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TRUE HEROES OF THE GAME
Michael Caminear – 2015 WINNER
Branford High School
Michael Caminear of Branford High School is currently a senior two-sport captain for both varsity soccer and lacrosse. Michael has been a member of the soccer team since his freshman year and wrapped up his senior season by becoming 2014 Class M State Co-Champions with the help of his fellow teammates. Along with the State Championship title, Michael received All-SCC Oronoque honors for his performance as a sweeper. Michael currently plays as an attack for the lacrosse team and hopes to take his team to the state tournament.
Michael has not only been a strong leader on the field, but also in the classroom. Carrying a 4.20 GPA, Michael is a member of three academic honor societies at Branford High School, including the National Honor Society, the World Language National Honor Society, and the Science National Honor Society. Along with his studies, Michael plays the saxophone for the school band, is President of the Class of 2015, is a peer mentor, and is President of BHS Model Congress.
Outside the classroom and off the field, Michael is an avid member of the Branford community by working as a Student Representative for both the Branford Board of Education and the Connecticut State Board of Education. On his free time, he coaches youth soccer and lacrosse and volunteers at the Branford Community Dining Hall.
Following his four years at Branford High School, Michael will be attending Middlebury College as a chemistry major.
Congratulations to Michael as he continues to do great things both on and off the field. Climb the Mountain!
Trinity Benson – 2015 WINNER
Lewisville High School
Trinity Benson of Lewisville High School in Texas, is a scholar athlete who has demonstrated superb leadership skills in multiple positions, he is a team player that works well with others and is able to balance school, sports and extracurricular activities in his everyday life. Trinity made first team All-district as a junior. He holds a 3.6 GPA in his class so that shows you that Trinity works his mind very hard to achieve success. By going to different schools mentoring the future Lewisville Fighting Farmers, Trinity has shown commitment, hard work, dedication and passion towards academics, and the community. He has took part in the walk for Relay for Life in honor of his aunts. Trinity volunteers his services at Lewisville Special Olympics, he has won student of the month 4 times throughout his high school career. Trinity is also part of the student council. One of the most important things this year, 2014, he was nominated and selected to play in the Blue/Grey All American Bowl which is being played at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium. Trinity has been recognized as a top scholar athlete from his current coach Greg Miller at Lewisville, Texas. He has many colleges that are interested with him becoming a part of their 2015 roster.
Congratulations to Trinity as he continues to do great things both on and off the field. Climb the mountain!
Corinne Palmer– 2015 WINNER
East Haven High School
Corinne Palmer of East Haven High School, is currently a senior and has played volleyball for four years, and tennis for three years. Corinne has been a member of the varsity volleyball team since her sophomore year working her way to a starting position in her Junior year. This year she was named the sole Captain of the team and led the team to win the Oronoque Division and reach quarterfinals in States. Corinne was also named an All-Oronoque Division player, and was named the MVP of her team.
Corinne is not only a strong leader on the court, but also in the school and community. She is the President of her senior class, a SADD leader, an active member of Pep Club and Multicultural Club. Corinne received high honors all throughout high school and is a member of the National Honor Society. Her junior year she began interning in the classroom mentoring 3 and 4 year old children, aspiring to become a teacher. This year Corinne is interning at a local Elementary School working with Special Education children.
Corinne's future plans will be to attend Lasell College, and major in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.
Congratulations to Corinne as she continues to do great things both on and off the court. Climb the Mountain!
Alexis Pavone – 2015 WINNER
Shelton High School
Alexis Pavone, of Shelton High School, has been a member of the Varsity cheer team for past 4 years. She is one of the current captains of this year’s team. Alexis has been selected as part of the All SCC team for the past 3 years and the All-State team for the past 2 years. This past February, Alexis was also selected as the All SCC Cheerleader of the Year for 2015. She is very talented and dedicated when it comes to performing, and it shows every time she takes the mat.
Over the past 4 years, Alexis, along with her teammates, have earned 3 state championship titles and 4 SCC championship titles. This year, Alexis and her team have been selected as the CHCSA CT Cheer Team of the Year, an honor only one team in the state of CT receives. She is not only an active member of the varsity cheer team, but Alexis is also part of the Shelton Unified Team and works closely with special needs children on this team. Alexis has also been part of several community service activities such volunteering time Camp Rising Sun , helping out with her town youth cheer program, and also running youth cheer camps over the summer to help the younger cheerleaders improve and learn new skills. She is very committed to what she does and also to her studies. Alexis is also part of the Italian National Honors Society.
