Ten Greens Farms Academy student-athletes are definitely going to be taking their talents to the college after graduation. GFA is already on track to have the largest number of college-bound athletes in the history of the athletic program.
Two wrestlers, two lacrosse players, two girls basketball players, a tennis player, a soccer player, a baseball player, and a rower have officially been accepted to their respective schools after having committed to playing sports in college.
Even more student-athletes are expected to announce their intentions to play at the next level as the college process continues in the coming months.
Marygrace DelliSanti will play lacrosse at Gettysburg; Georgia Grabowski will be playing basketball at Ithaca College; Connor McDonald will play tennis at Boston College; Piper Melnick will row at California-Berkeley; Allie Palmieri will play basketball at Boston College; Nico Provo will wrestle at Cornell; Mark Roszkowski will play baseball at Tufts University; CJ Shea will wrestle for Wesleyan; Will Whelan will play soccer at Hobart; and Max Yates will play lacrosse at Colgate.
"I am so proud of all our senior scholar athletes," GFA athletic director Tauni Butterfield said. "To have so many committed athletes this year, with more to come, is just so exciting for the school community. I applaud all their hard work on and off the court, field, and mat. I know they will continue to make the school proud as they play at the next level."
DelliSanti will be suiting up for a team that has won two out of the last three NCAA Division 3 women’s lacrosse championships.
“I loved it,” DelliSanti said. “Their whole team was so nice, and I got along so well with all the other recruits, too. We were all strangers, but it was so easy to talk to all of them. After that I knew I could see myself there. That’s why I chose it.”
Grabowski said the loyalty of the Ithaca coaching staff showed her over the recruiting process played a key role in her deciding to play at the school.
“Before the (COVID-19) pandemic started, I was talking to a lot of schools regularly and I really liked them, but the bond I had with Ithaca was a little stronger,” Grabowski said. “Even during the pandemic, he was the only coach still calling me to make sure I was still interested in playing there.”
McDonald is following in the educational footsteps of his mother and grandmother, both of whom spent their college years on Chestnut Hill.
“(BC) was always on my radar and it’s the appeal of ACC tennis and a good undergraduate business school, which is what I wanted,” McDonald said. “I felt like I had the best relationship with (the BC Coach) compared to other coaches, too.”
Melnick will be making the farthest journey away from GFA’s Westport-based campus, rowing for a West Coast powerhouse.
“I chose Cal for many reasons,” Melnick said. “I knew I wanted an academically rigorous school with a highly competitive team, but I also wanted a larger school. Cal fit that perfectly, with an incredible academic program, and a team that has won the NCAA Championships four times. I love the location and that I'll be able to row all year. Talking to the coaches during my recruiting process, I felt an immediate passion for the coaches and team, but I also felt that the team was passionate about me.”
Palmieri had verbally committed to attend Boston College as a junior before finalizing all her plans this fall.
“I chose BC for many reasons, the most important being that I just felt at home with the team and players,” said Palmieri, who was the 2020 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year after leading GFA to a 23–4 record and the New England Class C semifinals. “I wanted to go somewhere I could have an immediate impact and where I felt at home — BC checked all the boxes.”
After originally committing to Cornell, Provo switched his decision to Stanford in August of 2021 after the Cornell coach and resigned and took the Cardinal job on the other side of the country.
“It was a school I was looking at before and I had an official visit scheduled, but I cancelled it after Cornell,” Provo said. “You can’t go to Stanford and not like it. It’s one of the top institutions in the world. The PAC 12 is a tough conference. I just decided to hit the nail with the hammer. (Coach Rob Koll) recruited me, and I was really close to him. He was great with my parents and he’s a really good guy. He cares about you as a person. It’s not just about wrestling with him.”
Roszkowski did get some looks from some Division 1 baseball teams, but the opportunity for a Tufts education and the chance to play for legendary Jumbos coach John Casey — a Hall of Famer now in his 38th season with the team — proved very enticing.
“Coach Casey is a leader I want to play for,” Roszkowski said. “A winning team, a great academic school — it’s a combination of all those things that won me over.”
Shea is excited to join the Wesleyan program as he looks to be a pre-med major.
“CJ is a kid whose leadership is tangible on and off the mat for us," GFA wrestling coach Jack Conroy said. "He is a great wrestler who understands the importance of academics. We are very proud of him.”
Whelan has known the Hobart coach for a number of years since being coached by him at a camp, making his transition to college easier.
“I took an unofficial visit this summer and toured the school,” Whelan said. “It’s on a lake up in the woods in New York and it’s really my kind of vibe. I could see myself being there.”
Yates attended a soccer camp at Colgate early in his athletic career, never expecting he’d spend his four college years at the school playing lacrosse.
“It was my No. 1,” Yates said. “It was definitely my dream school. I loved the school. They play all the top programs and I really bought into the coach’s philosophy about family and what the team means.”
Butterfield, GFA Head of School Bob Whelan and everybody else at Greens Farms Academy are looking forward to acknowledging even more of the school's student-athletes as they finalize their college plans.