For the fifteenth consecutive year, Sacred Heart Prep will send fifteen or more student-athletes to play at the intercollegiate ranks. The Class of 2021 sets itself apart from those that came before it, sending a school-record twenty eight student-athletes to play in eleven different sports at the next level.
“I never thought any class would surpass the twenty seven student athletes who went on to play in college from the class of 2013 but this outstanding ensemble has done just that. What is even more remarkable is that it was accomplished during limited high school careers due to the pandemic,“ said SHP Assistant Principal for Athletics Frank Rodriguez of this group.
Nearly one-third of the 2021 class comes from SHP’s storied Water Polo programs. Two members of the Girls Water Polo team will compete at the next level as both Bella Bachler and Eleanor Facey will head down the road to join the 7-time National Champion Stanford Cardinal. Teammate Ola Szczerba will join forces with former Gator Nadia Paquin and the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens.
On the Boys side, Andrew Plaschke will join Szczerba at Pomona-Pitzer, while Michael Heller will head to Annapolis to join the United States Naval Academy. Teammates Wyatt Stenson and Teddy Pasquesi will stay in California with Stenson heading to Santa Clara, and Pasquesi reuniting with ex-Gator Kyle Ballack at Claremont McKenna. Both Luke Hammerskjold and Isaac Rotenberg will head East to play for California-native Dustin Litvak and the Princeton Tiger Water Polo team.
Billy Barnds will join Hammerskjold and Rotenberg at Princeton as a member of the 10-time National Champion Men’s Lacrosse team. Three of Barnds’ teammates, who were also dual-sport standouts from SHP’s Football team, will continue their lacrosse careers at the next level as Beck Anderson will head to Duke, Cav Williams to Georgetown, and Paul Barton to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Under Armour All-American Ben Ramsey rounds out the Boys commits as he becomes a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Lacrosse team.
Swimmer Hugo Thomas will join Ramsey in South Bend as a member of the Men’s Swim team.
One the girls side, Annaliese Chen will swim at Swarthmore, while her teammate, Jessica Calderoni will be competing in the West Coast Conference as a member of the Pepperdine Women’s Swim team.
Just down the road, Megan Tinsley will lace up her cleats with the Loyola Marymount Lions Women’s Soccer team.
Less than 50 miles to the east, Grace Florendo will take her pure jump-shot to Claremont McKenna College, while her Gator teammate and two-sport star Megan Norris, will join the reigning Big West Champion UC Davis Aggies.
Additionally, six more Gators will represent schools from the ultra-competitive NESCAC conference.
Under Armour All American Genna Gibbons will join the 2021 NESCAC Champion Tufts Women’s Lacrosse team. Genna’s classmate, Georgia Butler, will accompany Genna to Tufts as a member of the 4th ranked Women’s Rowing team.
Keegan Shaw will long jump/triple jump for the Amherst College Mammoths, while Kyle Nilsson will play soccer at Middlebury College. Two of Nilsson’s teammates, Chase Dolinko and Alex Moretti, will be teammates for four more years as members of the Colby College Mules.
Just 180 miles southwest of Waterville, Maine, Gators ace Alex Nissenberg will be taking the mound as a member of the Emerson College Lions Baseball program.
Finally, coming off record breaking cross country and track & field seasons, Luci Ilnicki-Lambert will compete in both programs next year for the University of Virginia Cavaliers.
“These students' dedication and diligence both in the classroom and in their respective athletic program has paved the way for more opportunities to compete at the next level. They are a terrific bunch and we wish them nothing but the best moving forward,” concluded Rodriguez.