-captain of the boys’ golf team is a National Honor Society member who has made High Honor Roll all four years en route to achieving his 4.7 GPA.

Owen has been on the varsity golf team all four years and he played a vital role toward helping the Cardinals win FCIAC and state championships and finish unbeaten last fall. Owen had a very good round when he shot a 73 to tie for seventh place at the 2022 CIAC Division I Boys Golf Championships and that helped the Cardinals cop their state title as they had a team score of 297 which nipped runner-up Farmington by one stroke.

He has been a past recipient of the team MVP award as well as having been selected to FCIAC All-West and all-state teams. Owen and his teammate, Emmett Graham, teamed up to win the 2023 Chappa Invitational Golf Tournament in early October when they fired an 8-under-par 61 at Longshore Golf Course in Westport to tie the tournament record. They carded a 5-under-par 29 on the front nine to break the nine-hole school record.

Owen volunteers for the Boys and Girls Club, Coffee for Good, and Neighbor to Neighbor.

Caroline McClung, Brien McMahon

Caroline is a National Merit Scholarship Commended AP and IB High Honor Roll student with a 4.56 weighted GPA at the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon. At CGS, she has received the Wellesley Book Award, Japanese Excellence Award, and Math Excellence Award (twice).

She is co-captain of the girls varsity volleyball team and a four-year varsity tennis player. Caroline has received All-FCIAC Honorable Mention in both sports, as well as Athlete of the Week for Tennis, and the All-Tournament Team Award in volleyball two years in a row.

Caroline is a CGS National Honor Society member, a CGS Ambassador, co-vice president of CGS, and co-president of the BMHS/CGS Coding Club.

She volunteers for the Norwalk Parks and Recreation Youth Volleyball Program.

Additionally, Caroline’s extensive STEM résumé includes a Lockheed Martin CyberQuest internship, plus summer program scholarships at the U.S. Military and Naval Academies, MIT, and Yale.

Eamon Boyle, Brien McMahon

This National Honor Society member is a High Honor student who has achieved a cumulative weighted GPA of 4.395 and an unweighted GPA of 3.88 while taking AP and honors classes during his underclassman years and an IB Diploma Candidate as an upperclassman.

Eamon has been a football player for all four years and is a four-year starter and captain of the boys’ lacrosse team.

Eamon is the president of the Junior Rowayton Civic Association, a Junior Student Government officer, volunteers for the Norwalk Junior Lacrosse program, and while not on the field is one of the student section leaders.

Kate Paradise, Norwalk

This National Honor Society member has taken nine college level classes during her high school career and achieved a 4.0 unweighted GPA and a 4.57 weighted GPA.

Kate plays club field hockey all year through CEFH, working with a goalie coach multiple times a week, and she is the starting goalie for Norwalk’s varsity field hockey team for the 2023-24 fall season.

She was a recipient of the Yale Club of Darien/Norwalk Book Award and the AP Scholar Award for her junior year.

Kate also has volunteered at Norwalk’s youth league program for the past four years, as well as other summer field hockey camps. She also coaches field hockey to middle school players in the offseason.

Kate hopes to play field hockey at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Joe Gerardi, Norwalk

This High Honor Roll senior has a 4.0 GPA while taking honors and AP classes.

Joseph has been with the boys’ soccer program all four years, the last two as a member of the varsity team, and during the 2023-24 winter sports season he’ll be a four-year member of the boys’ basketball program who has been a varsity player since his sophomore year.

He has been nominated for Eastman Young Leader Award and Student Athlete Award as a junior.

Joseph was also nominated for the B House Leadership Award as a freshman.

Abigail Seal, Ridgefield

Abby is a senior captain and four-year member for Ridgefield’s varsity field hockey team.

She has been on the High Honor Roll list each marking quarter and has obtained a weighted GPA of 4.56 taking almost all honors and/or AP courses.

Abby is president of her class and has been involved in student government all four years of high school. She received Citizen Scholar Book Award from the University of Vermont.

Abby is also president of the Executive Board of Safe Rides Ridgefield and president of the Junior Board of Molly Ann Tango Foundation.

Vincent Carr, Ridgefield

Vincent is a member of the National Honor Society who has achieved a 4.3 weighted GPA while taking many AP and honors classes.

He is a four-year varsity player on the boys’ golf team who was selected team captain for his senior year. He began his high school golf career by having a successful freshman season which earned him the Rookie of the Year Award.

Vincent is an officer of the Save the Children Club at Ridgefield High School. Outside of RHS, Vincent volunteers as a golf instructor with the First Tee of Connecticut.

Maggie Wetmore, St. Joseph

Maggie has a GPA of 101.2 and is a President’s Honor Roll student while taking mostly AP and honors classes.

She has been a member of the girls’ volleyball and girls’ basketball program for all four years, she’s a team captain for volleyball, and she earned All-FCIAC Honorable Mention as a sophomore.

Maggie is the senior class president of Student Council, she’s a member of student ambassadors and peer ministry, she is also a writing center tutor and on the National Honor Society executive board.

Matthew Krekoska, St. Joseph

This National Honor Society member has been on the President’s Honor Roll every quarter of his high school career and Matt is also a member of the Math, English, and Spanish honor societies.

