By BRIAN JENNINGS
Five Southington High School students are continuing their athletics careers at the collegiate level after inking their names on National Letter of Intents in the high school’s library on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Those who signed include Megan Biscoglio, Dylan Chiaro, Molly Dobratz, Amanda Howe, and Kara Zazzaro.
Biscoglio became hooked to pole vaulting as a freshman and never looked back. From freshman year to signing day of her senior year, only a handful of athletes have outworked her and out-shined her. Very few have beaten her.
She won a state title, placed second in New England, and qualified for the national championship twice. She has multiple conference titles and topped out at 12 feet during the 2016 outdoor track and field season.
“Megan is the kind of athlete every coach hopes to have on their team,” said Southington girls track and field coach Connor Green. “She sets her goals and then destroys them one at a time. Her focus and determination to challenge her limits have allowed her to reach this point in her very young career.”
Biscoglio will look to reach new heights as a Division I Husky at the University of Connecticut in Storrs next fall. She said that she is undecided on her major, but her end goal is to be a physical therapist.
“The University of Connecticut was definitely the best fit academically and athletically,” said Biscoglio. “The coaches are so supportive and really want the best for us. I love that—in a big school—the team felt like a small family.”
Chiaro has been an outfielder in the Blue Knight baseball program for four years. Last spring, he played in six games on the varsity team. Despite limited varsity experience, he signed has already committed to play baseball for the division two Chargers at the University of New Haven.
“He will have a great career in the outfield at the University of New Haven,” said Southington baseball coach Charlie Lembo. “Dylan is a hard-working and dedicated player, and everyone from Southington High School baseball wishes him the best as he moves on to the collegiate level.”
Chiaro said that he plans on studying business.
“The University of New Haven was always my number one school,” said Chiaro. “They’re a top school for Division II in the Northeast. They won their conference last year and almost went to the College World Series. I’m excited to go there and continue to grow as a player.”
Surgery from an injury forced Dobratz to miss her entire sophomore year on the girls lacrosse team, but she worked hard in the offseason and came back strong.
A great student-athlete as a key asset and natural leader of the girls lacrosse program, Dobratz was one of the anchors on defense and led Southington’s transition to offense. She carried the ball up the field and helped out on the attack when the team needed her. She helped lead the Lady Knights back to the Class L tournament this past spring for the first time since 2014.
“She did not let her injury define her,” said Southington girls lacrosse coach Jill Pomposi. “She used it as motivation to get back on the field and play her best. I know she will be incredibly successful at the next level because she already works as hard and puts in as much time as players in the next level.”
Dobratz will continue her lacrosse career for the Division II Eagles at Post University in Waterbury next fall. She said that she is looking to go into the FBI and plans to major in either criminal justice or emergency management in homeland security.
“I chose Post University because of the proximity to my house, as well as the feel I got from the team and the coach,” said Dobratz. “The first time I went there, I automatically felt like I was part of the team, and I really liked that.”
Howe has been an integral part of the track and field program, helping to lead Southington to some of its best performances at the state meet. As one of the top throwers in the state, she won the New England title, state open title, and Class LL title in the discus throw with a season best distance of 144’8” this past spring. She also placed seventh in the shot put at the New England championship with a mark of 38’8.5”.
“She has thrown herself into the sport, and it has paid off tenfold,” said Green. “I wish her the best and can’t wait to see how she continues to show off her immense talent.”
Howe will look to muscle her way through the collegiate competition as a Division I Hawkeye at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa next fall. She said that she is undecided on her major but thinks that she will study something in liberal arts.
“Not only was the gut feeling that I got when I walked on campus really reassuring to me, but also it’s a Big Ten school, which is a Power Five conference,” said Howe. “For me, that was a huge reward for all the work that I’ve put in.”
Zazzaro was the first captain selected as a junior during the tenure of Southington softball coach Davina Hernandez at Southington High School. Her peers and coaches view her as a true leader—a leader who leads by example. Zazzaro is an all-around teammate.
Last spring, she was one of the best pitchers in the state, going 20-3 with 212 strikeouts and a 0.9 ERA. She gave up only 24 runs and 58 hits. For her career, she has 284 strikeouts, racking up 212 during the 2016 season.
Zazzaro was also a force at the plate last season with 20 hits, 16 RBI, and a .339 batting average.
“Kara is the epitome of hard work,” said Hernandez. “She has grown into an amazing young player, but she’s an even better person.
Zazzaro will look to strike out more batters at the collegiate level as a Division I Gael for Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. She said that she is undecided on her major, but might study psychology or English.
“Iona had the academics that I was looking for,” said Zazzaro. “It has a number of highly accredited programs. Since I’ve not yet chosen a major, it has a lot of different options to choose from. Their staff is very accommodating and helpful for people to decide what kind of career path they want to take.”
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