Ted Shaw still remembers the days as a young 12-year-old little leaguer, standing with teammates Matt DiNello, Matt Sirois and Bret Susi as the four of them watched the varsity baseball team and talked of one day getting the opportunity to represent Southington High School.
Not only have the four SHS seniors accomplished that goal – they have exceeded their own expectations. On Friday, the four friends came together to celebrate their success as each signed a letter of intent to play for various northeastern colleges.
“It’s an exciting time for all of us and I think we would all agree, it’s been like a family,” Shaw said. “Not just here at the high school either. These guys have been my brothers and it’s great that we all will get a chance to play beyond high school.”
It’s a great time for the Southington High School baseball program, which has seen multiple students succeed and move on to the next level, but perhaps there isn’t a group that better represents the program than these four boys, head coach Charlie Lembo said.
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On the field, each has different abilities and plays with different strengths and weaknesses, but off the field they are as close and similar as they could possibly be.
“I could talk for an hour about each one, about their successes as student-athletes and leadership in the community,” Lembo said. If these four are the face of our program, my only hope is that they have siblings coming through soon.”
Shaw will attend Sacred Heart University in Fairfield in the fall and intends to major in sports management. He’s a shortstop for the SHS baseball team.
DiNello will be attending Merrimack College in Massachusetts this fall where he anticipates playing almost immediately. In fact, DiNello said the opportunity to play right away is part of the reason that he chose Merrimack.
“The third baseman now will be graduating and I know I will have to go in hard and compete, but it’s good to know I will have a chance to go in and play right away,” DiNello said.
Bret Susi will not be traveling far as the Southington High School pitcher will take the mound at Central Connwecticut State University next fall. He said it was the school he’s always wanted to go to and he’s looking forward to playing close to home.
Sirois is heading to Vermont where he will play ball at Norwich University, a military academy based in Northfield, where he expects to be able to fight for the third-base spot.
Eric Swallow, Southington High School Athletic Director, said he’s proud of the boys, there accomplishments ad what it has meant for the school’s baseball program as a whole.
“It speaks volumes in terms of where this program has come in such a short period of time,” Swallow said. “To have four student-athletes moving on to play at the next level speaks volumes to their hard work, not just from March through June, but really with something that has become a year-round program.”
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