A group of athletes from the four Fairfield-based high schools or those living in town but attending school outside of Fairfield signed National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers in college next year during the 2014-15 school year. Many signed the letters around Feb. 5. Most of them made their decisions where to play ball in college -- or to run -- months ago.
Four Fairfield Warde seniors made their announcements at a ceremony at the school on Feb. 11. Cross country runner and track and field athlete Cate Allen, who has earned All-State numerous times in her three sports, has decided to attend Wake Forest; field hockey player Emily Allen (no relation), an All-State forward in 2013, will play at Southern Connecticut State University; goalkeeper Katie Brennan, who was All-State as a junior and senior, will play women's soccer at Richmond; and attacker Kyle Scheetz will play men's lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania.
Five Fairfield Prep seniors, two of whom are from Fairfield, signed their letters in ceremonies earlier this month. Football players Nick Crowle, of Milford, who played fullback and linebacker for the CIAC Class LL runners-up, will play at Yale University, and Tony Fox, a defensive end and offensive guard, will play at Fordham. Three members of the Jesuits' cross country team will run in college and participate in track and field as well, said cross country coach Bob Ford.
State Open cross country champion Christian Alvarado, of Fairfield, the Footlocker Northeast Championships runner-up, will run at Georgetown. James Mulliken, of Westport, will run at Middlebury, and Fairfield's Alec Hilton will compete for Holy Cross.
Molly Meehan, of Fairfield, a four-year starter in goal for the Class LL state champion St. Joseph girls soccer team, will play at Merrimack next year.
Emily Allen was All-State and All-FCIAC in the fall. She scored six goals and had eight assists. Allen decided on Southern Connecticut after visiting the campus in September. Her older sister, Lauren, is a field hockey midfielder at Western Connecticut State. Emily Allen, who will receive a partial scholarship, chose to play for the Owls after considering Eastern Connecticut and Sacred Heart.
"I loved the education program," Emily Allen said. "I fell in love with the coaches and team during my overnight visit in the middle of September," said Emily Allen, who has played the sport since sixth grade, playing with the Fairfield County United club team for three years.
Cate Allen played soccer as a freshman and sophomore then switched to cross country in the fall. She began her track career in the indoor winter season in 2010 and continued in the outdoor spring season in 2011. She selected Wake Forest -- over Boston College, William & Mary and Duke -- in the middle of November. Allen plans to run middle distance and long distance events in track for Wake Forest as well.
Cate Allen, who won the Class L cross country championships as a junior and senior, is considering a major in business and has interest perhaps in attending law school. "I really liked the campus (in Winston-Salem, N.C.). Aesthetically, it's very nice. I really liked the coach and the girls on the team. I felt I could see myself there," Cate Allen said.
In addition to being named All-State as a junior and senior, Brennan was a first-team All-FCIAC goalkeeper for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. She selected Richmond over Colgate, Holy Cross and Marist, making her decision last April. Brennan most likely will focus her studies on business and law, she said.
Brennan said she was attracted by Richmond's head coach and his staff of assistants. It was her favorite campus, and she was impressed with the university's academic offerings. She started playing recreation soccer as a first grader and moved to travel and premier soccer as a sixth-grader.
Scheetz led Warde in goals, assists and points in 2013, Mustangs coach Tom Cunningham said, and Scheetz was named honorable mention All-FCIAC. He chose Pennsylvania over Dartmouth, Middlebury, Tufts, Bowdoin and Bates because of the setting. "I really liked the campus in the city," he said. "The others were smaller and rural."
He made his choice last February. Scheetz plans to take courses in the school's Arts & Sciences program, with an interest in math. Scheetz played on the Fairfield co-op ice hockey team as a sophomore and junior; this will be his fourth year playing lacrosse for Warde. He started playing the sport as a "third- or fourth-grader" with the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, he said.
All four Mustangs' athletes consider themselves lifelong residents of Fairfield, they said.
Fairfield Prep seniors
Alvardo won the SCC, CIAC Class LL and State Open cross country championships last season. He won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races at the SCC and CIAC Class LL indoor track and field championships and the 3,200 at the State Open, with a second-place finish in the 1,600. Alvarado announced his decision to attend Georgetown in the late summer.
Mulliken, headed to Middlebury, placed eighth in the SCC championships, 27th in Class LL and 121st of 178 finishers in the State Open.
Hilton, who will attend Holy Cross, finished 12th in the conference meet, 23rd at the LL meet and 105th at the Open.
All three earned first-team All-SCC honors in the fall.
Crowle, who will play football at Yale, won the heavyweight (285-plus pounds) weight class last Saturday at the CIAC Class LL wrestling championships. He was a Class LL All-State linebacker and made the Walter Camp Foundation All-State team. Crowle was named All-SCC as a junior and senior.
Fox, headed to play on the line at Fordham, was a three-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines for the Jesuits and was first team All-State in Class LL. Prep lost the Class LL championship to Southington.
St. Joseph senior
Molly Meehan was the starting goalie in back-to-back finals for the Cadets, making key saves to protect St. Joseph's lead in its 2-1 victory over Suffield for the Class LL title in 2013 and starting in their 4-1 loss to Northwest Catholic in the 2012 Class M championship match. St. Joseph won back-to-back FCIAC championships the last two years, sharing with Greenwich in 2012.
Meehan, who has lived in Fairfield for 13 years, selected Merrimack over Hobart and William Smith Colleges, making the decision in July. She made the full-time switch to goalkeeper at age 8, beginning her travel soccer career in third grade and alternating in the field and in goal. "On the campus, I felt a different vibe, that I should be going there. It's small enough to know everyone," Meehan said.
Meehan won 71 games for St. Joseph, coach Jack Nogueira said, and posted a 0.60 goals against average last fall for the Trumbull school. "She made two fantanstic saves against Suffield, one on a one-on-one breakaway, which obviously helped us win that game," said Nogueira, who noted her four-year improvements in the areas of strength, quickness, maturity and athleticism.