Schools Sports

Northwest Catholic Seniors Sign National Letters of Intent

From left: NWC seniors Cole Banning, Dolene Smith, John Staunton, and Brady Brennan sign National Letters of Intent. Courtesy photo

Four students from West Hartford’s Northwest Catholic High School recently signed National Letters of Intent to continue their sports at the college level.

Submitted by James Drzewiecki

Northwest Catholic celebrated four of their student-athletes earlier this month as they signed their National Letter of Intent to continue their athletic career in college.

The group of four included two lacrosse players, a girls soccer player, and a boys golfer.

John Staunton, a four-year varsity lacrosse player and captain, will go on to play for Assumption College.

Staunton is a two time all-state, a three-time all-conference lacrosse player, and football player. During his lacrosse career Staunton has had 209 goals and 87 assists.

“Assumption is gaining an exceptional player,” said Assistant Athletics Director Ernest Omar Wilson.

Brady Brennan, a four-year varsity lacrosse player and captain, will go on to play for UMass Lowell. Brennan is also a two time all-state, a three-time all-conference lacrosse player, and football player. Brennan has had 160 goals and 132 assists.

“You have truly left your mark,” said Wilson.

Dolene Smith, a four-year varsity girls soccer player and captain, will be heading to Iona University next fall. Her freshman year she had seven goals and 10 assists, sophomore year she had 15 goals and 12 assists, junior year she had 19 goals and 14 assists, and senior year she had 19 goals and eight assists. Smith was also all-conference her junior year.

“Dolene has been an integral part of our girls soccer program for four years,” Director of Athletics Ashley Mara said. “You have represented Northwest Catholic in the best way possible.”

Cole Banning, a varsity boys golf player and captain, will be hitting the fairways for Bryant University in 2024. Banning has played in over 100 tournaments. He has won the individual state championship for Northwest Catholic in 2022 and 2023. He has also won the CCC in 2022 and placed second in the New England Championship.

Outside of Northwest Catholic, Banning has American Junior Golf Association, a U.S. challenge cup in Rhode Island, and placed 11th in World Championships in 2021. He has qualified for both Massachusetts amateur and the New England amateur in 2023. He has also won many Hurricane Tour Tournaments.

“Cole Banning has been a true gift to watch play over the last two years at Northwest,” said Mara.

All athletes were joined by their families and teammates as they placed their signature on the dotted line.

“We are very proud of this group of students in their dedication and passion for their sport,” said Mara.  “All their hard work has paid off.”

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