A group of fantastic five student-athletes gathered at Greenwich High School’s gymnasium Wednesday morning, where they each enjoyed their signature moment.
The talented senior group included, in alphabetical order: Alexandra Aravides, Ashley Torres-Brown, Ryan Jedlicka, Ashton Monteiro and Maxime Touzot.
Aravides, who has excelled for the Greenwich Crew program in town for numerous years, will continue her rowing career at Boston University. Torres-Brown will take the rugby skills she has honed at Greenwich High School, to Quinnipiac University.
Torres-Brown, who has also played basketball and been a part of the cheerleading team at Greenwich, was a member of the Cardinals’ rugby squad’s first ever team.
“I’ve been playing rugby since my freshman year, so it’s been four years,” said Torres-Brown, whose older brother played rugby at Greenwich. “I was part of the inaugural season for the girls team and I’ve loved it ever since and I’m so happy that I got to be a part of building up such a strong program.”
Torres-Brown knew rugby was the sport for her shortly after she began competing in it as a freshman, the year the school began its girls program. She enjoys the competitive aspect rugby presents and is pleased to see female athletes test their skills in the challenging, physical sport.
“It’s a feeling like no other to play with such strong empowering females in a sport that isn’t considered female so it’s important to so many other girls that they can do whatever they want and that they shouldn’t be afraid what other people think, because this is a sport where females are continuing to dominate,” Torres-Brown said.
The Greenwich girls rugby team has exhibited steady improvement and success since its inaugural season and last spring, they placed second in the state, losing in the state championship game.
“I’m really excited, we’re hoping to win states, that’s the goal,” Torres-Brown said of the upcoming spring rugby season. “To be a four-year program and win states is something that other schools aren’t going to forget, because we were second in the state last season, so we’re coming for the title.”
Jedlicka found his football niche as a long snapper, a position that’s always in high demand at all levels. He will join the football team at Bucknell University.
Greenwich football coach Anthony Morello has witnessed Jedlicka significantly increase his performance level as a long snapper the past several seasons and is proud to see him have the opportunity to bring his talents to Bucknell.
“I am honored to have had an opportunity to coach him,” Morello said. “Ryan displayed tremendous growth throughout his time at GHS. He spent countless hours outside of practice to perfect his craft. Extra work with Bob Decker (GHS class of 2013), a long snapping legend here at Greenwich High School, was significant to Ryan’s on-field success as well.”
“Ryan was our leader on special teams and he was a Fly Award recipient at this season’s past banquet,” Morello continued. “I am thrilled for him to be joining Mason Muir (GHS class of 2021) at Bucknell University next fall and look forward to seeing much more from Ryan in the future.”
Monteiro, who has flourished at the No. 1 position on Greenwich’s boys squash team for several seasons, will soon join the squash team at Bates College.
“I’m super pumped, I’m super excited, I put in a lot of hard work in with my coach and family,” Monteiro said of the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level. “I know that it’s going to be hard, but I’m willing to put in the work.”
Monteiro began playing squash as an 8-year-old and by the time he was 10, he was competing in tournaments. He visits Greenwich Academy daily to work on his game at Luke Butterworth Squash. Butterworth is the coach of Greenwich Academy’s national championship squash program.
“I go to Luke’s every day of the week and put in a lot of work he’s a great guy,” Monteiro said. “Squash has taught me a lot about values and ideals and different ways of playing and different styles. It’s shown me a way of entertaining others, but also playing for yourself and playing for what needs to be you and have your own style of play.”
Touzot is looking forward to playing water polo at Bucknell University, where his older brother, Adrien, is a goalie on the team. Adrien is currently a Bucknell junior.
“The program is great, the coaching staff is amazing, I’m so excited to be a part of their team and just to be a Bison,” Maxime Touzot said. “It’s a great program, but I like the campus and I have the perk of playing one-year with my brother, which has been my dream.”
Born in Greenwich, Touzot lived in Lebanon with his family for five years, where he became competitive in water polo with his older brother.
“My brother trained when we were in Lebanon every day,” Touzot said. “He would bring me to practices to the gym, he would push me as much as I could. I looked up to him and I still do, he’s a great water polo player.”
As for soon playing at the collegiate level?
“I’m really excited for the competition, the hard work, the dedication you have to put in,” Touzot said.