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West Hartford Students Celebrated as CIAC Scholar-Athletes

From left: Conard seniors Sam Morgan and Gwen Geisler, and Hall students Cammie Cho and Patrick Cassidy were honored as CIAC Scholar-Athletes at a banquet at the Aqua Turf on May 7. Photo credit: Linda Geisler

Two students each from West Hartford’s Conard and Hall were among the 354 scholar-athletes honored at the 34th Annual CAS-CIAC Scholar-Athlete Banquet.

By Ronni Newton

Four West Hartford Public Schools seniors were honored Sunday night as the town’s high school scholar-athletes.

Conard students Gwen Geisler and Sam Morgan, and Hall students Cammie Cho and Patrick Cassidy, are this year’s recipients of the CIAC Scholar-Athlete Awards and were honored Sunday, May 7, at the annual banquet at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. All four are three-sport athletes.

At Conard, Geisler is a cross country, indoor track, and lacrosse athlete.

Morgan participates in cross country, indoor track, and tennis.

Hall’s Cho is a soccer, indoor track, and lacrosse athlete.

Cassidy’s sports are soccer, indoor track, and outdoor track.

The honorees are chosen by the member schools, and West Hartford Athletic Director Jason Siegal said that the competition was very stiff this year.

“These four stood out for their total involvement in multiple seasons, and the academic grades they achieved,” he said. To be able to balance athletic achievement with challenging coursework and achieve at a high level in everything is very difficult and these students who were chosen really stood out.

“They have done a great job and are model students,” Siegal said. “They set the bar high for next year.”

According to the CIAC, the scholar-athlete awards is the largest of the honors programs the organization hosts each year. The awards are given to two students, a girl and boy, at each member high school “whose academic and athletic careers have been exemplary, whose personal standards and achievement are a model to others, and who possess high levels of integrity, self-discipline and courage.”

The banquet was attended by more than 1,700 people including students, family members, administrators, and coaches. Dr. Jennifer Monti, a former state basketball player of the year from Ellington High School, who is now a cardiologist in Portland, ME, delivered the keynote address. Bob Picozzi, an anchor with ESPN, served as emcee.

Also at the banquet, Simsbury High School senior Danny Dietz, a football and lacrosse player who made headlines after receiving a heart transplant in 2015, received the Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award.

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