Kane heads list of Warde spring signees

FAIRFIELD - Charlie Kane wasn’t about to jump at the first tempting offer that came his way.

Neither were any of the other Fairfield Warde student-athletes that were making college choices.

Kane took his time, studying all his options, and believe it, there were a lot of options. The two-time defending New England wrestling champion and three-time Class LL and FCIAC champ, who’s career wrestling record was 120-2, could have gone anywhere he wanted.

But in the end, it was Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., that won out, with Kane accepting a scholarship to continue his wrestling career.

“(Hofstra) had the best academics and the best wrestling, so once I got all my options in, that’s where I wanted to go,” Kane said as a recent ceremony at Warde where 14 student-athletes announced their college choices. “I’m considering majoring in business or technology because both of those are solid career choices after college but I’m not sure yet.”

Like many high school seniors, Kane’s career seemingly flashed before his eyes, four years gone is just one blink.

“It has gone by pretty fast,” he said. “Some of my teammates in middle school would always tell me about how fast high school goes by and I didn’t really believe them until now.”

“It did go by quick,” said Warde wrestling coach Jason Shaughnessy. “I remember watching Charlie in middle school and seeing how well he was doing and being very excited about having him at the high school level. I’m happy Charlie going to be wrestling at a Division I school. It’s nice to watch kids move on and continue to wrestle at a high level.”

At the ceremony, Shaughnessy announced that USA Wrestling had named Kane as an All-American, a fitting feather in the cap of a stellar career.

“He’s the most accomplished athlete that’s ever wrestled at the school,” Shaughnessy said.

In addition to Kane, Amanda Orvis will attend Skidmore and play lacrosse as will Rebekah Snitkoff at Rochester Institute of Technology, Emily Simonds will play tennis for Gettysburg, Victoria Fletcher will swim at Davis & Elkins, Hannah Keating will run track for Merrimack, Gabby Natoli will play softball for Swarthmore, Jack Potezna will play football for St. Lawrence, R.J. Bebey will play lacrosse for Aracdia University, Charlie Kieffer will run track and cross country for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Dan DeBartolomeo (Guilford College), Bobby Lazar (Herkimer College), Jack Myers (Union) and Joey Deutsch (Endicott) will all play baseball.

Orvis first started playing lacrosse at the Wakeman Club in the fourth and despite wanting to stop (her mother made her continue playing) she made the fifth grade travel team and never looked back, helping the Mustangs reach the Class L championship game against Darien.

“They (Skidmore) has a really good education program and I wanted to have a good balance between athletes and academics,” Orvis said. “I’m looking to major in primary education and (Skidmore) has a on-campus pre-school. They want to get people into the classroom as soon as possible, so that was really important.”

Like Orvis,Snitkoff also played at the Wakeman Club but her lacrosse career started even earlier, throwing balls back and forth with her father.

“My dad played lacrosse when he was younger, so I was exposed to it that way,” she said. “I knew how to use a stick well before I started playing.”

Snitkoff was the starting goalkeeper, leading Warde to the Class L championship game. At RIT, she’s looking to major in biomedical science.

“Academics were what was most important to me,” Snitkoff said. “I want to pursue a career in the medical field, I’m not exactly sure what. Either like a physician or a physical therapist.”

Fletcher, who’s swimming specialties were the 200 (2:04 personal best) and the 500 (5:32) meters at Warde, will do the same at Davis & Elkins in Elkin, West Virginia.

“They started recruiting me my junior year,” Fletcher said. “I didn’t know much about them until I drove down there and visited. I love the state of West Virginia, it’s beautiful and really rural for me since I come from Long Island. They were very welcoming and warm and had a great training program. They’re really down to earth.”

Keating was originally a soccer player until she sprained her ankle in eighth grade and decided to switch to track.

“I stuck to track because you go straight, there’s no cutting motions, so you won’t get hurt,” she said. “For outdoors, I do the 100 meters (:12.5) and the 200 meters and the 4x100 meter relay (:51.35) and indoors I do the 50 meters, the 200 and the 4x200.

“I really liked the track program there and my neighbor already goes to school there so I’m going to have a person there with me for two years, so I’ll feel comfortable. She loves it and the people are really welcoming.”

Natoli played several sports growing up, including volleyball, basketball, soccer and baseball (twin brother John will play baseball at Cornell this fall) before focusing on softball when she was eight years old.

“I love pitching,” she said. “I love the style and the motion of it.”

