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West Hartford Residents Among KO Seniors Committing to College Sports

Andrew Lemkuil signs his letter to play football at Dartmouth College. Photo credit: Michelle Murphy

Kingswood Oxford seniors, including two from West Hartford, announced plans to continue their athletic careers at the college level during a ceremony on Feb. 4.

Andrew Lemkuil (front, center) is surrounded by his family at the signing ceremony at Kingswood Oxford on Feb. 4. Photo courtey of the Lemkuil family

Andrew Lemkuil (front, center) is surrounded by his family at the signing ceremony at Kingswood Oxford on Feb. 4. Photo courtey of the Lemkuil family

Submitted by Michelle M. Murphy, Kingswood Oxford School

Eleven outstanding athletes from Kingswood Oxford’s Class of ’16 – including four who signed National Letters of Intent to play at D1 or D1A schools – celebrated their plans to compete in college athletics during a standing-room-only ceremony in Alumni Hall on Feb. 4.

“This is an exciting moment in your lives, and you should be very proud of yourselves,” said Athletic Director Debbie Baer Fiske, the starting point guard at UConn from 1989-92. “You do not get to this position without a lot of sacrifice, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, a lot of pushing yourselves to do the next hard thing.”

“I am so very proud of all of you,” said Head of School Dennis Bisgaard. “In addition to being outstanding athletes, you are also actors, leaders, volunteers, and excellent students. You represent the very best of KO.”

These 11 seniors are in addition to Holden White, who in November 2015 signed an NLI to play baseball at Wake Forest.

The college-bound student-athletes from West Hartford are:

Andrew Lemkuil ’16, Dartmouth College, Football

Andrew Lemkuil signs his letter to play football at Dartmouth College. Photo credit: Michelle Murphy

Andrew Lemkuil signs his letter to play football at Dartmouth College. Photo credit: Michelle Murphy

  • Son of David and Susan Lemkuil of West Hartford
  • Captain and starting linebacker; All-FAA and All-New England as a senior; 2015 Barnes Service Award (along with twin brother Austin) from the WALKS Foundation; Team Tobati
  • “Andrew has a mental toughness that can’t be matched. He plays with grit on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Andrew is one of the best pure open field tacklers I’ve ever coached. He is dependable, reliable, and faithful. He is a team guy who played the game with confidence and tenacity.” – Coach Jason Martinez

Brittany Schwartz ’16, Union College, Soccer

Brittany Schwartz of West Hartford (center) with her parents at the signing celebration. Photo credit: Michelle Murphy

Brittany Schwartz of West Hartford (center) with her parents at the signing celebration. Photo credit: Michelle Murphy

  • Daughter of Lesli and Scott Schwartz ‘76 of West Hartford
  • Sophomore transfer; injuries in sophomore and senior years restricted play; Honor Roll; yearbook junior editor, photo contributor toKO News
  • “Brittany has much to offer as a talented young woman with great academic promise. She has become a proactive learner and self-advocate … who values the importance of relationships in her personal development. She will be a wonderful member of any community she joins and a favorite among her peers.” – College Advisor Mark Conklin

Other KO students who plan to play college sports are:

11 seniors from Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford celebrated their plans to play college athletics. Photo credit: Michelle Murphy

11 seniors from Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford celebrated their plans to play college athletics. Photo credit: Michelle Murphy

Marissa Aniolowski ’16, Seton Hall University, Soccer

  • Daughter of Rich Aniolowski and Karen Weseliza of Enfield
  • Captain as a senior; All-WWNEPSSA and All-State as a junior and senior; honor roll; Shield & Dragon tour guide
  • “Marissa has been the heart and soul of KO girls’ varsity soccer for the past 4 years. The growth she personally made as a player and leader enabled the team to experience back-to-back 10-win seasons. Her personality, combined with her passion for the game and improved work ethic, should put her in a position to find continued success at the collegiate level.” – Coach Tracy Deeter

Jared Bolden ’16, Pace University, Football

  • Son of Shawn and Tammi Jackson-Bolden of Windsor
  • Wide receiver; played JV until this year; volunteers with Team Tobati and Town of Windsor summer camp
  • “Jared’s hard work in the off-season really paid off this year, and as a result he became one of the top receivers in our league and played an instrumental role in our offense. We could count on Jared in big moments, and he loved to compete. Respected by his peers, Jared is dependable, accountable, and enthusiastic. His warm and caring demeanor made him a very enjoyable young man to coach.” – Coach Jason Martinez

