Finding the appropriate balance between academics and athletics, 2021 Greenwich High School graduates Grace Collier and Delaney Roth excelled in both areas as student-athletes since their freshman year at Greenwich.
And when the USA Lacrosse/CHSCA organizations recently released Connecticut’s 2021 Academic All-American recipients, Greenwich’s dynamic duo were on the list.
Collier and Roth left the program with honors, earning Academic All-American accolades through the dedication and commitment they showed in the classroom, while also serving as captains of the Cardinals’ lacrosse team. Roth, who will continue her lacrosse career at The College of William & Mary, credits Greenwich High for enabling her to achieve academically.
“Greenwich High School is an amazing school that provided me with numerous opportunities to challenge myself academically,” said Roth, a member of the Social Studies, Science, Math and English National Honor Societies. “I was able to push my level of thinking and push myself to become a better student. Attending Greenwich High helped me go to a high-level academic college. I was able to take numerous AP classes and interesting electives.”
Collier enjoyed the learning process at Greenwich High and embraced each class she attended.
“I didn’t have a class that I didn’t like,” said Collier, a member of the National Honor Society in Spanish, Social Studies and Science, who was chosen as an FCIAC Exemplary Scholar Athlete in the Fall of 2020. “I really enjoyed a lot of the science classes. I took AP biology my senior year, this past year. My teacher this year was very enthusiastic and kept everyone engaged especially in a hard, COVID school year.”
Fiction writing was one of the classes Collier especially enjoyed during her junior year at GHS.
“I loved my short fiction class,” she said. “The couple of weeks we were in class before COVID I got to write a lot and was reading a lot of stories. I loved a lot of my classes.”
Roth and Collier each served as captains of Greenwich’s lacrosse team during their senior spring season. They each took AP and Honors classes during their GHS days.
“It was definitely challenging managing my time between taking a sport every season and having a rigorous academic schedule,” said Roth, who served as a senior captain on Greenwich’s lacrosse, ice hockey and cross country teams. “Family, school and sports – those were my priorities. From playing sports, I was able to learn some good time management skills and prioritize what was important to me.”
Collier, who is headed to Williams College, where she will further her lacrosse career, liked having a busy academic and athletic schedule each of her high school years.
“I honestly preferred the years when I had more going on rather than not,” said Collier, who also filled the role as captain for Greenwich’s indoor winter track and field team. “When I had pressure to do things during a certain amount of time, I performed my best. Each day, I wanted to get my homework done right after practice and be ready for the next day.”
Though Greenwich is one of the largest schools in the state with approximately 2,700 students, Collier said the faculty made students feel a part of the school’s community.
“The teachers do a good job of reaching out to their students, they make the school feel smaller than it is,” said Collier, a midfielder, who this year, earned Second Team All-FCIAC Lacrosse honors and was a Class L All-State Team selection. “They make such a big school feel small through their dedication.”
Even though Greenwich’s season ended with a loss to Fairfield Ludlowe in the quarterfinal round of the CIAC Class L Tournament, its season wasn’t quite over. As a bonus, the Cardinals competed in the Girls High School Lacrosse National Championship last week at the Farmington Sports Arena. The tournament featured 39 teams from all areas of the country and Greenwich, which was called ‘The Cardinals’ for the tournament, posted a record of 2-2 during a two-day span in the event.
The Cardinals defeated Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) and St. Paul’s School from New Hampshire and were edged by Bronxville (N.Y.) the second day of action, 11-10.
“It was such an amazing event that was well run and organized,” said Roth, an attack, who received All-FCIAC Honorable Mention recognition this year. “We were thankful to compete against such high competition. We were unable to compete against out-of-state teams this season, so it was awesome to go out and play in this tournament against out-of-conference teams and really challenge ourselves against some of the best teams in the country.”
Said Collier, who also earned All-State and All-FCIAC Indoor Track Team honors in 2019 and 2020: “It was a cool experience to be back with the team, since it had been two or three weeks since the end of our season. And it was cool to be back together and play a real game. It felt like high school for me and and for Delaney too. I think the team performed really well, we came together on the field on defense and attack. A lot of the girls had really good games and good days and I’m proud of how the team spirit was still there.”
Collier and Roth are spending the summer training to compete on the lacrosse field at the next level. They are also eagerly awaiting the academic challenge that college brings.
“I’ve wanted to play lacrosse in college from when I first started playing lacrosse when I was four years old,” said Roth, an All-FCIAC Hockey First Team selection this past winter, who was an FCIAC Exemplary Scholar Athlete this past winter and spring. “To finally be able to soon achieve that goal is exciting. I’m looking forward to challenging myself academically at William & Mary and becoming a better student and person. On the lacrosse field, I’m excited about being able to play against some of the best players in the country. I’m hoping to compete for some playing time right off the bat and I’m going to try to push myself to be the best that I can be.”
Greenwich’s lacrosse team will still be on Roth’s radar.
“I have two twin sisters (Kelsey and Sophie) who are going to be juniors on the team next season and my youngest sister is going to be a freshman this year, so I’ll be watching the team from Williamsburg,” she said.
Collier is ready for her next academic and athletic chapters to begin.
“I’m pretty ecstatic about going to Williams,” she said. “I know Williams will provide such competitive opportunities in the classroom. The overall atmosphere of the school and the student body is great and I know the lacrosse program is going to give me the opportunity to become stronger every day.”