Nine NCHS Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent To Play Sports in College

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Nine New Canaan High School seniors on Monday signed early Letters of Intent to play sports in college starting next year.

The photos below are from socially distanced signing ceremonies overseen by NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan, held throughout the morning and early afternoon at Waveny House. 

“When I attend these ceremonies I am always struck by how emotional this moment in time is for our athletes and their families,” Egan said. “In many instances these college commitments represent the  culmination of many years of sacrifice and dedication. It is very gratifying to watch our athletes realize their lifelong dreams.”

We asked the student-athletes why they chose their future schools, and put their responses next to photos where provided. 

Henry Benton (sitting) joined by parents Tom and Jayne Benton, and brother Bradford at National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020 at Waveny House. Photo courtesy of the Benton family

Henry Benton

  • University of Wisconsin
  • Crew (coxswain)
  • NCHS coach: Sharon Kriz
  • Also recruited by: Bucknell, Cornell
  • “I chose Wisconsin because of the academic prestige of the university, partnered with the supportive alumni community, it provides a great launch pad for a career. In addition the university provides extensive resources and support for its student athletes. Finally, the mens rowing team also has a tight knit culture like no other, with all the athletes genuinely being best friends, in and out of the boat.”

 

McKenna Harden (sitting) with her parents Keri and Boyd Harden, sister Kaleigh and brother Chase at National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020 at Waveny House. Photo courtesy of the Harden family

McKenna Harden

  • University of North Carolina
  • Lacrosse (midfielder)
  • NCHS coach: Kristin Woods
  • Also recruited by: multiple schools
  • “There were several reasons I chose Carolina for myself and see it being a great fit next year. First off, I have grown up in Carolina gear, my dad and his brothers having gone there, so it’s in my blood. At a young age I was mostly just drawn to the amazing colors of the college, but as I got older it became a dream school of mine because they have so much to offer. When I got the phone call to come visit I was beyond excited, but I finally got that ‘aha’ moment when I flew down and talked to the coaches. The team and coaching dynamic is something I really enjoyed and want to be a part of. Coming from a town like New Canaan, competition and winning are themes common amongst our sports team and I want to continue that at a school with a similar energy. The college itself has numerous accomplishments not only athletically, but academically, and I can feel successful both on the field and in school, so it’s the best of both worlds. Carolina has always been my dream school so putting pen to paper is such a humbling experience but also such a surreal feeling—it’s finally happening!”

 

Alex Pastushan (sitting) joined by parents Ally and Nick at National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020 at Waveny House. Photo courtesy of the Pastushan family

Alex Pastushan

  • Boston University
  • Swimming
  • NCHS coaches: Dave Fine and Kat Munson
  • Also recruited by: Emory University, George Washington University, University of Chicago, William & Mary, Colgate University, Bucknell University
  • “I chose Boston University for many reasons. I was initially interested because of the great academics BU has to offer. Over many zoom calls I began to get to know the team and coaches, who I can’t wait to hopefully meet in person soon. I knew that I wanted to go to BU after visiting the campus. The academic rigor, welcoming team, and beautiful location all played a huge part in my final decision to attend Boston University.”

 

Dukes Plum joined by his parents Amy and John Plum at National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020 at Waveny House. Photo courtesy of the Plum family

Dukes Plum

  • Georgetown University (his father’s alma mater)
  • Lightweight Crew
  • NCHS coaches: Sharon Kriz and Yan Vengerovskiy
  • Also recruited by: Tufts
  • “I picked the school because it has a fantastic tradition of liberal arts education across a wide variety of topics including government, which I have always had a passion for. What better place to study it than the nation’s capital? The team is very competitive and is made up of very athletic, very intelligent people. I think Georgetown will be a good balance for me in terms of academics, internships and other unique opportunities, athletics, and fun.”

 

Maddie Haley (sitting) with parents Vivian and Tad Haley at National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020 at Waveny House. Photo courtesy of the Haley family

Maddie Haley                       

  • Georgetown
  • Swimming
  • NCHS coach: Kat Munson
  • “I am thrilled to choose Georgetown for its amazing combination of academics and athletics as well as the cohesive team culture. I love DC and can’t wait to be a Hoya!”

 

Charlotte Frank with parents Kristina and Michael on National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Frank family

Charlotte Frank

  • Tulane
  • Diving
  • NCHS coach: Joe Somma
  • Also recruited by: Colgate, Richmond, Bucknell
  • “I always wanted a change from the Northeast having lived here my whole life. On my visit to New Orleans, the moment I stepped on campus it just felt right. The people were so welcoming, and the city and weather were amazing. It was a perfect fit for me.”

 

Ryan Caione with parents Clare and Greg), and sisters Emma and Kate at National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020 at Waveny House. Photo courtesy of the Caione family

Ryan Caione

  • Bucknell
  • Lacrosse (midfielder)
  • NCHS coach: Chip Buzzeo
  • “I chose Bucknell because I felt that it offered a great combination of academics and athletics.”

 

Chris Canet

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Lacrosse (midfielder)
  • NCHS coach: Chip Buzzeo

 

Dylan Thom at National Letter of Intent signing day, on Nov. 23, 2020 at Waveny House. Photo courtesy of the NCHS Athletic Department

Dylan Thom

  • Georgetown
  • Crew
  • NCHS coaches: Yan Vengerovskiy, Sharon Kriz
  • Also recruited by: Tufts University 

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