Two seniors from West Hartford’s Conard High School officially committed to playing college sports on Tuesday during the early signing period.
By Ronni Newton
Two members of the Conard High School Class of 2019 who have committed to participating in sports at the Division I level formalized their commitments Tuesday during the National Letter of Intent early signing period.
Jeffrey LaRosa and Kate Shaffer officially signed their letters at the ceremony on Tuesday, which was attended by families, friends, high school coaches, and teammates.
Shaffer will be playing lacrosse at the University of Connecticut, and LaRosa will play baseball at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
“Congratulations, you’ve both made us very proud,” said Conard Principal Julio Duarte. He thanked the coaches, and urged both athletes to thank their parents for supporting them in their goals of becoming college athletes.
Noting how many hours of practice went into achieving the chance to play Division I athletics, Duarte said, “I’m just in awe of your commitment.”
Athletic Director Jason Siegal said he echoed Duarte’s comments, and hopes to have a chance to see both play. “I’m so proud of you guys. You’re putting Conard on the map.”
Lacrosse coach Megan Cersosimo said that Shaffer is the “type of student-athlete you want on your team.”
She’s a four-year, three-sport athlete, and this year is captain of the soccer, indoor track, and lacrosse teams, said Cersosimo. Shaffer earned the top national honor in high school lacrosse when she was named a 2018 U.S.A. Lacrosse All-American.
“Her quickness sets her apart,” said Cersosimo, as well as her field vision. “She’s really dominant and she crushes everything set in front of her,” adding that she is proud that Shaffer will be playing at UConn – where she herself played and formerly coached.
Baseball coach Sanjay Rambhia said that LaRosa is a great athlete and a great baseball player.
“Jeff, you have been a model of how to bring passion to the game,” Rambhia said to LaRosa.
Rambhia said that LaRosa is great at working with other athletes, and will excel at the next level.
“I put him in a tough situation as a freshman, starting on the varsity team, and he handled it very well,” said Rambhia.
LaRosa has a 0.333 career batting average with 55 hits, and 17 extra base hits. “He has tremendous range and ability,” said Rambhia.
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