2016-11-10 / Sports

TA sends double trouble to D1

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TAYLOR MORRISON, Assistant Sports Editor

SACO — Thornton Academy seniors Evan Balzano and Brandon Hall were bright spots on the horizon Wednesday morning while the country dwelled on election results. These hard-working young men contracted into hopeful futures as they signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball at the Division I level. 

Next fall, first baseman Balzano will attend the University of Maine in Orono. Hall, a catcher, will attend Wagner College in Staten Island, New York.

It bodes well for Thornton Academy to have two talented members of its community nationally recognized and hopefully more attention will be drawn to its athletic program in the future. 

Hall credits Brendan Kennedy, a National Scouting Report scout, with ushering him through the competitive recruiting process. Hall said, “A lot of times it is a struggle to get in contact with schools. [Kennedy] is the one that really pushed me to schools and sold me basically. He got them to come watch me and then I just played my game.”

Both Balzano and Hall made speeches attributing their success to a large group of supportive teachers, coaches, and especially family. Hall said, “My dad always works with me. We go out and hit pretty much everyday. My dad built stuff for me so that we could hit cages and things like that.”

Both young men are multi-talented. Hall earned a 4.11 grade point average and Balzano is a two-sport athlete who also plays hockey.

The two agree that TA’s rigorous curriculum is preparing them well for the coming struggle to balance a more intense athletic career with a college education and thank teachers for their guidance throughout the years. Balzano said, “My third grade teacher once told me that school is my job. It’s always stuck with me. I haven’t always stayed true to it, but going forward I have to make sure it’s my job. Keep on the track, keep on working hard, and do the best you can.”

As their careers advance, Balzano and Hall become role models for younger athletes. Offering advice to the next generation, Balzano said, “Always work hard. Definitely try to balance out your school with your sports. Make sure school comes first and keep working.”

NOTES : The signing ceremony was presided over by TA’s Director of Athletics and Student Activities Gary Stevens, who was recently awarded with the National Federation of State High School Associations Citation for his work in athletic administration. Stevens is the winner of the New England, New Jersey, and New York region, earning one of only eight awards given throughout the country.

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