The Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State Academic Team was recently selected, acknowledging top performance in the classroom as well as the field. Among those chosen was West Haven High School senior soccer player Anthony Vendrella.
Association President Deb Petruzzello and Executive Director Joe Canzanella emphasized that it is an honor to be part of this list, and every member should be proud of this accomplishment. Students receiving this distinguished honor must not simply possess athletic ability and leadership, but also academic rigor and dedication.
For Anthony, the road to this honor has been a challenging one. He described countless late nights and many sacrifices. Anthony refers to himself as a “night owl,” finishing his soccer games late into the night, getting home afterward to reflect on how he played that day, and finally completing his homework assignments. At times, staying up and not getting to bed until 1 or 2 a.m.
Between his junior year and senior year, Anthony has taken nine advanced placement courses including AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, AP Statistics, and others. Balance has been crucial for Anthony. He described it as a scientific experiment where he transfers between energy and focus. Teetering between both is something he has truly mastered.
“Playing a beautiful game of soccer with my friends and transferring into a school mindset, that will build my future, has been challenging,” he said.
Anthony is not only exceeding his academic goals, but he is also managing several extracurricular activities. At the high school, he is a Student Representative for the School Board of Education, Vice-President of the Class Council, and Vice-President of the National Honor Society. Outside of school, Anthony is the captain of a Robotics Team and a participant of the Yale Model United Nations Conference.
Anthony said that his success in athletics and academics has been possible due to his teachers and coaches’ support.
“I was able to prioritize with my teachers being flexible and my coaches allowing me to be late to practice at times…coach always says academics come first,” he said.
Vendrella extends particular gratitude to his parents and sister Stefania as well as to the staff members of West Haven High School. Athletic Director Joseph Morell, Soccer Coach Chris Cap, and Guidance Counselor Holly Benedetti, he said, have been supportive.
Looking toward a college career, his current admittance list includes Villanova University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Rhode Island, and he is waiting to hear from the University of Connecticut, John Hopkins, and Yale. Anthony intends to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering with a minor in Management. He is looking forward to a full college experience and an opportunity to study abroad.
With his achievement in sports and academics, Anthony has been awarded Presidential and Merit scholarships. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute awarded him with The Rensselaer Medal scholarship. This award goes to high school students with outstanding academic achievement in math and science.
Anthony Vendrella’s future looks bright and promising.
“My mentality is this: the world is advancing more and more, and education is important to stay ahead of the curve,” he said finally.