Congratulations to Alexis as she continues to do great things both on and off the field. Climb the Mountain!
JENNA GAUDIOSO – 2014 WINNER
EAST HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL
Jenna Gaudioso of East Haven High School is a two sport student athlete and captain of the girls varsity Basketball and Softball teams. Jenna is one of the best all-around student athletes to ever attend East Haven High School.
Jenna was selected to the All Oronoque team in Basketball and Softball. Jenna was a three year starter for both teams where she played in the state championship game and senior all-star game for Softball.
In the classroom, Jenna is ranked #23 out of 208 students in her senior class with a grade point average of 3.94. Jenna was recognized as the one of the state’s top scholar-athletes at the 2014 Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Scholar-Athlete Banquet.
Jenna Gaudioso is the CT State Health Occupations Students of America President for 2013-2014 and has been an active HOSA member since her sophomore year. Her ultimate goal is to be a neonatal intensive care unit nurse.
MICHAEL DEMARCO – 2014 WINNER
EAST HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL
Michael DeMarco of East Haven High School is a three sport student athlete and captain of the boys varsity Football, Wrestling, and Outdoor Track teams. Michael is a leader both on the field and in the classroom.
Michael was selected to the All Southern Connecticut Conference team in Football and was All Southern Connecticut Conference Runner Up for Wrestling. For the month of October, Michael was named SportsCenterof Connecticut SCC Scholar Athlete. This honor showed his commitment to both athletics and academic excellence.
In the classroom, Michael is ranked #8 out of 200 students in his senior class, he maintained a grade point average of 4.38. Michael was recognized as the one of the state’s topscholar-athletesat the 2014 Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Scholar-Athlete Banquet.
KATHLEEN KALBIAN – 2013 WINNER
CHESHIRE HIGH SCHOOL (CT)
Kathleen Kalbian of Cheshire High School is a three-sport captain of the Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Lacrosse teams. She was selected to the New Haven Register’s All-Area team for all three sports. She has also been selected to the All-Housatonic, All-SCC, and All-State teams throughout her four years.
Additionally, Kathleen is a member of the English, Science, and National Honor Societies and maintains a weighted 4.088 GPA. Kathleen was an SCC Scholar Athlete and Meriden Record Journal Scholar Athlete in the fall of 2012. She is also a class of 2013 Senator and an active member of the Superintendent’s Luncheon Group, which meets once a month to discuss school issues and solutions. Kathleen is involved in a number of community service and leadership groups. She has been a volunteer at Relay for Life, the Mark Jardim Memorial Jog, and Cheshire Arts Day for a number of years.
Kathleen will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey in the fall of 2013. She will be playing lacrosse and running cross-country at Stevens as well.
LUKE PEPPER – 2013 WINNER
WOLCOTT TECH HIGH SCHOOL
Luke Pepper of Wolcott Tech High School is captain of the Boy’s Varsity Volleyball Team. He is a standout player, recently notching 36 assists, one ace, six digs and three kills in one of his latest games. He is currently a senior, leading the team both on and off the court.
Luke is also President of the National Honor Society, Vice President of the Student Council, a member of student government, a member of the prom committee, a senior mentor, electrical shop representative, a member of the captain’s council and a scholar athlete. He also spends many hours giving back to his school by volunteering at community events, managing the girls’ volleyball team and operating the sound system.
Luke, who has been inflicted with Cystic Fibrosis, has been fundraising for the illness for the past 12 years and it is his goal to assist in finding a cure for himself and the other 30,000 people who suffer from this genetic condition. Throughout the years, Luke has coordinated can drives, car washes, coin collections, faculty basketball games, dodge ball tournaments, concession stand, walks for a cure, letter writing campaigns, and community education events to make people aware of Cystic Fibrosis in order to raise funds for the foundation. He has had the opportunity to speak at schools and local civic groups to educate them about the urgency of finding a cure for this terminal disease. Sharing his story through essays and written letters has been a way for people to learn about Cystic Fibrosis while they get to know him. Over the years, he has raised over $323,000 for cystic fibrosis and he has recruited over 700 walkers for the Great Strides Event.