Nye Deskus ’16, Bowdoin College, Football

  • Son of Christopher and Janice Deskus of Willington
  • Captain as a senior; cornerback; All-FAA as a senior; honor roll; Shield & Dragon tour guide; Team Tobati
  • “Nye is one of the hardest-working young men I have ever coached. What he lacked in size he made up for with heart. His determination to make a play for his team was evident as he gave his heart and soul to each and every play. Nye plays football the way football is meant to be played — tough and physical. And, he’s just as strong mentally; he always had the right mindset, regardless of the situation. Our team gained inspiration from Nye when we needed it most. He was a great leader who encouraged his teammates the right way.” – Coach Jason Martinez

Jacob Hallenbeck ’16, Marist College, Football

  • Son of Kurt and Tina Hallenbeck of West Simsbury
  • Transferred in as a junior; Captain and starting quarterback; All-FAA and All-New England as a senior; Team Tobati; manages Girls’ Tennis team
  • “As our starting quarterback for the past two seasons, Jacob’s contributions to our team were immeasurable. He was a great leader with a big-time arm who worked extremely hard at his craft, and his ability to make a play when we needed it most was a special thing to watch. His selfless attitude and decision-making skills put our program in the position to be successful. Jacob has a true passion for his position, and he’s a proven winner!” – Coach Jason Martinez 

Ryan Nesbit ’16, Nichols College, Baseball

  • Son of Jon and Holly Nesbit of Manchester
  • Four-year Varsity pitcher and first baseman; co-captain as a senior; last year, had team’s second-highest batting average (.419) and second in total RBIs (15); pitched in 6 games, 2 saves, 2.17 ERA; plays Varsity Basketball
  • “Ryan is the hardest worker and most respected player on the team. He will be counted on for leadership this season.” — Coach Steve Cannata; “His humble and compassionate nature have made him a favorite among the students and faculty, and he will graduate leaving a difficult hole to fill.” – College Advisor Mark Conklin

Allie Perron ’16,  Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Tennis

  • Daughter of Keith and Leanne Perron of Hebron
  • Co-Captain as a sophomore, junior, senior; ranked #8 in CT and #24 in New England by tennisrecruiting.net; Most Improved as freshman; co-MVP as sophomore and junior; Honor Roll; Habitat for Humanity
  • “We’ve had no player who hates to lose more than Allie. I love how much she cares and how hard she fights. When we have young players on the team we literally say to them ‘What would Allie do?’ I want all of our players to compete like Allie. She’s the toughest player we have.” – Coach Ron Garcia

Koby Quansah ‘16, Duke University, Football

  • Son of Naana Boakye of Manchester
  • Captain as junior and senior; All-New England, All-FAA;only CT player chosen for Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl; USA Today All-CT team; honored at the Walter Camp Foundation “Breakfast of Champions;” Boys’ Varsity Basketball Manager; Track & Field
  • “Koby has been the backbone of our program for the past 4 years. He realized early in life that it’s character, not football, that defines you as a person, and he never swayed from that belief. He is a fantastic role model and consummate leader who would never demand something from his teammates that he wouldn’t demand from himself. Koby has left his footprint on the KO campus and on the hearts of his teammates, coaches, and the entire Wyvern community!” – Coach Jason Martinez

Jack Wolf ‘16, Wesleyan University, Soccer

  • Son of Jennifer and John Wolf of Wethersfield
  • Co-Captain in junior and senior years; MVP as senior; All State, All New England as a senior(1st KO boy named All New England since 1972; third in school history); NEPSAC All-Star; the WNEPSSA Select and All-Star teams; Martin-Nicholson scholar; Cum Laude honor society; Swim team; Shield & Dragon; Prefect, Crimson 7; VP of Form 6
  • “The MW Jacobus award (MVP) is given to “a soccer letterman who has distinguished himself all through the season in the skills of the game, qualities of leadership, and in dedication to the play of the team. This is so very appropriate to his contributions to KO soccer during his four years and especially during this season.” – Coach Peter Jones

Isaiah Wright ’16, Temple University, Football

  • Son of Nina Wright and Randy Smith of Waterbury
  • Co-captain; All-New England, All-FAA, led NEPSAC in scoring; NEPSAC Player of the Year (featured in Boston Globe); USA Today’s All-CT Team and Top Offensive Player in the state; Varsity Basketball; Team Tobati
  • “I’ve never coached a player who had a nose for the end zone like Isaiah.  Every time he touched the ball sometime exciting happened. But in addition to his tremendous football talent, Isaiah is an even better person. He cares about his teammates and was very instrumental in developing our young players; during practice, I would often look over and see him helping his teammates and assisting with skill development.  His desire to help others is heartfelt and appreciated.” – Coach Jason Martinez

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