He has been a distance runner for all three seasons for the boys’ cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field teams since his sophomore year and this year he is a team captain for both the cross country and indoor track teams.

Matt received the University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Science Award during his junior year.

He is part of the debate, jeopardy, and ping pong clubs at school. Matt also volunteers for programs, organizations, and events at his church and at St. Joseph High School.

Peyton Sweeney, Stamford

This National Honor Society member is a High Honor Roll student who is ranked 14th in her class of 447 students and she has an unweighted GPA of 3.97 while taking multiple AP, Dual Enrollment, and IB classes.

Two years ago, when she was a sophomore, Peyton was a team captain for both the junior varsity field hockey and girls’ lacrosse teams. She has been a member of the field hockey program all four years and she’ll also be a four-year member of the lacrosse program this spring.

Peyton is vice president of the Bnai’ Brith Youth Organization in Stamford. She is also a member of the Cancer Awareness Club, Red Cross Club, Friendly Faces, and Jewish Heritage club and currently volunteers for Unified Sports.

Avi Shapiro, Stamford

This National Honor Society member is an Honors with Distinction student who is holding a 3.99 unweighted GPA while taking AP and honors courses.

Avi has been an integral member of the boys’ soccer team for the entirety of his Stamford High School career. His passion for sports extends beyond being an athlete, as he has greatly enjoyed volunteering with Unified Sports, the Stamford Youth Soccer League, and as a volunteer coach for the Stamford Peace basketball league.

Avi also partnered with Mrs. Bloom’s to distribute flowers to walk participants and cancer survivors at the Bennett Cancer Center Walk.

Jocelyn Kessler, Staples

This senior with an unweighted GPA of 3.90 has been a First Honors student every quarter since entering high school.

Jocelyn has been a member of the girls swimming and diving team all four years and elected a team captain for the 2023 season – a particularly impressive accomplishment having only started to swim competitively as a freshman.

She competed in the FCIAC Girls Swimming and Diving Championships during the 2020 and ’22 seasons and has been a member of the girls’ water polo team.

Jocelyn is also an accomplished artist with her works having been shown at MoCA Westport, and using her graphic design skills founded an online ecommerce business where she designs, prints, and sells social justice-themed labels and stickers and donates all profits to relevant charities.

Derek Wolgast, Staples

Derek has a 4.0 GPA while taking many AP and honors classes. He has achieved First Honors every quarter in middle school and high school.

Playing sports year-round, Derek is a three-sport varsity athlete on the Staples football, ice hockey, and outdoor track and field teams. He also played on the Staples freshman baseball team.

Derek is a member of the Math National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta. He is involved in clubs and activities, including the Sikorsky STEM Challenge.

Erin Foley, Trumbull

Erin has maintained a 4.4 weighted GPA while taking AP and honors classes, and she participates in the National English Honor Society.

She is a three-sport varsity athlete playing field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse for four years. Erin has been named captain of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams. She received FCIAC Honorable Mention last winter in basketball as a junior.

Erin volunteers her time coaching youth basketball and field hockey in the summer.

Kyle Helminger, Trumbull

Kyle is a senior with a 4.6 GPA who has completed 18 total classes across the honors, AP, and Dual-Enrollment levels.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and Math National Honor Society, he is the senior class treasurer, chief executive officer of the Yearbook Club, and a co-leader of Trumbull High School’s Class Act Council.

Kyle is a right fullback who helped Trumbull win one FCIAC boys soccer championship. He’s versatile enough to also fill in at winger or forward when necessary, and he has scored six goals and contributed 12 assists while playing for the Eagles.

In the future he hopes to pursue a career in business or finance.

William Sneed, Westhill

Will has a 5.0043 weighted GPA, primarily enrolling in AP courses.

He has dedicated more than 10 years to club soccer and this fall season he’s a senior co-captain for Westhill’s boys’ soccer team.

Will is an active member of the National Honor Society and a recipient of the Yale Book Award.

He has a strong commitment to community service, exemplified by his summer internship as a Bank of America Student Leader.

Will plans to pursue a career in finance and currently serves as the Westhill chapter president of the Future Business Leaders of America.

Maddie Phelan, Wilton

Maddie is a High Honor Roll student who has achieved an unweighted GPA of 3.91 while taking predominantly honors and AP classes.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society and has won the Congressional Award silver medal.

This versatile three-sport athlete is a cross country runner in the fall and basketball player in the winter for Wilton High School’s Warriors, and in the spring she’s a member of the girls’ lacrosse team which was nationally ranked by US Lacrosse Magazine.

Maddie is a member of Student Government, Morgan’s Message club, the Bronx Lacrosse club and Buon Amino (program to mentor new students). She also volunteers for Wilton SafeRides, Feeding 500/the Open Doors Shelter, she’s a volunteer assistant coach for the Wilton Youth Lacrosse 8th-grade team, and Maddie is certified junior referee for USA Lacrosse.

Maddie will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and she will play lacrosse for RPI.

Arjun Patel, Wilton

This senior has achieved a 4.0 unweighted GPA while taking honors and AP classes to earn an AP Scholar with Distinction and he is the expected valedictorian of his graduating class of 2024.

Arjun is a three-season runner for the cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track teams and is currently a team captain.

He is also involved in scouting (having earned Eagle Scout), Math Team, research in computer science at UConn, and Competitive Programming.

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