>AALIYAH ROBINSON – 2012 WINNER
WILBUR CROSS HIGH SCHOOL (CT)
Aaliyah Robinson of Wilbur Cross High School is a 4-year varsity standout athlete in both volleyball and basketball. She is also captain of both teams this year. In volleyball, she was a 3-year All-Oronoque Division selection, a 2-year CHSCA All-State selection, a 2-year New Haven Register All-Area selection, and also the SCC Scholar-Athlete of the Month. In basketball, she was a one-year All-Oronoque Division selection (2010-2011 school year), a one-year CHSCA All-State selection, a New Haven Tap-Off Club All County selection, and she reached the milestone of scoring 1,000 points during her senior year.
Academically, Aaliyah is a 3-year Honor Roll Student, a CAPT Scholar, a National Honor Society inductee, and has taken college classes at the University of New Haven. Aaliyah maintains a 3.9 GPA and has accepted a scholarship to Iona College to play basketball. She continues to excel on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.
SEBASTIAN LITTLE – 2012 WINNER
CHESHIRE HIGH SCHOOL (CT)
Sebastian Little, a remarkable student-athlete from Cheshire High School, is climbing the mountain and on his way to achieve greatness. Vice President of the class of 2012, Little is also a Link Crew member, a peer health educator, on the Superintendent Panel, and volunteers for Church community service.
An extraordinary football player, Little accounted for 20 points as a wide receiver in a victory over Hamden High School on September 16th, 2011. He had two touchdown catches, a two-yard rushing touchdown, and a two-point conversion on a rush. On top of football, Little maintains above a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Sebastian’s photos are courtesy of Cheshire Trott Shots.
KYLE NOLAN – 2011 WINNER
BRANFORD HIGH SCHOOL (CT)
A July 2009 article in the New Haven Register during his sophomore year in high school detailed Nolan having to overcome open-heart surgery in March of that year. Nolan had a rare congenital heart disorder known as “partial anomalous pulmonary venous return,” in which blood flow from a few of the pulmonary veins return to the right atrium instead of the left atrium. Nolan not only overcame the extensive open-heart surgery and rehabilitation, he also went on to co-captain the Hornets in both varsity football and basketball. Nolan was the starting quarterback for the football team and led Branford varsity basketball in both scoring and rebounding. In addition, he is a member of the National Honor Society.
“He is truly a student-athlete who has an extreme amount of courage and dedication,” Athletic Director Jake Palluzzi said. “Kyle is a person who always will look out for the best interest of his teammates and is a consummate team guy. He is a dream to coach.”
- Information taken from the New Haven Register
MEGHAN DERKEN – 2011 WINNER<
HAND HIGH SCHOOL (CT)
Meghan Derken’s experiences as a student-athlete and loyal member of the community have taken her on quite a journey over the last few years. Meghan, a multi-sport athlete and high-honors student at Hand High School in Madison, Connecticut, volunteered for two summers working with children at Dr. Joseph McNamara’s Pediatric Oncology office through Circle of Care. She also aided in the renovation of a community center at the Valley Street Townhouse Complex, where she collected and organized donations of money, furniture, and supplies. Lastly, she has volunteered at several independent charity walks/athletic events, including the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome, the Crop Walk for Hunger, Roses for Autism events, and the Madison Triathlon.
Outside of her community service and charitable work, Meghan played varsity soccer for three years, during which she earned All-Conference and All-State honors junior year, and earned All-Conference, All-Area, All-State, and All-New England honors senior year. She also ran varsity track for four years and set a number of school records. She currently holds the indoor 400m and 600m records, along with the indoor 4x400m and 4x800m records. She earned All-Conference in Winter 2009 and 2010 as well as in Spring of 2010. Finally, she earned All-State in the 600m (won Class L championships) and was selected for the All-Area team in 2010. Meghan has competed at four National Championship meets.
“Meghan embodies all the good character traits we strive to achieve and represent,” said Hand Athletic Director Craig Semple. “She is incredibly gifted athletically and academically. She is accomplished at the highest levels in both disciplines, because she is a tireless worker, dedicated to constantly improve, and exudes outstanding leadership through example. We are very proud of her, she is great person, and we expect her to continue on the path of future success in all the challenges that are in front of her.”
Meghan is climbing the mountain to fulfill her potential as a great student, athlete, and person. Her achievements both on and off the athletic field are stellar examples of success for student-athletes all around the world.