Warde finished with a 14-8 record, losing in the first round of the Class LL tournament. In choosing Swathmore, Natoli focused on academics over athletics.

“I wanted to get the right fit for academics and size before I looked at softball,” she said. “Swathmore is a great academic school. I’m looking to major Physics or Science. Engineering or physical sciences.”

Simonds was originally looking at the College of Charleston but after a visit to Gettysburg, everything changed.

“My dad was actually forcing me to visit all these colleges,” she said. “When we looked at Gettysburg, the campus was so beautiful. I fell in love with it. I could imagine myself walking through the campus. Seeing how happy the kids were too, friendly, it was a great environment.”

Simonds played No. 1 singles as the Mustangs fell to New Canaan in the opening round of the Class L tournament. She also competed in the State Open. She feels that she has the ability to play No. 1 or No. 2 singles at Gettysburg.

“I saw the girls play and I knew that would be a good fit for me,” she said. “I’m sure I could definitely play 1 or 2 singles, it’s my kind of playing.”

Simonds is undecided on her major.

It didn’t take Myers long to decide on playing for Union.

“As soon as I stepped on campus, it was a great feel,” he said. “The coach (Paul Mound) had contacted me and talked my coaches and seen me play a couple of times and I went up for my visit in late October and committed.”

Myers played shortstop for the Mustangs, who reached the Class LL championship, losing to Amity 4-3. A total of six players from the baseball team are continuing their careers in college.

“It’s great for the team,” he said. “It’s a great group of guys, a great group of seniors.”

Myers is looking to major in economics.

The attention that Deutsch received from Endicott was too much to ignore.

“The coach (Bryan Haley) was always reaching out to me, asking how I’m doing, I liked that,” he said. “The coaching staff really caught my attention.”

Haley first saw Deutsch at an all-star showcase and immediately contacted the Warde third-baseman.

“They reached out to me after that game and asked me to come to the campus,” Deutsch said. “It all fell into place after that.”

Deutsch, who is looking at majoring in marketing, is thrilled to see so many of his teammates continue playing.

“It’s definitely cool,” he said. “We all have the same mental mindset, coming prepared for every game and giving it our all. To have six guys playing at the next level is really big for us.”

For Lazar, it was Herkimer’s solid athletic tradition that was the deciding factor.

“It might be Division III but their success in the past really helped me with my choice,” he said. “They’ve won a lot of games the last couple of years.”

Indeed. Herkimer was won five Region III titles and nine Mountain Valley crowns.

“It’s a good fit for me,” Lazar said. “I’m looking to major in criminal justice. I want to be a police officer, that’s the goal.”

DeBartolomeo was concerned about one thing in making his collegiate decision. The weather.

“I don’t want to shovel snow off the field anymore,” he said with a smile. “Guilford is about five minutes away from Greensboro in North Carolina. Very good season, very long season. The weather is going to be good. That was a key, it’s beautiful there, warm.”

DeBartolomeo was the catcher for the Mustangs, who reached the Class LL title game.

“I’m looking to major in exercise science,” he said. “They have a really nice program. I wanted to go there because the coaches were great, I had a really good vibe with them and the guys that are there.”

Potenza was contacted by St. Lawrence early in the football season and from the start, the relationship was a solid one.

“I was looking around but they contacted me early in football season, like the second game and they really stood out,” he said. “They were great in the process, I went up for a visit and right away I knew it was a good fit. I really liked the coaches, they made it really welcoming, the academics are great and the competitive level. They won the league, they’re ranked, everything about it was really great.”

Potenza was 81 for 138 passing for the Mustangs last season for 1,138 yards and eight TDs. He also rushed for 733 yards and scored eight touchdowns. St. Lawrence went 8-3 last season.

“I’m going to be majoring in business,” Potenza said. “Probably going to do ROTC there as well, serve a couple of years, see where that goes.”

The relationship between Bebey and Arcadia is a long one.

“I’ve been pretty much recruited by them for the past three years, since I was a sophomore,” he said. “It’s always been at the top of my list for playing. I was kind of debating whether I was going to play in college or not but the size of the school, the academics and the new coaching staff (led by head coach Nick Taylor), they’ve had a complete change and the new program brought me in.”

Warde finished with a 9-8 record this season, losing in the opening round of the Class L tournament.

“It was always academics first and I wanted to make sure I could handle everything,” Bebey said. “I’m looking to major in civil engineering. Architecture. Bridges, stuff like that.”