Nine seniors from West Hartford’s Conard High School finalized their commitments on Monday, April 18, 2016.
By Ronni Newton
Conard senior Kylie Bell signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her swimming career at Division II Merrimack College, and eight other members of the Conard class of 2016 formalized their intent to continue their sports careers at the Division III collegiate level during a ceremony with families, friends, coaches, Principal Julio Duarte, and West Hartford Athletic Director Betty-Remigino Knapp on Monday afternoon.
Conard swimming and diving coach John Smachetti provided some highlight’s of Bell’s swimming career, including that she has qualified for states all four years and has also earned All-Academic status in the CCC every year.
Matt Morales, an All-Conference and All-Academic volleyball player will continue his sport at North Central College in Illinois.
Patrick Corcoran will play goalie for the Lesley University soccer team next fall. “The most important thing about this young man is that he approaches everything with 100 percent effort,” Conard head soccer coach Adam Linker said at Monday’s ceremony.
Conard head girls basketball coach Colleen Duggan joined three of the seniors from this year’s team at Monday’s ceremony. Another senior, Dezyree Morales, signed a Letter of Intent two weeks ago to continue her career at Colby Community College.
Nicole Kradas, a two-year All-Conference basketball player at Conard, will continue to play basetketball at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Twins Jessica Lohneiss and Jordan Lohneiss, three-year varsity players at Conard, will remain teammates for the next four years as members of the girls basketball team at Mitchell College.
Head football coach Matt Cersosimo also joined several of his players at the ceremony.
Phil Simplicio, a two-year starter and one of the captains this year, will play football at Bates College. “He’s a fantastic person which is one of the reasons for his success on the field,” Cersosimo said.
Nate Richam, a three-year varsity player and captain who earned All-State and All-Conference honors at Conard this year, will play football at Bowdoin College. “He’s a tremendous young man who can do anything he wants with his life,” Cersosimo said. Richam was recently named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.
“The sky’s the limit; the best football days are in front of them,” said Cersosimo.
Tyler Grainger, one of the captains of this year’s boys lacrosse team and an All-Conference and All-Academic honoree, will play lacrosse for Western New England University.
Football player Byron Jones also plans to play in college, at Western New England University, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
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