By John Goralski
Corinne Horanzy grabbed the pen, and her parents smiled with pride. She began to scrawl her signature across the page before her, and her high school coach beamed as much as her family.
For four years, Lady Knight fans have watched Horanzy bloom into a division one college prospect. For the Horanzy, her parents, and her coach, it’s been a much longer journey. Horanzy has grown up as a Lady Knight, and it started when she was a wide-eyed fifth grader at the Southington High School summer camp.
“It was definitely a lot of work,” said the former Lady Knight co-captain. “I play year round. I came up through all the camps with coach [Rich] Heitz. I played in the off-season during the winter. It was hard work, but my goal was always to play division one.”
That’s why Heitz was as proud as Horanzy’s parents. He’s watched her from the very start, rooted for her as she grew up in the local programs, and cheered for her decision to play at the next level with the University of Hartford. The coach has enjoyed watching Horanzy play for many years. With her decision to stay close to home, Lady Knight fans will be able to keep watching.
Heitz said that the college signing is as good as a state or conference title. “This ranks right up there. You have success, and you get a few great athletes that get opportunities to pursue the game at the next level,” he said. “Hard work results in great opportunities. She gets to stay local. Mom and Dad get to keep watching. She’s been a great asset to our program, and as an outgoing senior I hope she left her mark for those behind her to follow.”
For the last year, Horanzy has spent a lot of time weeding through offers. She considered Springfield College, Western Connecticut State University, and Quinnipiac University, but settled upon the University of Hartford after a recent visit. It was a perfect fit for her ultimate goal in radiology.
“When I went to visit there, I really liked the atmosphere. I liked the sports atmosphere. Everyone there was so friendly, and I love the girls on the team, and the coach was really nice,” she said. “When I was looking at schools, I was looking for a school with a very good health services program, and I felt that UHart was a good fit for me.”
Only one other Lady Knight has played at the division one level, but Horanzy is in a league of her own. She said that she hopes to play as a freshman, and Heitz said that she has all the skills and determination to reach that goal.
“They’re going to get a player that’s going to show up and work hard every day in practice,” he said. “She’s got a good sense of her skill set and where she needs to grow. She doesn’t think so highly of herself that she thinks she’s the end all. She’s got a lot of opportunities to continue to grow in this sport. They’re going to get a hard-working athlete that’s going to try to push it to the next level.”
Can a 5 foot, 10 inch player survive in a division one sport that’s littered with six-footers? Horanzy has made a career of proving she belongs in the conversation. Twice, she was named on Connecticut’s first team all-state roster. Twice, she was named to the Central Connecticut Conference’s all-conference list. Earlier this month, she was spotlighted as Connecticut’s Pro Grass Player of the Year.
Next year, she’ll prove it with the Hawks.
“I never imagined that I could be in this position,” she said, “but the hard work pays off.”
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer John Goralski, email him at jgoralski@ southingtonobserver.com.